Jack Grealish tasted defeat on his Manchester City debut as Leicester City won the Community Shield at Wembley thanks to a late penalty by Kelechi Iheanacho on Saturday.
The most expensive British player in the history of the game made his City bow midway through the second half of an evenly-matched season-opener between the defending Premier League and FA Cup champions.
But it was a Leicester substitute who made the difference, with Iheanacho robbing Nathan Ake of possession on the edge of the box and drawing a foul from the panicking Man City defender.
‘I will be returning to the club tomorrow’ – Kane denies refusing to train
YESTERDAY AT 16:45
And the Leicester forward made no mistake from the spot with the resulting penalty kick, earning Leicester City another piece of silverware to add to the club’s expanding collection.
Earlier in the game, Riyad Mahrez had a couple of decent sights of goal for City, failing to hit the target either from a tight angle before the break or when clean through but under pressure from Wilfred Ndidi in the second half.
Yet it was Leicester who had gone closest to finding the back of the net, with Jamie Vardy’s shot brilliantly saved by Man City’s reserve keeper Zack Steffen.
But Wembley Stadium has been no stranger to penalty drama this summer, and the first competitive game at the ground since the Euro 2020 final was also settled from the spot, with Iheanacho delivering as Leicester spoiled Grealish’s big day.
TALKING POINT – Grealish starts with familiar role in unfamiliar surroundings
Arguably the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Grealish’s arrival from the travelling Man City fans. There has been much conversation about where exactly the most expensive British player in history will play for his new club, but the first sight of him in a City shirt was in his usual role out on the left.
And, with Phil Foden out injured for a little while according to Pep, it could be that Grealish gets a chance to bed in at City in a more familiar role while he learns the ropes.
A central move wouldn’t be massively unexpected down the line, but Guardiola will want lots of development time with his expensive new toy first.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
There were some impressive performances on the day, with James Maddison doing little to quell the hype around him in the transfer columns. But the standout man for Leicester was Ndidi, who bossed the game at the heart of the midfield, marshalling City brilliantly out of possession and setting up numerous dangerous attacks when in possession.
The one particularly highlight-worthy moment came when Ndidi helped chase down Mahrez with the Man City player clean through on goal, putting enough pressure on him to force a rushed shot.
But Ndidi was everywhere, putting in a level of performance that made many of the Man City players look off the pace in this season opener. What a player he is.
Manchester City: Steffen 8, Cancelo 6, Dias 7, Ake 5, Mendy 6, Fernandinho 6, Gundogan 7, Palmer 7, Mahrez 7, Edozie 7, Torres 6. Subs: Grealish 6, Rodri 6, Silva 6.
25’ – Vardy denied! The Leicester striker seizes on a loose ball in the middle of a penalty-box scramble and pokes a shot towards goal, but Steffen makes a reaction save and Man City scramble the loose ball away.
45’ – Off the post! Leicester are denied on the cusp of half-time as Vardy hits the post. Maddison and Barnes work the ball well inside the box, with the latter’s cross floated slightly behind Vardy. He still manages to get a shot away, but it comes back off the upright after a brilliant touch by Steffen and City survive.
59’ – Mahrez is in here, clean through, but he’s forced slightly wide as he loses his puff with Ndidi almost catching him, and the Man City man rushes his shot and sends it over the bar. Should be 1-0.
65’ – This is the moment that Man City fans have been waiting for today. It’s a debut for the Premier League’s most expensive ever signing.
87’ – Penalty! Late drama at Wembley! Ake is caught napping on the ball on the edge of the box and Iheanacho nips in to take the ball, with Ake hacking him down. Steffen makes a brilliant save on the follow-up, but it’s a penalty anyway.
89’ – GOOOAAALLL!!! Iheanacho scores from the spot and have Leicester City just won the Community Shield?! 1-0!
- Defeat is the first time Guardiola has ever lost back-to-back finals in his managerial career.
- Leicester City’s win is their first Community Shield victory since 1971.
Pep confirms Bernardo wants to leave City
YESTERDAY AT 15:25
Pep confirms City want ‘exceptional’ Kane, plays down Messi links
YESTERDAY AT 13:03