After a dominating display that saw Manchester United overturn a two-goal deficit to win the Community Shield against Manchester City at Wembley, Wayne Rooney insists the result proves there is no doubt which side are the Barclays Premier League's top dogs.
Rooney played a starring role in United's comeback during the curtain raiser for the new season, as goals from Chris Smalling and a Nani double gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side local bragging rights until the pair meet again in October.
City's recent spending spree under Roberto Mancini, during which time they claimed the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League, has led many to believe they can usurp United as England's top team. However, according to Rooney, the manner of Sunday's victory means United should still be considered No.1.
"I think it shows you who the best team is. We dominated all the way through the game," he said. "They had five minutes when they scored two goals and that's about it.
"We took them apart. The passing and the chances we created were brilliant. Full credit to everyone involved.
"As far as we are concerned, we are champions and we are the team to beat. We need to go out there and prove that and hopefully we will do that."
United were able to give debuts to new signings Ashley Young, David De Gea and Phil Jones, while youngster Tom Cleverley also figured in a competitive match for the first time in a Red shirt.
The introduction of the new breed meant that during parts of the second half the average age of United's side was 22, and Rooney, one of the older heads at 25, paid special praise to the club's youngsters who helped turn the game on its head.
"The difference the young lads made when they came on was outstanding," he added. "But the whole team deserves credit for their attitude.
"We never know when the game is finished. We came back brilliantly to win. It is a long season and there are a lot of good teams in the league, but the main aim is to win the title."
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