Manchester United 1-2 Zenit St Petersburg
Manchester United failed to land their second UEFA Super Cup title when they suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat to UEFA Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg at Stade Louis II on Friday.
Zenit took a shock lead in the 44th minute through Pavel Pogrebniak and Miguel Danny doubled the lead 14 minutes into the second half. United tried to stage a late come back and though Nemanja Vidic reduced the deficit 17 minutes from full time, Zenit clung on to claim a famous victory that sees them lift the Super Cup for the first time in their history.
It was a deserved victory for Zenit who enjoyed a majority of the possession against a United side that struggled to match the tempo of their opponents. With the Russian league halfway through the season, the difference in the fitness levels of both the teams was apparent as United players looked short of pace both upfront and in the midfield.
The Russian side threatened for most of the first half and were rewarded a minute before the half time whistle when Pogrebnyak was the first to reach Igor Denisov's flick on and the striker made no mistake from close range.
United failed to step up the pressure in the second half and were let down by some poor finishing in the rare moments when they had succeeded in breaking down the Russian defense. Zenit doubled the lead in the 59th minute when a moment of brilliance by Danny saw the midfielder smash the ball past Edwin van der Sar.
United pressed forward after conceding the second goal and reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute when Vidic headed home Tevez's cross to score his first goal of the season. The English champions stepped up the pressure in an attempt to find the equalizer but found themselves reduced to 10 men when Paul Scholes was shown his second yellow card for a deliberate hand ball.
Tags: Manchester United, UEFA Super Cup, Zenit, Nemanja Vidic, Edwin van der Sar, Paul Scholes