Scholes shines as Chelsea yield Shield

LONDON - Manchester United's evergreen midfielder Paul Scholes took the plaudits on Sunday after a masterclass display that helped his side to a 3-1 Community Shield victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

The diminutive 35-year-old proved the difference in central midfield on a sunbaked afternoon as goals from Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov secured a win over last season's Premier League and FA Cup double winners.

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"It's a phenomenon that he goes out there and gets man of the match, approaching his 36th birthday. He is an unusual person, an incredible footballer," United manager Alex Ferguson told reporters.

"He has had a lot of injuries in his career, he keeps coming back, and it's not easy to do that."

Scholes, who rejected the chance to come out of international retirement to play for England at this year's World Cup showed the country's fans just what they missed with a beautiful range of passing and touches before being substituted with little over 10 minutes left.

Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea failed to show the spark that led to last season's successes with a tired-looking display, something the Italian will want to put right quickly before the start of the league season in six days.

"They played better than us, they deserved to win. I think in two weeks, the players that have come back (from World Cup duties) will be 100 percent," he said.

The former AC Milan boss was also impressed with the performance of Scholes: "Scholes is a fantastic player, maybe we gave him more possibility to play well because we didn't pressure him but he showed fantastic touch, switch of play," he said. "I agree he was man of the match".

TRANSFER RUMOURS

Both managers were questioned on possible new signings but neither gave much away.

Portuguese side Benfica said on Wednesday that Chelsea had agreed to sign Brazil midfielder Ramires for a fee of 22 million euros subject to the 23-year-old passing a medical but Ancelotti said nothing had been decided.

His counterpart Ferguson was at Craven Cottage on Saturday to watch Fulham's friendly against German side Werder Bremen, whose midfielder Mesut Ozil has been heavily linked in the British press with a move to Old Trafford.

"I think there is a lot of interest in Ozil. At the moment I think I've got a great squad, I don't need to add to it, that's my opinion. But there are a lot of clubs interested in him," Ferguson said.

Chelsea kick off the defence of their league title at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday while United are at home to Newcastle United two days later.

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