The season’s traditional curtain-raiser has a knack for delivering thrilling action on the pitch…
FA Community Shield: Chelsea v Manchester City, Sunday 5 August, 2pm, BT Sport 1 (CH 531/527)
The new Premier League season is almost ready for kick-off – but not before two of English football’s biggest clubs go head to head at Wembley Stadium for the FA Community Shield, live on BT Sport.
In the blue corner, you’ve got Premier League champions Manchester City. Pep Guardiola and his players brushed aside nearly everything put before them last season, and they’ll be eager to send a warning shot out to their rivals by filling their increasingly heaving trophy cabinet with another piece of silverware.
And in the, er, other blue corner, is Chelsea. It’s a new dawn at Stamford Bridge, with coach Maurizio Sarri now at the helm after joining the club from Napoli in the summer. But will the former banker guide the team to glory in his first competitive game?
The 2018 Community Shield has the potential to serve up a classic, but what about the competition’s other memorable matches? Here are five that you need to know about…
Goals! Goals! Goals!
Manchester United 8-4 Swindon Town (1911)
The concept of a water-tight defence was lost on Manchester United and Swindon when they played out the competition’s highest-scoring match back in 1911. Having joined United for a whopping £350 from Southend United three years earlier (the maximum transfer fee allowed at the time), striker Harold Halse netted a record-breaking six goals for the winning side during the game.
Leicester outfox Liverpool
Leicester City 1-0 Liverpool (1971)
With Division One and FA Cup winners Arsenal unable to take part in the 1971 Shield because they were on a pre-season tour, it was left to Division Two champions Leicester to face FA Cup runners-up Liverpool at the start of the campaign. The smart money would have been on Bill Shankly’s Reds to win the tie, but a goal from Leicester defender Steve Whitworth saw the Foxes spring a big surprise at Filbert Street.
Keegan and Bremner see red
Liverpool 1-1 Leeds United (1974)
Don’t let the daft perms fool you: the 1970s was an unforgiving decade on the football pitch. And if a team embodied the era’s blood and thunder ethos, that team was Leeds United. Their clash with Liverpool in 1974 will be remembered for the fight that broke out between captain Billy Bremner and the Reds’ Kevin Keegan. Punches, headlocks, ripped shirts… both men were sent off, banned for 11 matches each, and faced widespread criticism from the FA. For the record, Liverpool ended up winning 6-5 on penalties.
The Eric Cantona Show
Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool (1992)
This goal-laden contest was about one man and one man only: Eric Cantona. The Frenchman’s hat-trick helped reigning league champions Leeds to a thrilling win over FA Cup holders Liverpool, but all was not rosy behind the scenes. Cantona’s relationship with the Elland Road hierarchy was always combustible, and just three months after his Wembley heroics, he said au revoir and joined Manchester United for £1.2m. English football was never to be the same.
United’s crazy comeback
Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United (2011)
What’s the one thing that’s sure to spice up a Comminuty Shield match? When it’s contested between local rivals. Manchester’s finest provided a modern classic in 2011, but it didn’t look that way at half time. City soared into a 2-0 lead at the break, before a second-half fightback from Fergie’s United saw the Red Devils clinch the shield with a last-minute Nani winner. The Blues would have the last laugh that season, though, securing their first Premier League title thanks to Aguerooooooooooooooo!
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