Ibrahimovic scores winner as United lift Community Shield

Date published: Sunday 7th August 2016 6:01

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Promising start to Man Utd career

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Promising start to Man Utd career

Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home a late debut goal to secure a 2-1 victory for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United against Premier League champions Leicester in the Community Shield.

Jesse Lingard followed up his memorable FA Cup final winner with a tremendous solo effort to put United ahead, only for a defensive error from Marouane Fellaini to allow Jamie Vardy to equalise.

The winner arrived seven minutes from full-time as Ibrahimovic, kept quiet for much of the afternoon, rose to nod in and open his United account, although there were questions as to whether he was offside.

News emerged before kick-off at Wembley that Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is set for a medical in Manchester ahead of a reported world-record transfer, before another of United’s new signings had taken centre-stage by the final whistle – and there was little surprise that it was their new number nine.

Fellow debutant Eric Bailly impressed but was tested inside five minutes as Vardy skipped past him before Daley Blind’s challenge put the ball behind for a corner.

Leicester, with Claudio Ranieiri keeping faith in the side which delivered the title, came close on the 20-minute mark as Vardy again got the better of Bailly to find strike partner Shinji Okazaki, whose curling effort was deflected behind for a corner.

The Japan striker then rose ahead of Ibrahimovic and Michael Carrick to head the resulting corner onto David De Gea’s crossbar.

The game appeared to be entering a lull before the ball broke to Wayne Rooney and he picked out Lingard just inside the Leicester half.

The 23-year-old then set off a run which saw him bundle his way over four questionable Leicester challenges, with Foxes skipper Wes Morgan beaten after diving in, before he showed the composure required to steer the ball home to open the scoring.

Ranieri made two changes at the interval as club-record signing Ahmed Musa was introduced, and it was not long until the new boy was involved.

He streaked away down the left and, although his ball inside was poor, Fellaini’s attempted back-pass was weak and Vardy nipped in ahead of De Gea and levelled the scores in front of watching England manager Sam Allardyce.

Lingard limped out of action just after the hour to be replaced by fellow FA Cup final goalscorer Juan Mata, but it was the Foxes who had their tails up.

United slowly came back into the game and Ibrahimovic, quiet on his competitive United bow, saw a tame effort towards goal cleared off the line by Danny Drinkwater.

With 10 minutes remaining, Musa just failed to make meaningful contact when through on goal as Robert Huth’s flick-on from Luis Hernandez’s long throw-in almost found the Nigeria international.

A penalty shoot-out seemed to be looming only for Ibrahimovic to put his usual stamp on proceedings as he rose to head Antonio Valencia’s centre back across Kasper Schmeichel’s goal and in off his left post.

Mata was then taken off in the closing moments and appeared to have a heated debate with Mourinho, having been withdrawn less than half an hour after his introduction.

But it was United and Mourinho who came out on top, 12 months after he lost the same event to Arsenal while manager of Chelsea, and he toasted each and every one of his players on the pitch.

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