Sunday, 7 August 2016

Community Shield: Leicester 1-2 United

Jose Mourinho began his reign as United manager with silverware- albeit only the Community Shield- as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late header to beat league champions Leicester at Wembley.

Jesse Lingard- who scored the final goal of the Louis van Gaal 'era' in the FA Cup final back in May- put United ahead with a superb solo goal just beyond the half hour mark.

Marouane Fellaini- whose future at the club must surely now be in doubt with the imminent arrival of Paul Pogba- let Claudio Ranieri's side back into the game when Jamie Vardy latched on to his dreadful back pass to score.

But summer signing Ibrahimovic- typically- had the last word seven minutes from time when the 34-year-old rose to meet Antonio Valencia's cross to head in beyond Kasper Schmeichel via a post. 

It took less than a minute for the United fans to start chanting their new boss's name, but it is going to take a lot longer for Mourinho to make this team his own even with his recent signings. 

The Portuguese warned this week that it would take time to revitalise the players following two years of former manager Van Gaal's regimented safety-first style, and he was right. 

Despite Lingard's fine individual effort, a continuing lack of creativity remains United's most obvious failing but the arrival of Pogba- along with Zlatan and fellow signing Henrik Mkhitaryan, will be expected to change that.

Ibrahimovic saw little of the ball in the Leicester box until he got the winner with only his second effort on goal and his partnership with Wayne Rooney is clearly still in its infancy.

At the back, Eric Bailly made a solid start to his United career but is still learning his craft in English football- he was booked for a clumsy challenge on Vardy and could easily have had another for bundling over Shinji Okazaki.

Mourinho admitted it was not "a fantastic performance" and felt his side need to be fitter.

"The first half performance was much better than the second, the team isn't fit enough yet.
"Leicester increased the pace, they had three quick players and changed the game.
"It's an important victory as you always want to start with a win, but we have a lot of work to do.
"I would not be ambitious if I said it was fantastic performance- it wasn't- but we have a trophy and that is important." 


United Faithful Man of the Match: Eric Bailly 








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