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Man City vs Man United: Community Shield Open Thread

Photo by Mordechai&Mags

Today marks the ceremonial start to the 2011-12 Premier League season with the annual Community Shield match played at Wembley between Manchester City and Manchester United.

Viewers in the United States can watch the match live on FOX Soccer at 9:30am ET today. But no matter where you live in the world, feel free to use the comments thread below to post your rants, raves, questions and observations.

The starting line-ups for both sides have been announced:

Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Y Toure, De Jong, Milner, Balotelli, Dzeko, Silva.

Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Rooney, Welbeck.

Kun Aguero is on the bench for City and may come on as a second half substitute. For Manchester United, Ferguson’s surprise move is starting Danny Welbeck up front while Berbatov is on the bench. Ryan Giggs, meanwhile, isn’t even on the substitute’s bench.

Here’s hoping that today’s 2011 Community Shield will be an exciting one.

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  1. Htwe Ei Ei Win

    August 9, 2011 at 7:56 am

    that stupid manchester united..

  2. Red Blooded Rax

    August 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Those who’re labelling this as a ‘glorified friendly’ or a meaningless match must’ve been watching another game. The way City were flying in two footed, (Richards and Milner could easily have got reds,) and Dzeko and Ando squaring off showed just how much this game meant to both sets of players.

    On City”s goals, both were down to sloppiness by United’s back line, lack of communication between centre halves and keeper for the first, and slow reactions for the second. De Gea saved a bullet header from Richards later in the game, (though the ref blew for a foul), which proves how quick he can be, so the movement of the ball for Dzeko’s goal shouldn’t have mattered, he just didn’t get down quick enough. This doesn’t detract from how well taken both were. Silva’s delivery in particular was quality, and this is coming from a United fan.

    @ Roderick, I’m not sure what level D1 College Soccer is, but your posts on here about team unity and understanding are a complete joke. United in the second half had 3 players; Young, Jones, and De Gea, who have never played a competitive game for United before. Add this to Welbeck and Cleverley being loaned out for a full season, and you have 5 players who have been with the rest of United’s line-up for around a month, factoring in U21 internationals. Instead City’s full team, barring Clichy who didn’t come on until the 73rd min and made little impact, have been playing and training together on a regular basis since January. If you omit Dzeko the rest have had a full year together. How the hell can you argue that it makes sense they don’t understand each other’s game yet? The bottom line is they are so used to playing negative football and hoping for a touch of brilliance from their soon to be gone talisman, that they see nothing from the quality players in their side.

    Those who think that City are close to United are out of their minds. Derbies are always close run matches, regardless of the teams in the PL involved. United – Liverpool is normally close run regardless of the success the teams are enjoying at the time, likewise Arsenal – Chelsea. The fact that the score line was close in this game means nothing, between these two it normally is, as it is with any pair of rivals. I don’t doubt that in the next 2 seasons City will be a title contender, that amount of continued spending means that it’s impossible for them not to be, but for now they are still a bunch of individuals wearing the same kit.

    Finally on Danny Welbeck – Some United fans need to have a word with themselves. How the hell would anyone know if he’s United quality yet? He’s still only 21 and is continually improving. Most players don’t come into form until after they’re 24. Also he’s a local lad, born and raised a red, which in itself should give United fans the patience to wait a couple of seasons to see if he comes good.

    • Roderick

      August 9, 2011 at 12:49 am

      If you don’t know what D1 College Soccer is then google it. I don’t need to explain it. Clearly, you have not comprehended my argument. If you really have played serious soccer than it takes time for the squad to mesh the way it’s supposed to. I stated my argument as simple as possible so this sounds like a personal problem. For the sake of brevity, let me say my entire argument once more.

