LONDON, Sporting Alert – Zlatan Ibrahimovic expertly guided home a late header and Manchester United defeated Leicester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.
With the game locked at 1-1 and approaching penalty kicks, Ibrahimovic, who had a very quiet game until his goal, leaped over Wes Morgan to head home a cross from Antonio Valencia in the 83rd minute.
The Swedish striker who started and played the entire 90 minutes, was relatively uninvolved before he scored the winner that gave Jose Mourinho his first piece of silverware as Man United boss.
“It feels amazing to win the first official game,” Ibrahimovic admitted on www.manutd.com. “I’ve been here a couple of weeks and I get to win my first trophy with United. I mean this is what we play for.
“We play for the trophies and I’m super happy and super excited for the goal – but especially for the win because it’s a trophy for the team. This is what we work hard for and sacrifice.
“When you can win it is even more amazing but all the credit to Leicester as well, because they played a good game and they had a fantastic last season. You can see it’s a strong team.”
Before that, Jesse Lingard scored a super solo goal to give Manchester United the lead in the 32nd minute.
The England winger picked up a ball in the midfield and made a wonderful run into the box – blowing by a few Leicester City players – before beating goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who got a touch on the ball, but couldn’t keep it out.
Jamie Vardy made it a well-contested game when he took advantage of a sloppy back pass by Marouane Fellaini to round United goalkeeper David de Gea and slotted into an empty net to knot the scores at 1-1 in the 52nd minute.
Summer signing defender Eric Bailly also started and played the full 90 minutes for United, while fellow recruit Henrikh Mkhitaryan was only a late substitute for Juan Mata, who himself was a sub after the hour mark.
Meanwhile, the speedy Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray were given run-outs by Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri, who was happy with his team’s effort, despite the defeat.
After the game Manchester United boss said: “Zlatan will be more dangerous when we are more dominant and play closest to the box.
“Zlatan is not a very fast player to play 50 metres away from the box like where Vardy can be dangerous. Zlatan needs the team to play, he needs the team to produce and he needs the team to be arriving in the final third.
“It’s something that we also have to change because the profile of this team was more about possession of the ball.
“Even arriving in crossing positions, the team normally plays back again and tries to change to the other side. We are trying to change. The reality is the second goal is a great example of that.”
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Manchester United against Leicester City: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Rooney, Martial, Ibrahimovic. Subs: Romero, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford.
Leicester City team against Manchester United: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, King, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Zieler, Hernandez, Musa, Schlupp, Gray, Ulloa, Mendy.