Leicester City

Foxes Lift Second Community Shield With Man City Triumph

Leicester City claimed their second piece of silverware in the space of only four months after the 2020/21 Emirates FA Cup winners beat Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday to lift their second FA Community Shield.
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For City’s first fixture of the new season, manager Brendan Rodgers made one change to his starting XI following Wednesday’s friendly win over Villarreal, as Daniel Amartey replaced the injured Wesley Fofana – supported by his team-mates with his signature broken heart emblem on their warm-up t-shirts.

Urged on by a raucous Blue Army, City's opening opportunity came after only four minutes, when James Maddison - on his 100th start for the Club - picked out Harvey Barnes on the left flank as a trademark run into the box led to his effort being blocked by Rúben Dias before it caused Zack Steffen any problems.

It was Leicester's turn to defend next as Ilkay Gündogan had his curling free-kick tipped over via a fine save from captain Kasper Schmeichel. Then, the Dane was on hand to collect a loose pass from Gündogan, as Man City felt their way into the game.

City's threat was evident, though. The roar of the 19,000 Foxes fans ran in synchronisation with Barnes' advances down the left, and on 12 minutes, after some neat combination play with new boy Ryan Bertrand, the Academy graduate was unfortunate to be dispossessed at the final moment.

After Çağlar Söyüncü just about diverted Benjamin Mendy's cross over the bar, the following corner saw the ball fall to former Fox Riyad Mahrez, who blasted a right-footed effort high and wide of the target and into the stand housing thousands of members of the Blue Army.

USA international Steffen stopped a low Jamie Vardy effort on 18 minutes, while Mahrez then flew down the right flank, only to meet Söyüncü, who stood in his way to halt the Algeria winger's advances.

Goalscoring chances were not uncommon, with a spell of 60 or so seconds seeing Ayoze Pérez and Vardy test Steffen in the Man City net around the first half's midway point. Nathan Aké, meanwhile, did well to track the run of City's No.9 after a defence-splitting pass from Maddison nearly located the striker. 

Barnes seemed perfectly calibrated with each of his Leicester team-mates as this time only a last-ditch clearance from Aké prevented the Academy star from firing home after he played a one-two with Vardy on 32 minutes.

As a sudden but temporary downfall swept over the national stadium, Joāo Cancelo dragged wide and Gündogan sent a shot over Schmeichel's crossbar before Steffen tipped Vardy's half-volley onto the upright with an excellent point-blank stop to bring to a close a lively yet goalless opening 45 minutes in the capital. 

Only 80 seconds into the second half, Edozie's delivery into the box nearly dropped inside the post, and then a few minutes later, Dias got a foot in the way of Vardy's drive following a well-weighted Maddison through-ball prior to Mahrez bending a free-kick off target.

Man City continued to create, with Schmeichel positioned well to swallow up Gundogan's deflected effort, while the Germany midfielder hammered over from inside the 18-yard area as City's defence raced out to meet him. 

A timely interception from Youri Tielemans saw the Belgium midfielder dispossess Mahrez to set his side on the break. Barnes won a corner, however Pep Guardiola's men countered themselves through Mahrez, who with Ricardo Pereira and Wilfred Ndidi in pursuit, could not remain composed while one-on-one with Schmeichel.

After Amartey blocked a Mahrez attempt just after the hour mark at Wembley, the Manchester outfit made a double change with Rodri and new £100M signing Jack Grealish entering the action with just under 30 minutes remaining. Edozie and Gundogan both made way.

Rodgers soon followed with four changes of his own. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Boubakary Soumaré, Marc Albrighton and Patson Daka were all introduced, with Maddison, Tielemans, Pérez and Vardy the men to come off. 

With Bernardo Silva, Ben Knight, Luke Thomas and Kelechi Iheanacho also now on the pitch, both sides had made significant changes in an attempt to win the game in the regulation 90 minutes before the lottery of a penalty shootout.

In the final 10 minutes, the Foxes recovered possession of the ball on numerous occasions, one of which led to Zambia striker Daka only just being beaten to the ball by the onrushing Steffen, who denied him a winner at Wembley.

However, a defensive mix up with only three minutes of normal time remaining handed City the opportunity to win the match, as Aké tripped substitute Iheanacho in the box and Rodgers' side were awarded a penalty. It was, indeed, the Nigeria frontman who would take the spot-kick, dispatching it into the corner to hand his side a late lead.

There was still time for Amartey to put in a last-ditch challenge on Grealish, however the Foxes' compact defence and midfield were able to deal with the opposition advances and the first piece of 2021/22 silverware went back to King Power Stadium. 

Major moment

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Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho

It was the Nigeria striker's penalty that sealed the success for City at Wembley.

Although there was no breakthrough for over 85 minutes, few could argue that should there be a winning goal, the Foxes would deservedly be the side to score it. 

An end-to-end encounter throughout, it was the quick thinking of Kelechi Iheanacho that ultimately would win it for City, after the No.14 got away from Nathan Aké before being hauled down by the Man City centre-back.

A scorer of the winning goal at Wembley in the FA Cup Semi-Final last season, Iheanacho confidently converted from 12 yards to help the Football Club to only their second FA Community Shield. 

Who impressed?

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Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü was the stand-out for Matt Elliott in the FA Community Shield clash at Wembley Stadium.

Speaking on LCFC Radio's Matchday Live at Wembley Stadium, Matt Elliott said: "Harvey Barnes was great in the first half and really caused some problems, but I thought Çağlar Söyüncü was excellent throughout. He's my Man of the Match."

Coming up…

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Leicester City fans
Leicester City fans

There were 19,000 Leicester City supporters in attendance at Wembley Stadium to watch the FA Community Shield success.

The Foxes’ Premier League campaign gets underway next Saturday at King Power Stadium against Wolverhampton Wanderers (3pm kick-off). Then, their first away match of 2021/22 sees them head to London Stadium to take on West Ham United on Monday 23 August (8pm kick-off).

All times BST.

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