      Man City: Let’s assume that City sells Tevez in the near future. The team will struggle because they played less than a handful of games without Tevez. When you lose your talisman who was also your captain (value of that is debatable) who is the centerpiece and your gameplay is centered around him and you still expect them to fire on all cylinders. Take the Gateway Arch for example, the middle stone is removed and the entire structure will collapse. It will take them a good part of the season to get in sync but I’m sure Mancini can just buy another player (perhaps?). I never said anything about team unity. So, quit putting words in my mouth. City IMO are playing a considerably different style. They only play negative when they have the lead which is obvious of course. They only manufactured one goal from a set piece and got a lucky break with the second. They didn’t look like they were at their best. Not making excuses for them because I don’t support them but it was an observation.

      United: Yes, they had 3 totally new players but the other 6 knew the system. It didn’t take long for them to get it. Young is new but his style fits United and vice versa so not too much to be acclimated for IMO. The other players were on loan but it’s not like they forgot how to play United’s way. They are quality players who learned how to play like a “Red Devil” before going everywhere else. They didn’t forget everything they knew. City are learning how to play without Tevez and this what you don’t understand. They’re learning how to play with each other now not just one man.

  3. Idge

    August 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I’m sorry but the league is over are squad looks the strongest in the league and well no challengers because Chelsea new manager could be crap city without tevez is crap as we saw arsenal don’t seem to be buying any big players and some unhappy players so there out Liverpool are simply not good enough the were simply ripped off for Carroll Henderson and downing I certainly would spend over 50 million for all of them. Spurs can’t let go of players they simply over price them and don’t seem to be buying defenders or strikers

  4. Troy

    August 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Outside of all the obvious things that have been said, I think that one of the most poignant things for me was watching Ando settle down in the second half after Cleverley was brought on. In the first half he was getting run over by the City midfield because Carrick plays so defensively and tends to sit and watch.

    I think that my favorite moment of the match was when Smalling was flying down the right flank and absolutely skinned a City defender before feeding the ball to Nani for a shot. And although the play didn’t result in a goal, it shows that Smalling has definitely improved on his touch this offseason.

    • matt

      August 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      It was Barry that got skinned if I remember correctly. It was quite a move indeed. I think their best back line consists of Smalling and not Rio (blasphemous, I know).

      If (and this is a big if) they do indeed get Sneijder in these next couple of weeks and if Cleverley doesn’t get sent back out on loan, I see Carrick as an unnecessary player. Fletcher is the better CM and could definitely play in a holding role. Park is available there. Obviously Anderson is starting to fit back into the squad like he did a few years ago. I always feel like the only way Carrick’s presence on the field is noticeable when something goes horribly wrong. I think if someone would offer $8 mil for him then i would be quite content to see him leave.

      • Troy

        August 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm

        I agree 100%. If Fletcherinho comes back like he’s capable of, I think that him, Park, Giggsy and Cleverley (and in some cases Rooney, when he plays deep) would provide the necessary support to allow Ando to become a strong midfield player. I hate to say it, but Carrick just hasn’t been the same since the CL final against Chelsea. I too, would not broken up to see him go and honestly, I think it would be best for him as well.

  5. REAED

    August 8, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Am proud of MAN UNITED keep it up boys, especially Nani yu have the potential I just love it congrats FURGIE

  6. MUFC77

    August 7, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Gaffer any reason why some posts have a reply option and others dont?

    Hell must have frozen over cause I agree with most of what you said. I agree it was the best charity shield in a long long time, in fact i personally cant remember any as good and ive been watching them since the mid 80s.

    Wellbeck im still not sold on as a utd player, hes good but I dont think hes utd class and this could be a make or break year for him. He may get more playing time if Berba does leave but i see him eventually moving on for a tidy fee. Macheda hasnt done much when hes started and i cant see him getting the playing time he needs to develop at Utd.

    As for the goals I cant help but think De Gea should have come for that ball, Lescott got to it at the 6 yard box and De Gea was already 3 yards off his line when he headed it. He started to come out then stopped and paid the price.

    Citys second for me should have been saved as well, its not like it was a thunder bolt into the top corner. The lad struck it well but De Gea had plenty of time to see the ball coming to get something on it. then again I could just as easily blame vidic for not closing down Deko, he showed him the inside then stood off him inviting the shot.

