The champions of the Premier League and runner-up of the Champions Leagues last season and one of the richest football clubs in football – Manchester City have experienced a hiccup against Leicester City as the Fixes lifted the Community Shield Trophy in a match where the expensive Jack Grealish played but failed to create an impact according to the expectations.
LEICESTER BEAT MANCHESTER CITY TO WIN THE COMMUNITY SHIELD 🏆 pic.twitter.com/gWiKvUrufH
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 7, 2021
It was just the beginning and it would not be appropriate to judge the abilities of Grealish – but there had a message for Grealish and which was, he needs to adapt as quickly as possible and pay back the faith of the fans, club hierarchy, and obviously, Pep Guardiola.
The line-up announced by Pep Guardiola was something else even though he admitted that Manchester city would consider this as a full-fledged trophy. The Foxes, meanwhile, announced previously that goals scored in this kick-about would be included in players’ official records and thus, five years after the event, revised Jamie Vardy’s tally upwards by one to include his strike in the 2016 edition.
— Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) August 7, 2021
Regarding the build-up of the Foxes and Community Shield Final success, Rodgers replied, “Not a great deal” but praised it as a useful warm-up. To that extent, he could take satisfaction from the fact that his team looked sharper than City’s second string.
The Foxes struck gold.
lkay Gundogan saw an arrowed free-kick superbly tipped over the crossbar by Kasper Schmeichel and the German midfielder also blazed over a first-time effort from 10 yards out.
Another trophy for @LCFC. May only be the Community Shield but it’s still bloody marvellous. 🦊
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) August 7, 2021
Jamie Vardy was bright for Leicester but could not find a way past City goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who made a stunning reaction save to deny the Englishman.
Guardiola gave outings to a pair of teenagers, Cole Palmer and Sam Edozie – who would not prove productive. Ferran Torres operated as an ineffective false nine, as City’s only senior striker, Gabriel Jesus, was given the day off.
In the 65th minute the City fans who turned up were treated to the first sight of Grealish as a City player, but his inconsequential touches were not cheered enough.
Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare – were cast on for the last 20 minutes to give glimpses of their qualities.
Wow, I could not have asked for a better way to start the season. 2021 Community Shield winners. 🙏🏽🏅
Thank you to all the fans & my team mates who pushed us to the final whistle. @LCFC👏🏽🔵🦊#MakeJesusYourAim pic.twitter.com/WTjosxJcjk
— Patson Daka (@PatsonDaka20) August 7, 2021
Vardy who looked most likely to break the deadlock, though he showed a bit of rustiness with his finishing, smacking a bounce shot straight at Steffens from 12 yards out before Zack Steffen out a shot with his trailing right foot while diving to the left.
The return to action for Harvey Barnes, who hasn’t played competitively since February because of a knee injury, will be a huge positive for Rodgers and the Englishman showed some nice touches down the left flank.
Wilfred Ndidi was at his destructive best, winning the ball back eight times, making five tackles, and contributing three interceptions, all good signs for Leicester before next Saturday’s Premier League opener at home to Wolves.
Nathan Ake’s error and Kelechi Iheanacho’s sharpness gave the Leicester striker the chance to kill the boredom in normal time.
🏆🥇All glory to God pic.twitter.com/1aZBLIzNL3
— Kelechi Iheanacho (@67Kelechi) August 7, 2021
Iheanacho became the first player to score a penalty in a Community Shield final – excluding shootouts – since Gary McAllister for Liverpool v Manchester United in 2001.In his ninth game in all competitions against his former side, Iheanacho scored his first goal against Manchester City with what was his sixth shot attempt against the Citizens.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, speaking to BBC Radio Leicester, “There was a great feeling coming here today. Every Leicester player, fan, staff member coming here, it was a really special feeling.”
“We wanted to take that into the game and keep that feeling going, and thankfully we’ve done that.”
✅ FA Cup
✅ Community Shield
Leicester City are living! 👏 pic.twitter.com/jO7yVFiCZF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 7, 2021
Pep Guardiola, “Congratulations to Leicester. I am more than satisfied with how we played. Many things were really good, the young players were excellent.”
“We got minutes for players so in general, many good things.”
When asked if their Community Shield defeat by Leicester underlined Manchester City’s need to sign a striker, Pep Guardiola’s reply was emphatic – “No!”
“Pep will be fuming with some of the senior players,” former Manchester United captain Roy Keane said on ITV after Saturday’s loss.
“They threw the game away. He is a winner and he will be fuming.”
Sharing another memorable occasion with the Blue Army 🦊🔵 pic.twitter.com/yVHx3JtLuH
— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 8, 2021
“They do have options in Sterling in the middle. But Pep will be thinking they need a top-quality striker to keep the momentum going with everything they want to achieve this season, with the Champions League and the Premier League.”
When asked if Manchester City needed a striker, former Arsenal and England forward Ian Wright, said, “Yes they do. If any team can deal without a striker it is City, but how long can they do that? Look at Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United – they have to do something in that regard.”
“Chelsea will push next season, they are serious players and – with Lukaku – will cause massive problems.”
Pep has a stern test in the upcoming season.