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5 things we learned from the Community Shield

David Moyes claimed the first silverware of a new era at Manchester Untied with a 2-0 win over Wigan.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE TOP FLIGHT of the English football season is officially under way after today’s traditional curtain-raiser at Wembley.

Manchester United came away with the spoils thanks to two unanswered Robin van Persie goals. If you didn’t see the game you can read the match report here. If you did, read on for our five post-match thoughts.

RVP has picked up from where he left off

With Wayne Rooney agitating for a move, an awful lot of Manchester United’s fortunes rest on the shoulders of Robin van Persie.

By getting himself on the score-sheet early on, with a skill he’d surely admit is a weaker side of his game, give him the confidence platform to hit the ground running when the serious business starts in the league next weekend.

YouTube credit: ELEN CRIST ESPORTE

Even the fortunate second, with its hefty deflection off James Perch, is the sort of goal which punctuates any scoring streak and makes a striker begin to feel lucky. That’s half the battle.

As has James McClean

As debuts opponents go, Manchester United at Wembley, is either one you dream about or curse upon your luck.

This is not the standard of defence James McClean’s performance will be measured against this season, but his raw speed and vicious left boot still mark him out as a player with enormous potential.

This was his finest moment today, but the limitations of his right foot and an ongoing trough in confidence continues.

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Wigan won’t be too pretty for the Championship

The main fear many Wigan fans would have held this summer is that Roberto Martinez’ playing style was too idealistic to cope in an unforgiving Championship season.

While Owen Coyle’s progressive streak made him the natural candidate to take over the FA Cup holders, he will ensure they are a more balanced side this year than they were in 2012/13.

The number of goal kicks which were aimed long to the chest or head of Grant Holt was stark in comparison to the (almost comical) goals the Latics defenders passed their way to conceding at the business end of last season.

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Wilfried Zaha still has plenty of room for progress

As is the case any time a relatively exciting young English prospect is brought to a club with title aspirations, Wilfried Zaha will be beset by intense scrutiny.

Ever since his transfer from Crystal Palace was confirmed, he has found space difficult to come across in the Championship. Yet in those environs he was calm and his class eventually shone through in the course of 90 minutes to influence the result of the very biggest games.

It seemed his biggest problem in his new red kit is over-enthusiasm: at Wembley today Zaha was over-eager to please and wound up doing little more than wasting possession. He is a winger. He is young, still three months short of his 21st birthday, his best days lie ahead.

Moyes’ Manchester United lack rhythm

Previous curtain-raisers at Wembley have witnessed a Manchester United side still a little short on fine-tuning, but with an undoubted carefree swagger. This pre-season for the new manager has been checkered with unimpressive results and, if there are doubts surrounding the champions, they will not have been allayed by today’s 2-0 victory in a mis-match.

John Walton/EMPICS Sport

The main change of tactic for the Red Devils is the wish to spread the ball to the flanks early with a higher frequency of long passes than Alex Ferguson would have witnessed in the past decade.

Whether it was this change in plan or Patrice Evra’s bullish refusal to be moved aside by Leighton Baines, the Frenchman turned back the clock by sprinting after several long passes in the second half. No matter who fills the roles on the flanks, that kind of industry and effort cannot be sustained over a long season.

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