    I dont know what the hell happened with Clichy and Kompany, seemed like two basic schoolboy error’s of ball watching and letting the ball bounce instead of one of them attacking the ball and clearing their lines.

    One things for sure the Manchester derby in Oct has all the makings of another classic game.

    • The Gaffer

      August 8, 2011 at 7:37 am

      MUFC77, regarding your question about the comments — it only allows a certain amount of replies to each comment in the thread.

      The Gaffer

  7. Earl Reed

    August 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Both teams took a half off. United did play with some offensive urgency in the first half, but they weren’t charged up defensively until the 2nd half. After they saw the Blues’ reaction to getting in front, ManUtd wanted to be sure there was no momentum that City could carry from the match. City laid back looking to nurse the lead, and kinda turned the switch off.

    In other words, both teams had about 45 minutes where they were sharp, and neither of those halves really coincided. The match was decided on more of a fluke.

    Basically, there’s not much to take from this. One thing is that De Gea looks very sheepish in goal, and he may be a project rather than a step-in. He didn’t look confident to me. He was fortunate that every shot City took was pegged right at him in the 2nd half. He’ll settle down for sure, but I think a key to watch is his ability to command the backline and be a confident general back there. Aside from that…it was a friendly that was decided on a very fortuitous bound off Nani’s knee. Millimeter one way or the other, and it may have gone towards touch.

    • Redrich

      August 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      There was no fluke in United’s second goal. It was a thing of beauty and it became the catalyst that urged them on to win the game.
      A game of little import, if you don’t connect with the success of the PL Champions or the FA Cup winners, but a game between two good teams, none the less.
      It was an entertaining affair, and a did shine a spotlight on the potential of English Football.

  8. Redrich

    August 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    United showed a commitment to win, and win they did. They were constantly winning the second ball and had an attacking understanding that will frighten most Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham fans.
    Ferguson has his squad up and running before the starting whistle and that is key to all routes forward this season. I would be majorly surprised if United wasn’t ahead at Christmas.

  9. JC

    August 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    That was the best Community Shield I’ve ever watched. With the way United, City and Chelsea have played this match the past two years, I’m starting to think it carries more weight than the League Cup.

    Either way, English football is back!! Can’t wait for next week.

    • Roderick

      August 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      I see your point but I must respectfully disagree because the League Cup (no matter how boring it is) still has a European spot on the line. That’s why Championship level Birmingham will play in Europe this year.

      • Taylor

        August 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm

        It’s another pointless curtain raiser: it’s nice if you win, but you won’t be damned if you don’t.
        It was never really important for managers. Alex Ferguson said that it is a game that he never takes really seriously other than for fitness reason. George Graham even asked David Seaman to take penalty in 1993 Charity Shield.

        • JC

          August 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm

          I suppose it depends on the club. Sir Alex puts out a better squad for the Shield than he does for the League Cup. But yes, I see your point. We’re stuck with the LC until they don’t offer a Euro spot. 🙂

  10. Roderick

    August 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Congrats to Man U for winning the most irrelevant game in the entire season. No, I’m not a Man City fan but Mancini really dropped the ball on this one by putting his boys in the position to blow it. Man U did win the game by Man City losing it. If you get what I mean. Man City isn’t even comfortable yet when it comes to the players really understanding each other. They haven’t been there for centuries like the boys in red. When they do get that understanding. That’s a really scary prospect.

    • MUFC77

      August 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Yeah Utd winning had absolutely NOTHING to do with our kids ripping City apart in the second half.

      • Roderick

        August 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

        Calm down, SAF worshipper. The kids beat City when the seniors for the most part couldn’t. This means and the goals themselves had defensive incompetence all over it. Therefore, Mancini must take blame for this but so do the players because they are on the field. They gave that game away. I think this also shows the lack of familiarity with City affecting their sharpness. Who cares though? Your team won. Enjoy your worthless victory.

        • MUFC77

          August 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

          You’re a joke mate. You talk of lack of familiarity in the city team and them not being comfortable or understanding each other, yet out of the 11 players that started for City today every single player was in the team/squad last season. Clichy is the only new player who you could possibly use that excuse for.

