Antonio Valencia gave United the lead just before the break after being fed by Wayne Rooney, and new signing HernÃƒÂ¡ndez made it two after 76 minutes on his first competitive appearance for the Red Devils.
Salomon Kalou then gave Chelsea some late hope when he slotted home after Edwin van der Sar could only parry a Daniel Sturridge effort.
But Dimitar Berbatov sealed the victory for the United with a delightful chip from the edge of the penalty area, rounding off a brilliant passing move and leaving Henrique HilÃƒÂ¡rio stranded.
Speaking after the match, Sir Alex Ferguson said he thought this year’s annual curtain-raiser was a competitive affair.
“I think when Manchester United and Chelsea play each other it’s always competitive,” said the Manchester United manager. “Chelsea had a real go in the last ten minutes which showed their desire to get back into the game.”
“We’re happy with a decent display,” he added. “Some of the football was very good at times. We created some chances and I think we deserved to win it.”
Paul Scholes, who was named man of the match on Sunday, was pleased to have beaten the Premier League champions as the new season looms large.
“It’s always nice to beat them [Chelsea],” said Scholes, who is approaching 650 appearances for Manchester United.
“They’re a quality team and they beat us three times last year, but we’ve got off with the right start this time and hopefully we can carry it on this season.”
“I think both teams really wanted to win the game. It was quite a hot day as well so that made it difficult, but I think it was a good game and we’re happy with the win.”
“We weren’t that far off [winning the Premier League] last year,” he added.
“We were one point off winning the league and with a bit more determination this year hopefully we can go that one step further.”
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