Community Shield: Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United

Community Shield: Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United
August 07 19:16 2016

Jose Mourinho began his reign as Manchester United manager with a trophy as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late header to beat Leicester in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.

Jesse Lingard, who scored the final goal of the Louis van Gaal era with the winner in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, put United ahead before half-time when he ran 40 yards and beat four men to slot home.

League champions Leicester replied when Marouane Fellaini’s dreadful back-pass let Jamie Vardy in to round David de Gea and score.

But summer signing Ibrahimovic, 34, typically had the final word with seven minutes to go, rising to meet Antonio Valencia’s cross and beat Kasper Schmeichel via the post.

The outspoken Swede had stated beforehand that the shield would be the first trophy he would be bringing home as a United player, and so it proved for the veteran striker.

Leicester had brought Mourinho’s second stint in charge of Chelsea to an end with a 2-1 defeat at King Power Stadium in December on their way to the title but this was a much happier occasion for the Portuguese.

Mourinho has even more reason to be cheerful ahead of the start of the new Premier League season next week as United announced before the game that Paul Pogba is set to have a medical before a potential return to Old Trafford for what would be a world-record fee.

New-look United – same old problems

It took less than a minute for the United fans to start chanting their new manager’s name, but it is going to take a lot longer for Mourinho to make this team his own, even with his recent purchases.

The Portuguese warned this week it would take time to change his players’ mentality after two years of former boss Louis van Gaal’s regimented safety-first style, and he was right.

For much of the game they did not look very different to how they did under the Dutchman, with their continuing lack of creativity their most obvious failing, something Lingard’s fine individual effort could not disguise.

Their summer signings so far could not change that, especially midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who only appeared from the bench in stoppage time. Along with Pogba, he will be expected to create more chances for United’s strikers than they got on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic saw little of the ball in the Leicester box until he scored the winner with only his second effort at goal and his partnership with Wayne Rooney is clearly in its early stages.

At the back, Eric Bailly made a solid enough start but is still learning his lines in English football – he was booked for barging over Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and could easily have had a second yellow card for another clumsy challenge.

No Kante, but same old Leicester

N’Golo Kante has left for Chelsea but not much else has changed about champions Leicester, or the tactics that brought them their surprise success last season.

Rather than start with any of his six summer signings, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri brought in Andy King to replace Kante in the heart of his midfield, and his side continued to sit back, absorb the opposition’s possession and threaten on the break through Vardy’s pace.

Like last season, they also threatened from set-pieces, with Shinji Okazaki heading against the bar from an early corner.

It was only at the break, with his side trailing, that Ranieri tried something different, bringing on Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray.

Nigeria international Musa, who cost a club-record £16m from CSKA Moscow, had already made a splash in pre-season with his performance against Barcelona and he made an instant impact with his part in Leicester’s equaliser.

It was Fellaini who played the final ball but Musa had burst forward to put United on the back foot in the first place, and he almost grabbed a late leveller from Robert Huth’s header as well.

Two more new faces, midfielder Nampalys Mendy and defender Luis Hernandez, came on for the last half hour without making much of a mark but with the Champions League putting extra demands on Ranieri’s squad, we are sure to see more of them in the weeks to come.

Man of the match – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

What next?

Leicester begin the defence of their Premier League title against newly promoted – and currently manager-less – Hull on Saturday. Mourinho’s first competitive game in charge of United comes on Sunday at Bournemouth.

BBC