PARIS, FRANCE August 8 – Manchester United clinched the first piece of English silverware on Sunday with a 3-2 comback win over big-spending Manchester City in the Community Shield while elsewhere in Europe, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich, who also splashed the cash in the summer, went down to embarrassing defeats as the French and German leagues got underway.
Man United came back from 2-0 down to beat City 3-2 at Wembley to win the Community Shield, a week ahead of the new Premier League season where Roberto Mancini’s team are hoping their financial muscle will deliver a knockout blow to the traditional heavyweights.
City took advantage of poor goalkeeping from new signing David De Gea to score through Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko.
But United tore into City after the break, equalising thanks to goals from Chris Smalling and Nani before the Portuguese winger snatched the stoppage time winner.
“I couldn’t believe we were 2-0 down at half-time after it looked like we were controlling the game but credit to the players, they kept their heads,” said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Mancini added: “I’m disappointed because we had a 2-0 lead but I think they played better than us.”
In Germany, star-studded Bayern Munich started the new Bundesliga 1 season with a shock 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Moechengladbach thanks to an embarrassing mix-up between goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and defender Jerome Boateng, two players who cost just over 35 million euros this summer.
The visitors, who just avoided relegation last season, grabbed the crucial goal in the 62nd minute when Boateng and Neuer failed to deal with a long ball and Belgium’s Brazil-born striker Igor de Camargo capitalised on the confusion to fire home.
Last season’s runners-up Bayer Leverkusen slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Mainz but champions Borussia Dortmund had no problems with an impressive 3-1 win over Hamburg.
VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg were 3-0 winners over Schalke and Cologne respectively to take the early league lead.
In France, Paris Saint-Germain may have spent 84 million euros in the summer, but they were stunned 1-0 at home to Lorient with Julien Quercia on the scoresheet.
The only consolation for PSG was that their two leading Ligue 1 rivals – champions Lille and Marseille – had to settle for draws. Lille came away with a 1-1 draw at Nancy while Marseille were held 2-2 by Sochaux.
Of the “big four” only Lyon shone on the opening day, coming away comfortable 3-1 winners from Nice while Rennes routed newboys Dijon 5-1 to take top spot on goal difference.
Champions Ajax began their Dutch title defence with a 4-1 win at De Graafschap with Serbian striker Miralem Sulejmani scoring twice in a game where the Amsterdam giants had been a goal down.
AZ Alkmaar were also first weekend winners as US international Jozy Altidore marked his debut with a brace in a 3-1 win at home to PSV Eindhoven. Feyenoord, with Ronald Koeman installed as coach, Roda and Twente also enjoyed winning starts.
A late winner from Anthony Stokes handed Celtic a 1-0 win at Aberdeen to maintain their perfect start, but Motherwell’s 1-0 victory over Hearts put them top of the Scottish Premier League by a point.
Celtic have a game in hand while Rangers, who lost to Chelsea in a friendly, are a further two points behind having also played just two matches.