Leicester City 1:2 Manchester United
Ten of thousands of City fans descended on Wembley for the first time since 2000, for the traditional League Champions v FA Cup Winners season opener, but City lost out in a tight encounter when Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home a late winner for United…
Claudio Ranieri started with a line-up very similar to last season’s first choice side, with King in for the departed Kanté, and City were first to mount an attack in the 5th minute.
Vardy raced into the penalty area from the left, and got past Bailly before Blind produced a timely tackle.
United’s first chance came five minutes later when Martial beat Simpson down the left but his angled shot found the side-netting. A strong spell for United then saw a Rooney header and Fellaini half-volley go straight at Schmeichel.
In the 20th minute City had two near-misses in rapid succession. Vardy set up Okazaki for a curling shot that was deflected inches wide of the post. From the corner the Japanese international flicked a header onto the crossbar.
City were on top now and Bailly was a busy man, tackling Vardy before he could loose a shot off; and getting to a corner before Morgan.
But with 32 minutes on the clock, United took the lead against the run of play, with a fine effort from former City loanee Lingard.
He hared through the middle of the City defence, evading three challenges before a neat finish over the advancing Schmeichel.
There was a quiet spell up to the break, as City attempted to overcome their setback. King nodded a corner wide, and Simpson went into the referee’s book for a blatant block on Rooney. And that was it for the first half.
Claudio Ranieri made a couple of changes for the second half with Gray and Musa on for Okazaki and Albrighton, and City started the brighter with Musa going on a trademark threatening run down the middle before being thwarted by the impressive Bailly.
City continued to press forward and were level seven minutes into the second half.
Good work from Musa down the left saw him feed a ball into the centre, but Fellaini intercepted with a back pass intended for De Gea. However, the Belgian only succeeded in playing a perfect through ball for Vardy, who took full advantage, rounding the keeper and finding the net from a tight angle.
The blue half of Wembley was in raptures…
There was a subdued spell of play for a while, which saw Gray deliver a weak strike into De Gea’s arms, and little else.
A flurry of subs arrived in the 62nd minute with Mendy and Hernandez on for King and Simpson, and Mata replacing the limping Lingard.
United were on top at this stage, though City threatened with a Drinkwater free-kick that almost caught De Gea out, and a Musa back-header from close in that landed on the top of the net.
However, it was United who summoned a winner in the 83rd minute, with Ibrahimovic capping an anonymous performance with a winning goal. Valencia crossed from the right, and Ibrahimovic rose above Morgan, to nod the ball home via the right hand post.
City pressed for an equaliser and Schmeichel camped himself in the opposition penalty area for a series of corners and Hernandez long-throws, but City couldn’t find a way through and it was United who lifted the Community Shield.
After a glamorous pre-season programme that clocked up the air miles, the serious business begins at Hull next Saturday.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Hernandez 62), Huth (Ulloa 89), Morgan, Fuchs (Schlupp 79), Drinkwater, King (Mendy 62), Albrighton (Gray 46), Mahrez, Okazaki (Musa 46), Vardy.
Subs Not Used: Zieler.
United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw (Rojo 69), Carrick (Herrera 61), Fellaini, Lingard (Mata 64 (Mkhitaryan 90)), Rooney (Schneiderlin 87), Martial (Rashford 69), Ibrahimović.
Subs Not Used: Romero.
Referee: Craig Pawson. Attendance: 85,437.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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