The FA got off to an embarrassing start to the season when Chris Foy turned up ready to officiate the match, only to find out that the referee’s job had been double booked. It took some quick thinking by Fergie (who, as Sam Wallace of the Independent comically observed was ‘in a Homer Simpson-style short-sleeved shirt’) to resolve the matter. Having remembered Platini’s call for two more referees, situated in each penalty area, the FA agreed to Fergie’s revised proposition to this, that first choice referee Wayne Rooney should be re-instated, and him and fellow scouser Foy could share the role, both covering the whole pitch.
Ray Wilkins understandably disputed this appointment, but the FA showed footage from some of Rooney’s assessment matches last season, and in the wake of such clear evidence, both he and Ancelotti were hard pushed to dispute that Rooney had demonstrated his enthusiasm and commitment to being a ref.
Platini, whose busy schedule currently includes hand-picking this seasons Champions League referees, won’t have liked what he saw, with a lack of co-operation from Chris Foy throughout the game, who seemed to overrule all Rooney’s decisions.
United got off to a good start, taking an early lead courtesy of Nani. From thereafter, whenever United had a corner, it seemed that many Chelsea fans mistook Nani’s slow pigeon walking as blatant time wasting, but after Foy’s half hearted attempts to prevent this (holding his arm in the air and pathetically pointing at his watch) were ignored and not deemed worth acting upon, maybe he felt the poor lad was just tired after all, bless him.
In the second half the haphazard Ben Foster picked up where he left off, deciding to fittingly demonstrate his charitable side, by giving Riccy Carvalho the ball and an open net.
Lampard then put The Blues in the lead, but this was overshadowed by everyones favourite idiot, Evra, and his Jesus like recovery from Michael Ballack’s elbow to the chest (sometimes referred to as ‘face’ in Scottish). Evra, who lay writhing on the floor before United lost the advantage played by the ref, managed to heroically recover and even attempted to confront Michael Ballack after the goal was scored. Whilst this was going on, the two referee’s got into a very heated exchange, after first ref Foy opted to give a goal without consulting Rooney.
In the aftermath of this, neither Rooney nor Foy felt that Evra trying to confront Ballack and then excessively shouting at Foy was deserved of a booking. Quite right too, until the F.A launch some sort of campaign for referees to be shown Respect, this sort of behaviour should remain un-acted upon.
At 2-1 down, Fergie decided to add some Charisma to his front line, by introducing Michael ‘Clean & Fresh’ Owen to the fold, incidentally also giving him the chance to get noticed by the on looking Fabio Capello.
After being anonymous as a striker, Young Michael realised that another opportunity had been presented due to the now obvious ineptitude of Ben Foster, and demonstrated his credentials as a potential solution to England’s goalkeeping problems.
Chris Foy misunderstood this, and was in no mood for one of the strikers Articulate explanations, cautioning him for deliberate handball. In an all too familiar occurrence, second referee Wayne came over to demonstrate with his colleague that the decision was wrong, and when you are playing against someone bigger then you, you are allowed to control the ball with your hand. Rooney was left so livid that he gave up on his ref role and decided to resume his other job, as England’s Golden Child and Man United player. And his stoppage time equaliser reminded us all that when he does concentrate on football, he’s very good at it. Glorified friendly or not, you could see how much the United players wanted to win from the celebrations.
The match went to penalties, whereas in this same fixture two seasons ago we were woeful from the spot, this time it was United’s turn to be. For some reason their scouse strike duo chose not to take any of United’s first three penalties, and hilarity ensued. Giggs dire penalty was saved by Cech’s legs, this was sandwiched between Lampard and Ballack converting their penalties, Carrick and Drogba slotted theirs away making it 3-1. Not to be outdone by Foster earlier in the match, Evra demonstrated his charitable side from the penalty spot, passing the ball straight to Petr Cech, Kalou finished the tie off with a well placed penalty past the hapless Ben Foster. Chelsea won 4-1 on penalties.
After the match Fergie let fly at Ballack, accusing him of all sorts of things you’d never see any of his players do.
Ancelotti has today released a statement on the Clubs Official Website saying “Obviously Michael is distraught at the accusations levelled at him by Mr Ferguson, these sort of allegations are very uncharacteristic of the man, so we are all taking his comments very seriously.”
“Michael’s mental state is currently unstable, our club doctor prescribed him anti-depressants yesterday evening, but sadly his situation has today worsened and I’ve been left with no choice but to place him on suicide watch, he may even miss the start of the season”
“It’s the sort of incident that would have escaped the attention of the media had there of been some goals or a dramatic way of ending the match.”
Oh how I’ve missed football this summer, the new season is here and frankly I can’t wait for the on and off the pitch battles. Ballack and Evra shook hands at the end, and that’s how football should be, tempers flare on the pitch but it’s all forgotten about after, both teams just wanted the win and it was one of the better Community Shield’s in recent years. It’s good that both sets of players did take it seriously as rightfully they should want to win every match they play.