Zlatan Ibrahimovic wins Jose Mourinho’s first title with Manchester United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed 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 at Wembley.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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

But the winner arrived seven minutes from time as Ibrahimovic, kept quiet for much of the afternoon, rose to nod in, although there were question marks over whether he was offside.

Jesse lingard
Jesse lingard

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 that 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 against David De Gea’s crossbar.

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

The 23-year-old 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 steering 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 before 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 to level 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 saw a tame effort towards goal cleared close to 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 a Luis Hernandez long throw almost found him.

A penalty shootout seemed to be looming, only for Ibrahimovic to put his 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 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.

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