Match Report: Leicester City 1 Manchester United 2
- Jesse Lingard broke the deadlock on 32 minutes for Manchester United
- Jamie Vardy equalised seven minutes into the second half
- Zlatan Ibrahimović headed in to make it 2-1 with seven minutes to play
Leicester City were edged 2-1 by Manchester United in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Foxes, who came just inches away from taking the lead in the first period after Shinji Okazaki struck the crossbar, fell behind on 32 minutes following a fine solo goal from Jesse Lingard.
But City responded excellently to level the game just seven minutes into the second half, as Jamie Vardy rounded David De Gea and converted from a tight angle to make it 1-1.
Opportunities for Demarai Gray and Ahmed Musa followed, but it was Jose Mourinho’s men who would go on to win the game thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimović’s late header.
Backed by a huge Blue Army following, the Foxes headed to Wembley for the first time in 16 years, as the champions of England took on the 2016 FA Cup winners to contest the first silverware of the season.
Claudio Ranieri named his first competitive starting XI of the campaign, with Okazaki operating alongside Vardy in a familiar partnership and Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton providing width on the flanks, while Danny Drinkwater and Andy King occupied the central midfield roles.
Kasper Schmeichel, playing his first game since signing a new five-year contract with the Club, started behind a back four of Danny Simpson, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs – a defensive unit that served the Foxes so well last term.
A darting run from Vardy mustered up the first opening of the game, but Daley Blind did well to dispossess the inbound striker with just five minutes on the clock.
Skipper Morgan was on hand on 10 minutes to clear away from the head of Ibrahimović, while Schmeichel comfortably held onto Wayne Rooney’s goal-bound header shortly after.
Schmeichel was called into action again just after the quarter-hour mark, saving Marouane Fellaini’s half-volley after Drinkwater had done well to close the Belgian international down.
A burst of pace from Vardy then saw City’s No.9 beat three Man Utd players before teeing up Okazaki, whose deflected effort curled just wide.
And Okazaki came even closer from the resulting corner, as he sent Albrighton’s delivery crashing onto De Gea’s crossbar for what proved to be the best opportunity of the opening 20 minutes.
But it was Mourinho’s men who would open the scoring just after the half-hour mark through Lingard. The former City loanee skipped his way through midfield and evaded three challenges before slotting past Schmeichel, who was unfortunate to be beaten after getting a foot to the ball.
Academy graduate King then nodded Albrighton’s corner to the front post wide on 38 minutes – an attempt that proved to be the last major one of the first period.
Ranieri introduced Musa and Gray at half-time, and that change immediately paid off. Musa flew down the left and attempted to deliver into Vardy, and while Fellaini cut the ball out, the Manchester United man played a backpass straight into the path of the City striker.
Vardy, alert as ever, brilliantly latched onto the loose ball, rounded De Gea and slotted in from a difficult angle for 1-1 before wheeling away in celebration in front of the vociferous Blue Army.
Rooney then sent an effort well wide just moments later, while at the other end, Gray fired a low drive straight at De Gea.
Rooney threatened again on 69 minutes, as the England international curled into the arms of Schmeichel, while a powerful strike from substitute Luis Hernandez sailed over De Gea’s bar five minutes later.
Drinkwater positioned himself well with just over 10 minutes to play, as he was on handed to clear Ibrahimović’s miscued effort off the line and away to safety.
A huge opportunity for Musa followed, as the striker beat Marcos Rojo to the ball, but couldn’t convert from close range.
And just two minutes later, Mourinho’s men took the lead through Ibrahimović, who nodded in off the inside of the post to make it 2-1.
One last chance fell City’s way as Gray hammered a strike towards goal that struck Antonio Valencia’s hand in injury time, but the decision was no penalty.
Unfortunate to suffer defeat given their spirited performance, the Foxes’ attentions will now firmly be on their Premier League opener against Hull City on Saturday 13 August.
CITY: Schmeichel, Simpson (Hernandez 62), Huth (Ulloa 89), Morgan (c), Fuchs (Schlupp 79), Drinkwater, King (Mendy 62), Albrighton (Gray 46), Mahrez, Okazaki (Musa 46), Vardy
SUBS NOT USED: Zieler
GOALS: Vardy 53
MAN UTD: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw (Rojo 69), Carrick (Herrera 61), Fellaini, Lingard (Mata 64 (Mkhitaryan 90)), Rooney (c) (Schneiderlin 87), Martial (Rashford 69), Ibrahimović
SUBS NOT USED: Romero
GOALS: Lingard 32, Ibrahimović 83
REFEREE: Craig Pawson
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