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Premier League

Manchester City suffer 3-0 Community Shield defeat to Arsenal... then return to 'Welcome to Vanchester' billboard

The Manchester United advertising board is a joke related to City's Carlos Tevez-inspired board from 2009

As if Manchester City’s comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Arsenal yesterday wasn’t bad enough, they will have returned to their home city to see the new face of Manchester United staring back at them in an early-season taunt from their rival club.

A billboard with Louis van Gaal’s face plastered over it appeared in Manchester on Sunday, with the message “Welcome to Vanchester” written underneath. The poster is a nod to Manchester City’s advertising campaign after they signed Carlos Tevez from the Red Devils in 2009, when they used the Argentinian striker for a sky blue message that read “Welcome to Manchester”.

Amid some confusion over whether Manchester United themselves were behind the billboard, a popular betting firm has now admitted responsibility.

While City suffered defeat in the curtain-raising encounter with the Gunners, United have enjoyed a pre-season program that has seen them win all five of their matches ahead of the new season, scoring 16 goals in the process including three against both Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Video: Pellegrini on Arsenal defeat

City were missing a number of first-team players as well as new signings Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard, and they’ll hope to begin their Premier League title defence with much more success when they begin their campaign against Newcastle on Sunday evening.



Bragging rights across Manchester will come up for grabs on 2 November when the two sides collide at the Etihad Stadium, where United will still have fresh memories of the whitewash they suffered last season, losing 4-1 in September at the Etihad before going down 3-0 when they hosted their rivals at Old Trafford in March.