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On This Day in 2011: Nani fires Manchester United to Community Shield success

Soccer – FA Community Shield – Manchester City v Manchester United – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Nani struck a stoppage-time winner as Manchester United fought back from 2-0 down to beat rivals Manchester City 3-2 in the Community Shield on this day in 2011.

The compelling encounter at Wembley set the tone for a thrilling Premier League season in which the two neighbouring clubs took the battle for the title down to the wire.

City, buoyant from ending a 35-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup the previous season, twice caught fast-starting champions United out early on.

Edin Dzeko (right) scored City's second goal

Edin Dzeko, right, scored City’s second goal (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The sides’ previous meeting had been at Wembley, when City prevailed in the FA Cup semi-finals, and United had seemed determined to put them back in their place.

United dominated the early possession and created a number of chances but failed to take them and were punished when a Joleon Lescott header and Edin Dzeko drive put City comfortably ahead at the interval.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side pulled one back through Chris Smalling before Nani finished off a slick passing move equalise just before the hour-mark.

Nani's contribution for United proved decisive

Nani’s contribution for United proved decisive (Anthony Devlin/PA)

City had chances to reclaim the lead but it was United who snatched victory when Nani pounced on some hesitant defending to round Joe Hart and score his second four minutes into added time.

It meant United drew first blood in what was to be a memorable season and an extraordinary chapter in the rivalry of the two Manchester clubs.

Interestingly, the final say in that battle went to someone who remained on the City bench at Wembley that day. Sergio Aguero, a £38million signing that summer, was held back by manager Roberto Mancini and did not make his debut until the Premier League season began.

The Argentinian went on to snatch the title for City from United’s grasp in extraordinary fashion with the last kick of the final game the following May.

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