Leicester City beat Manchester City 1-0 to win the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, as the Foxes were sharper throughout.
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The 2020-21 FA Cup winners created numerous chances and Manchester City had USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen to thank for keeping them in the game. Jack Grealish came on for his City debut after his $138 million move from Aston Villa, but Kelechi Iheanacho won it for Leicester late on.
Leicester’s striker was brought down by Nathan Ake and brushed himself off to slot home the penalty kick and seal their second Community Shield trophy in club history and their first at Wembley Stadium as Brendan Rodgers was delighted.
As for Manchester City, they were missing plenty of their superstar players but Pep Guardiola looked far from happy on the sidelines.
3 things we learned
1. Near full-strength Leicester sharp: This was pretty much a full-strength Leicester side and they were sharp throughout. Their bench is now extremely deep as the likes of Albrighton, Daka, Soumare and Iheanacho came on. The Foxes were better in the first half, sat back a little too deep in the second half but had the better chances throughout and deserved this win. Is this the season they finally break into the top four? Brendan Rodgers has certainly kept them on track over the summer and added to his squad impressively, once again.
2. City may start slowly this season: Without Kevin de Bruyne, Ederson, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus , Aymeric Laporte and others, this was very much an understrength Manchester City side. Due to the success of their players across multiple tournaments this summer, they could struggle to get going at the start of the season as Guardiola has had little time to reorganize and refocus his squad. Mahrez looked good, but City once again looked lackluster in the final third as they created chances but lacked a clinical finisher. That sound you can hear is Pep Guardiola calling his owners to ask for Harry Kane…
3. USMNT’s Steffen stands tall: Zack Steffen was so unlucky not to save Iheanacho’s penalty kick as he got extremely close to it as the ball flicked off his fingertips, but that shouldn’t take away from another fine display. Steffen will back up Ederson this season, we all know that, but it is clear to see he has improved. For a USMNT perspective, many believe that Matt Turner is pushing him all the way for a starting spot and Steffen will likely need to head out on loan to play regularly. That said, his reflex stop to push Vardy’s shot on to the post, calmness with the ball at his feet and ability to rush off his line to clear danger were all on show at Wembley and he looks at home on a big team in Europe. Steffen stood tall, but will he be at City this season as a back-up? Surely another Premier League club will be pushing hard to get him on loan.
Man of the Match: Wilfred Ndidi – Broke everything up in midfield and made a fine last-ditch tackle to deny Riyad Mahrez. Solid as ever.
Kasper Schmeichel brilliantly pushed away an Ilkay Gundogan free kick as Manchester City looked dangerous but Leicester City had more of the play in the first half.
Benjamin Mendy’s cross caused problems as Caglar Soyuncu cleared the ball over his own crossbar, but Leicester grew into the game.
USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen then denied Harvey Barnes’ low shot at the near post as the game opened up, with Riyad Mahrez leading a counter but his shot was deflected over by Soyuncu.
Jamie Vardy hit the post right on half time after a fine Leicester attack, as Steffen stood tall and got a touch on the shot as it hit the woodwork and bounced clear.
What a save, Zack Steffen 😵 pic.twitter.com/ZFpK7Czu5W
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 7, 2021
At the start of the second half Maddison played in Vardy but Ruben Dias stood his ground and blocked the shot from the Leicester City striker.
Mahrez caused problems at the other end but Leicester did just enough to thwart him, as Ndidi put Mahrez off at the crucial moment as he smashed his shot over after a mistake from Ricardo Pereira.
The game opened up late on as Jack Grealish came on for his Manchester City debut and tried to unlock the Leicester defense.
After a host of substitutions, Steffen rushed off his line to deny Patson Daka with a well-time challenge, but Leicester were awarded a penalty kick soon after.
Nathan Ake was caught in possession by Kelechi Iheanacho and got his tackle all wrong as he tried to win the ball back. Iheanacho slammed the penalty kick just past the diving Steffen, who got his fingertips to it, to win the trophy for Leicester City.
Iheanacho from the spot!
Leicester City are close to the Community Shield 🏆 pic.twitter.com/0eljDNtcAf
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 7, 2021