• When was the last time the English league's curtain raiser took place without a single new signing to whet the appetite in either side's starting XI? It reflects the new austerity that both Chelsea and Manchester United, neither of whom have been immune to the odd £30m transfer in recent years, are scarcely changed. Although the arrival of Ramires is expected to happen any day now, and there are more than three more weeks to go until the transfer window shuts, it is hard to envisage a major facelift anywhere outside Manchester City. Against this backdrop, Javier Hernández came on at half-time and fired the imagination with his eager running and clever flicks. The young Mexican is infectiously exciting. His buzzing presence altered the tone of the game. Although he miscued when Dimitar Berbatov presented him with a chance, something told you Chicharito – "little pea" – would soon be in the groove. A few minutes later he kicked Antonio Valencia's cross against his own face and the ball bounced in. When you've got it, you've got it ...
• Chelsea really shouldn't be suffering a World Cup hangover for the simple reason that most of their players ought to be massively grateful to be back playing in an environment where they are cherished, and their team generally knows how to function in a way that brings the best out of its parts. Incidentally, it was no surprise to hear a spot of pantomime in the uber-competitive world of the Premier League's top end. With a nod to the grand traditions of Widow Twanky, the opening few minutes were accompanied by partisan boos and cheers. Any time an England player in blue touched the ball he was roundly jeered by the Manchester United fans and hailed by the protective masses in the Chelsea end, while Wayne Rooney duly got the opposite treatment. How they must be looking forward to coming back here in midweek for some genial international fare.
• If Chelsea were a little flat by their own high standards, then at least they were able to demonstrate their hatred of losing to force a close finish and put their opponents into a nervous position that did not look likely when the scoreline was 2-0 in United's favour. Chelsea do not look as ready for the season as the team expected to challenge them hardest for their title. They have not enjoyed a fruitful pre-season from a defensive point of view, where some of the wobbles they encountered last season have reared up again. As for the attacking rhythm that propelled them towards so many goals last term, Carlo Ancelotti's men are not quite fizzing yet.
• How many performances can Sir Alex expect from Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs this season? The evergreen pair still exert a mighty influence, and Scholes sprayed searching passes around with the nonchalance of a kid in the park. Critics talk about Chelsea's team ageing, but the three veterans whose talents show no sign of abating at Old Trafford remain key to United's aspirations. None more so than Edwin van der Sar. He will turn 40 in a couple of months, but looked particularly sharp, focused and dominant here. Whenever Chelsea found a penetrating pass, and a shot on target, the Dutchman plucked it away brilliantly. He was only beaten by a rebound, and looked suitably irritated. This is a friendly, remember, and to have that kind of desire at the base of your team underlines why Fergie will fancy his team's chances for that meaningful title No19.
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