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Man Utd boss Ferguson hails shootout hero Van der Sar

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for Edwin van der Sar after his shootout heroics in yesterday's Community Shield victory over Chelsea.

Patrice Evra supplied the cross for Ryan Giggs to put United 1-0 up before Florent Malouda, one of Chelsea's new arrivals, wrestled past Rio Ferdinand to equalise and the 90minutes finished 1-1.

Van der Sar then saved all three Chelsea penalties - from Claudio Pizarro, Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright-Phillips - as United lifted the silverware.

"Edwin's experience came through there. He studied particularly Lampard's penalty-taking and that experience has got the result for us today," said Ferguson.

"There was nothing much between the two teams in possession terms but we did create our chances and I think for that reason we deserved to win.

"They obviously missed (Didier) Drogba. He is a very important player for them."

Chelsea started without a recognised striker after Drogba was injured in training on Saturday, while Claude Makelele and John Terry were also absent.

United had expected Drogba to play and that prompted the decision to start with both Mikael Silvestre and Evra.

"We thought Drogba would be playing so we wanted to make sure we had a stronger back four in terms of physical appearance, and with Nani not 100% fit we preferred to get balance (in midfield) with Ronaldo on the right and Evra on the left," said Ferguson.

"And Evra did quite well for us actually. He is a very quick lad, he has made a good goal."

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Tribal Football Staff

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