          Like i stated before the game the result is irrelevant in the long run, the only thing today proved is city still has a long way to get to Utds level.

          • Roderick

            August 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

            You’re an imbecile. If you played any kind of seriously competitive level of soccer (college D1 for me). It doesn’t take a year and poof, you fully understand each other. City who constantly shuffling lineups last year will not be firing at all cylinders. There were many times during last year where they hit flat spots. You had others being thrown into the starting 11 and subs as a result of experimentation by Mancini. If you really think City’s familiarity is on the level of United then you’re delusional. Then, the key to it all is one man. Carlos Tevez. City w/ Tevez and w/o Tevez are two totally different squads. However, you are a die hard United fan, so you wouldn’t watch City unless they played United.

          • Matt

            August 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm

            So let me see if i follow you, the United team consisting of De Gea, Smalling, Jones, Evans, Rafael, Nani, Young, Cleverley, Anderson, Rooney and Welbeck have more experience together, even though, at this time last year, they were playing for 5 different clubs between them, than City’s squad of ALL CITY PLAYERS FOR AT LEAST 8 MONTHS until the 79th minute when they brought out the Gunner? Please. Now I do grant you the benefit of the doubt that the choice to replace Carrick with Cleverley did provide a massive upgrade in the center of the park, but otherwise all the changes were clearly moves for experience rather than to boost the squad. And they still absolutely scorched City in the second 45 minutes. When United decided they wanted it, they stepped up and took it to City.

            They indeed are toothless without the little Argentine striker. They looked this way without him last year at Anfield, Goodison and for large portions of the FA Cup final that got them there, and they will look like the 08-09 squad if he does indeed decide to leave. But my guess is that you didn’t jump on the Blue Bandwagon until 2010, so how would you remember?

          • Dave C

            August 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

            Hey don’t argue with Roderick, man, he played D1 College Soccer (woo-oooooh!), so he knows better than everyone!

    • Guy

      August 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Roderick, take a close look at the line-ups. The guys in red today haven’t been there for centuries. They had less experience together than the team fielded by City. And, no, I’m not a Man Utd fan.

      • Roderick

        August 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

        I don’t care that you’re not a Man U fan but you must be blind to think City’s lineup have been together longer than United. The only new guy is Young. Smalling played with them for a number of games last year and Welbeck has been in the pipeline for a while. City as we know the weren’t fully assembled until last year (though a few were with the team prior to last year). Now, of course United’s core weren’t together for centuries because that’s physically possible but I assumed people could catch what my exaggeration was implying. Apparently not. United’s lineup with the exception of 4 players were all around back in 2008 under the same manager compared to 2 or 3 players for City under Mark Hughes.

        • Taylor

          August 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

          I would disagree with City not understanding each other. I would argue that with a new goalkeeper, it was United’s central defence who hadn’t had enough time to fully understand each other. You can add that Smalling was a central defender last season and his natural position is a central defender.

          The City line ups consists of players who played for City last season. Who didn’t play with City last season in the starting line up ?

          Other than that, I agree with you re: Tevez. W/O Tevez, City is a totally different team.

          I would also argue that the goal 1 was due to misunderstanding among De Gea, Vidic and Ferdinand and second goal was De Gea’s fault. So it was not like the senior players couldn’t beat city: they gave City a chance to score and City punished them.

          And one season (for Balotelli: half) should be enough for world class players to know each other.

          • Roderick

            August 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm

            Every team is different so you can’t say “You have one year to get each other”, no matter what level they are. Let’s be realistic. Last year, Mancini was still making City truly his team. Weeding out Bridge, Bellamy, Santa Cruz and possibly offloading SWP. Tevez possibly leaving as well, this means the team can really understand each other not just Tevez. That’s the difference IMO. The players only worried about feeding Tevez and understanding him for the most part. I’m not blaming them because Tevez is an excellent player but when he was gone they were lost and clueless out there. Now, they can really build some camaraderie with one another. This year is the year to make judgement.

