On this day in 2008, a Dick Advocaat led Zenit Saint Petersburg defeated an all-confident Manchester United side 2-1, to lift the UEFA Super Cup crown.
Played in front of 18,064 spectators at Stade Louis II, Monaco, in France, The Russians dominated the game all ends up. Manchester United had registered themselves in the Super Cup by defeating their fellow Premier League side Chelsea in the Champions League final in the 2007-08 season, while Zenit got the better of their Scottish opponents, Rangers in the UEFA Cup final.
Manchester United had previously appeared twice in the competition, in 1991 and 1999, while for Zenit, it was their first ever appearance in the UEFA Super Cup. The Russians were on the front right from the beginning, with their counter attacking approach troubled United’s Patrice Evra a lot. Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak was awarded two glorious opportunities from the same flank, but Zenit’s number 8 missed on both the occasions.
Midfielder Danny, too, managed to cut inside from the similar position, but his shot was dealt comfortably by Rio Ferdinand’s block. Just a minute before half-time, Zenit had got the lead through Pavel Pogrebnyak. Igor Denisov delivered an inswinging corner which Pogrebnyak headed into the back of the net.
Just 14 minutes after the restart, Zenit doubled their lead to two, courtesy to a fine individual effort from Danny. The Portuguese international received the ball in United’s half and raced towards United’s goal. Quite surprisingly, none of United’s defenders came on his way until he entered the 18-year box. Firing a low shot to the near post, Danny doubled Zenit scored a goal which eventually proved out to be the winner.
Manchester United did pull one back through Nemanja Vidic, but that was it. Zenit managed to hold on to their one goal advantage and emerged victorious in their first ever Super Cup appearance.