Wayne Rooney rubbed salt into Manchester City’s Community Shield wounds by claiming the Citizens still have a long way to go to challenge United for the Premier League.
Despite going down 2-0 thanks to goals from Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko, United stormed back in the second half with Chris Smalling halving the deficit and a Nani brace sealing yet another late victory for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Speaking to the BBC, Rooney said: “They had five minutes where they scored two goals, and that was about it.
“The score-line is deserved because of our passing, and the brilliant chances we created. We are champions and we are the team to beat – we need to go out and prove that.
“This shows who the best team is – all game we dominated.
“The young lads made the difference – Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling – they were all outstanding.”
Looking back over recent Community Shield winners, Rooney’s confidence is understandable.
Of the previous six winners, five have gone on to win the Premier League in the following season and, based on yesterday’s game, there is nothing to suggest that trend will be bucked this time around.
The only blot on the copybook for United was the performance of David De Gea who looked shaky at times and was at fault for both goals. However, it won’t unduly worry Ferguson – especially with an opening game against West Bromwich Albion coming up.
United haven’t lost against the Baggies in the league since a 2-0 defeat in 1984 and can be backed to get their season off to a winning start at 1/2.
United are currently 13/8 favourites to win the Premier League with City third favourites at 7/2 behind Chelsea at 3/1.