          • Why?

            August 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

            The game was on the whole was very even, showing yet again there is little between these two teams and I’m sure the coming season will also show the same. The game was won by the slightest of margins as was the last game between the two and come to think of it so were the previous few. If Dzeko connects with the header then City wins but he didn’t. The same can be said For Berba’s miss in the semi the result may have been different if he scored but he didn’t these two teams who are near enough neck and neck with Utd having the slight advantage, this has been achieved by City in two and a half seasons before this the were hardly even a mid table side, pretty impressive if you ask me.

            As for the game being irrelevant this may be the case in the great scheme of things it’s a game that teams are not arsed if they win, but by the same rule it is a game they don’t wanna lose either. Fergie himself said it is just another friendly but I think it’s more than that, especially when it‘s a derby.

            I don’t see where Utd’s kids are, this is Utd’s first team squad they will be used make no mistake they are the team. I can only think people are saying this because of Welbeck who indecently is the same age as Balotelli. I feel Welbeck will stay a year or two but like Marcheda is not good enough for Utd and will move to another premier club even though he did ok today.
            City’s Team were the younger on average today.

            On these so called ‘mistakes’ or as Roderick strangely put it ‘defensive incompetence’????? I don’t think they exist except maybe in the mind of bad commentators and the like but I myself had only seen one in any of the goals and that was by Clichy for the last. He should have gone for the ball or gone to go behind Kompany to cover instead he just stopped and then watched. Although some will pint to Kompany he got to the ball and made a decent contact as he got the ball which deflected off Nani’s knee. I suppose he could have taken Nani out as well but is that a mistake or basically cheating? As for De Gea he was not expecting a shot from that distance which was a thumper which was swirling in the air I think it would be harsh to blame him. Lescott’s header was a free one and 5 yards out he can’t be blamed for that! I though De Gea had a good game and made a few smart saves. The first 4 goals were well placed or good play and not mistakes IMO.

            At the end of the day this was a great game (the best shield game I can remember) with Utd more up for it than City but never the less end to end stuff great entertainment. Manchester Utd fans I have spoken to today think that City are now there main rival for the coming season and I hope they are right there is nothing that would make me happier than to see Utd and City in the top two slots (City being top of course) making my City the undisputed kings of English football and many Manc Utd fans feel the same (Utd being top of course). It all bodes well for the coming season

      • Why?

        August 8, 2011 at 6:28 am

        Matt what are you talking about they beat Utd in the game that mattered without Tevez, they also scored 2 yesterday with no Tevez. Yes Utd won this game but make no bones about it, it’s basically a friendly that Utd were clearly riled up to win. These two teams are practically neck and neck this year with Utd just nicking it still City’s signings have bedded now and the couple that will come in will have settled by next year this is when I think City will have the advantage over Utd that they currently enjoy and don’t forget this has been achieved in basically 2 and a half years! Where will they be in another 2? For those that will say they have spent big yes they have in the short term, Utd did in the long term with City left to play catch up which they clearly have! By the way the team Utd put out cost more than City’s yesterday!

        When you talk of band wagon jumpers you got to be having a laugh right? Utd have more of these than there nearest rivals 10 fold, come on!

        • Roderick

          August 8, 2011 at 7:02 am

          Indeed but his comment wasn’t worth a reply so I didn’t respond. Plus United’s reserves played together all this preseason and last preseason. They played together a lot more than City has without Tevez all last year.

        • Matt

          August 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

          Trust me I remember how City won that game last year. I still have nightmares consisting of Carrick effing around with the ball at the top of United’s 18.

          In all seriousness, the first goal they scored was well worked and a quality finish by Lescott. The second goal has no business going in. But I’m going to have to bear with a few of those until De Gea settles in (and until he gets broken of that terrible hopping habit).

          I agree with you in terms of comparing City and United head to head, the advantage I have always enjoyed as a United fan is shrinking. But as I noted in my other post, City are going to struggle with the everyday fixtures without a talisman in the form of Tevez. Unless he decides to stay or someone steps up to the plate to take that role, I really doubt their consistency over the course of the season.

