Goal of the day: Nani lights up Wembley

Sunday 17 November 2019 02:00

Date: 7 August 2011, Wembley Stadium, FA Community Shield 

Background: In May 2011, United wrapped up our record 19th league title, at Blackburn Rovers. Our crosstown rivals were also celebrating, having ended their 35-year major trophy drought by beating Stoke City in the FA Cup final. Three months later, and the scene was set for a Manchester takeover of Wembley, as the two foes contested the season’s annual curtain-raiser for the first time since 1956. With David De Gea making his debut in goal, things didn’t exactly go to plan for United as Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko scored to put City 2-0 up at the break. 
The goal: Chris Smalling reduced the deficit by turning home Ashley Young’s free-kick, before Nani took centre stage. With United pushing forward, the Portuguese winger played the ball to Wayne Rooney on the edge of the City box. Continuing his run beyond a tiring Blues midfield, he received it again, via Rooney and Cleverley’s deft flicks, six yards out, before dinking the ball superbly over Joe Hart to level the score. 
What happened next: The Reds had recovered and continued to surge into City territory in an attempt to find a winner. With Joe Hart standing firm and the game headed for penalties, Nani found himself in the thick of the action again, capitalising on a mix-up between Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, to send the red half of Wembley into raptures. 

Reaction: “This is United. We all believe until the last minute,” said Nani. “I think the attitude of the young lads in the second half showed that we believed we could score. The manager just said we had to score the first goal, and we did.”