Sir Alex Ferguson began his 23rd season in charge of Manchester United with a trademark tirade, this time aimed at referee Chris Foy and Chelsea's Michael Ballack.
Ferguson, 67, was furious over a blatant body-check by Ballack on United's Patrice Evra missed by referee Foy in the build-up to Chelsea's second goal, scored by Frank Lampard.
Chelsea beat United 4-1 on penalties to win the FA Community Shield after a 2-2 draw in normal time. Salomon Kalou scored the decisive kick after Ryan Giggs and Evra missed for United for Chelsea's first victory on penalties since a League Cup tie at Ipswich in 1998, ending their run of six shoot-out failures.
The result gave new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti a trophy in his very first game in charge, a feat not achieved even by Jose Mourinho during his successful time at the club.
Ferguson, however, was left to rue a key moment in the 78th minute. The United manager said Foy should have sent Ballack off for the challenge and, moreover, should have stopped play so that Evra could have received treatment but did neither.
"If the referee sees it properly, it's a red card," Ferguson said. "He's elbowed him, clearly. The referee was in line and should have seen it. I don't see why he didn't stop the game."
Ferguson also indirectly accused Ballack of play-acting. The United manager added: "The referee's made a rod for his own back. He'd stopped the game twice already: when Nani was down – he has a dislocated shoulder – and the second occasion when Ballack was down. We've seen that before with him. When players are acting to get the game stopped, it's an area I'm concerned about. We've got to find a solution to that."
Ancelotti made the slightly dubious claim that his players would have kicked the ball into touch had they seen Evra down injured. "The players didn't see him," the Italian said. "For sure, they would have put the ball out if they'd seen an opponent on the turf."
Ancelotti has been brought to Chelsea to win trophies, so there can be no complaints so far even from as exacting a boss as Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
The new manager said his team still have plenty of room to improve, after seeing United dominate the early stages of the game. "It's an important start for the season," he added. "Naturally, we have to improve because we've changed the play of the team. We have to work and improve. I like the players, their mental attitude, the organisation of the club, and I think that we are ready to start a very important season for us."
Lampard, who scored Chelsea's second and also fired home the first penalty, admitted the Wembley victory had added poignancy given the club are still feeling the pain of their defeat to United at Moscow last year.
"It doesn't atone for it," the England midfielder said. "But we always had that in our minds. It was a sweet moment."Reuse content