  11. raj sekhon

    August 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    What a nice touch of Wembley magic that was. Liverpool fan so I detest both of them, but that was a top drawer second half as Andy Gray would say. You can really see the foresight of Ferguson, he already has this team planned out for the next 10 years, regardless of whether he is there or not. The team today looked formidable and showed that regardless of how they look on paper, City are no where near the hype that everyone is placing on them…I mean 2nd? Without Tevez? Where was the killer instinct that every true top team has? What is scary was to see that no matter how good that team looked in the 2nd half, that same team of youngsters (bar Berbatov) will be the same team on the pitch in 5 years….when they will all be at their peaks! City’s lineup is full of people already playing at their potential and they still couldn’t pull it off. But seriously Mancini…why wasn’t Adam Johnson their to run the defence ragged in the 2nd half when you could have caught them on their heels?

    • raj sekhon

      August 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm


  12. MUFC77

    August 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    A brilliant come from behind win. Our kids looked great in the second half and took the game right to city and weren’t intimidated at all. A little disappointed with City’s two goals as the keeper should have done better especially with the second. If we can tighten up the defense we will be hard to beat this season. The real work begins next week.

  13. BA14

    August 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

    pretty good match but I don’t think you should be carrying champagne bottles around after the match. it’s a trophy not a championship trophy though.

    • MG-AFC

      August 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      No need to be bitter. Congratulate the champions. I’m an Arsenal fan, but after witnessing the way they came back from 2-0 down (and the genius of that second goal by Nani and the build up to it speaks for itself), you have to give credit to the team. It was a team effort.

    • Dave C

      August 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

      You have a point, but I think the champagne bottles are a sponsor’s/organizer’s decision rather than Man Utd’s own choice.

      It is silly though – it reminds me of a pre-season tourney I saw the other day. I think it was the Barclays Asia trophy or something, featuring Chelsea, Villa, Blackburn and Malaysia XI. During the trophy presentation, the stadium soundsystem played “We are the Champions” by Queen, which I thought was a bit over the top in the context of the situation.

  14. The Gaffer

    August 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

    What a match! The Community Shield is often a boring match, but this one was very exciting to watch. City has a lot of work to do if they want to mount a challenge for the title. United look strong but have some work to do too.

    The Gaffer

  15. PaulfromMiami

    August 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Da Silva twins, Welbeck, Cleverly, Smalling, Jones. Manchester United got some really good youngsters. And lets not even forget about Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba who will eventually make it to the team…

  16. toddmintz

    August 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    A very bright start, I am watching on a 1 hour delay. I think United though wins the league decisively, Man City 2nd, will go with Chelsea then Liverpool. Arsenal 5th at best, no moves except Gervinho and supporters losing patience. I cannot believe Mario is still with City geez

  17. pete

    August 7, 2011 at 10:43 am

    ManU had Kuszczak but they spent a lot for De Gea …. so here we go!

  18. The Gaffer

    August 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Interesting decision by Ferguson at half-time to bring on three substitutes (Jonny Evans, Tom Cleverley and, was that Phil Jones?). Maybe Ferguson is thinking the game is over and needs to use the second half as a test of some of his players instead?

    The Gaffer

  19. Kolawoleayoola

    August 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Man utd 3 / man city 2

    • Matt

      August 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Nice call!

      They were superior for 75 minutes. Good on City for taking their chances and they really deserved the lead at the break (though what De Gea was doing bouncing about as Dzeko struck is beyond me). But man oh man what a second half.

    • 215RBrock

      August 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

      You got it right…certainly wasn’t expecting it to end up that way.

  20. The Gaffer

    August 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

    After a bright start to the game, we’re starting to see a lot of niggly fouls. How long will it be before we see our first red card?

    The Gaffer

    • 215RBrock

      August 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Prolly won’t take long…5 yellows in the first half is pretty intense. Have there every been any red cards in Community Shield before?

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