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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Lawro's Community Shield verdict

Mark Lawrenson
Mark Lawrenson
Five Live summariser

Ryan Giggs holds aloft the Community Shield
It's always an extra line on your CV if you win it

Whatever you want to say about this match, it is always a glorified friendly and by Tuesday people will have forgotten this result.

It has been a decent work-out for both teams, the majority of the squads took part and for the players it's going to make all the difference for their fitness and sharpness for the coming weekend.

The start of the Premier League will be a completely different matter. There'll be tackles and fouls, yellow cards and all sorts of absolutely everything.

It wasn't the greatest of game but it was better than I thought it was going to be, certainly in the second half of the first half.

Over the course of the 90 plus minutes, Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson will be more pleased.

They played the better football, their movement was better, they had an appreciation of the pass and they created the better chances.

And they won - it's always an extra line on your CV if you win it - with three excellent saves by Edwin van der Sar and three very, very good penalties.

But Chelsea are all about stealth and they are 94 minutes closer to fitness ahead of next weekend, which is the all important thing.

Of the new signings, Florent Malouda took his goal extremely well, Claudio Pizarro looked OK, he held the ball up and was big and strong, and we know all about Tal Ben Haim and Steve Sidwell.

For Manchester United, Nani looks like a younger, slimmer version of Cristiano Ronaldo and he took all the corners, which was quite interesting that they have got enough confidence in him to do that.

But there are others to come in for United. Anderson wasn't here, we know all about Owen Hargreaves already and then there's latest signing Carlos Tevez.


It took Tevez time to settle in at West Ham last year but he showed he's a little bit of a street fighter, he knows about the pace and intensity of the Premier League and from that point of view it is win, win, win for United.

They are arguably a better side than they were last year when they won the title but it's tougher to win it in consecutive years.

Chelsea are chomping at the bit, everyone wants to beat you and in the second year decisions tend to go against you so it's doubly difficult.

While Manchester United are the best footballing team, Chelsea are stealthy.

The only thing that worries me about them is that I don't think all is well there but they're still a difficult team to beat and bet on them to make a good start.

And if not, in a week if they think they are a bit light Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich can blow everyone out of the water and sign two or three players to make things more certain.

These two teams are the strongest in the league, no doubt about it, but it would be great for the league if Arsenal, Liverpool and, dare we say, the likes of Tottenham can push them a lot closer.

Mark Lawrenson was speaking on BBC Radio Five Live.

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