Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said the Community Shield win over Chelsea was crucial in his side's preparations for the new season.
Man Utd have won English football's curtain-raiser 16 times
United won 3-0 on penalties after a 1-1 draw and Ferguson said: "You have to use it as a stepping stone for next week, I think both teams did that.
"A lot of the players are tired but it brings them on towards the sharpness and tempo needed to win games.
"Neither side was 100% ready but you get that in a Community Shield match."
Ferguson was pleased to see his team lift yet more silverware and paid tribute to both goals - United's scored by Ryan Giggs, Chelsea's by Florent Malouda.
He added: "I thought the goals were very good - Malouda took his goal very, very well.
"The build-up to our goal was excellent too, it was a marvellous finish from Ryan. He's slotted it in a gap in the net very well."
Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar was the United hero, saving all three Chelsea penalties to lead his side to the shoot-out victory.
He said: "That was a little bit of revenge after we lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
"I was 5-2 down on penalty shoot-outs in my career so this was a great feeling and I think we deserved to win overall.
"We played the better football, we had more chances than them."