Howard stars as United beats Arsenal on penaltiesPosted: Sunday August 10, 2003 11:39 AM
Updated: Sunday August 10, 2003 1:47 PM
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) -- New goalkeeper Tim Howard saved two spot kicks as Manchester United beat Arsenal 4-3 on penalties to win the Community Shield on Sunday.
After the scores had been tied 1-1 after regular time, the traditional Premier League curtain raiser went to penalties. After both Howard and new Arsenal 'keeper Jens Lehmann saved spot kicks, the American made the decisive save from Arsenal star midfielder Robert Pires as the Reds won their first title since the departure of England captain David Beckham.
Howard stood with arms outstretched in joy as his teammates hugged him in celebration.
It was Howard's first competitive appearance for United after starring for them on their preseason U.S tour. Howard joined from the New York/New Jersey MetroStars last month. Last season's No.1 'keeper Fabien Barthez didn't make the bench.
"I couldn't fault him today," Ferguson said of Howard. "He enjoyed the penalty kicks. He shows no fear which is terrific to see, he's spring is great, his agility. We're very pleased with him."
Arsenal had played 22 minutes with 10 men after substitute striker Francis Jeffers was sent off for kicking out at United defender Phil Neville.
Both clubs had suffered in the heat at the Millennium Stadium, with pitchside temperatures hitting 41 degrees (105.80 Fahrenheit) prompting a raft of substitutions.
"I'm sitting there roasting, it was really hot," Ferguson said. "You have to give credit to every player out there on that pitch. That atmosphere, that climate, it's alien to us, we're not used to that."
Wenger said Jeffers had apologized for his behavior, but was not upset at the loss.
"It was a good workout and I'm quite happy and confident for the future," he said. "We were solid and, as long as we had the legs, we were quite strong."
Wenger said French players Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Patrick Vieira were not fully fit after taking time off after the Confederations Cup.
Mikael Silvestre gave Manchester United the lead in the 15th minute. The French defender headed down a Ryan Giggs corner which had been flicked on at the near post by United captain Roy Keane. Lehmann was left stranded.
Arsenal leveled four minutes later, through a Henry freekick earned after Nicky Butt fouled Patrick Vieira.
Henry's 30 yard (meter) shot curved inside the right hand post past diving United 'keeper Howard.
United was unlucky not to regain the lead in the 32nd minute when two close range efforts hit the goal frame. Giggs' flicked header hit the right hand post and Ruud van Nistelrooy could only head the rebound off the crossbar.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had another chance a minute before halftime with a powerful shot that hit the side netting. Solskjaer took the right hand midfield position usually filled by Beckham.
After Jeffers was sent off -- the 50th red card shown to an Arsenal player since manager Arsene Wenger took over in September 1996 -- Sol Campbell was lucky not join him.
The England defender kicked out at United's second half substitute Eric Djemba-Djemba after being hit on the leg by the United player's studs.
Wenger was happy with the debut of Lehmann.
"He had a positive game, he wasn't scared to come out of his goal," Wenger said.
Players and 50,000 fans observed a minute's silence before the match as a mark of respect to United striker Jimmy Davis, who was killed in a car crash, and former Blackburn manager Ray Harford who lost his fight against cancer.
Both died on Saturday. Harford, who helped Kenny Dalglish win the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1995, died at age 58.
Players wore black armbands in their honor.
Arsenal won last year's Shield with a 1-0 win over Liverpool. United last lifted the Shield in 1997 by defeating Chelsea on penalties. It had since lost the Shield four times in five seasons.