Ibrahimovic hits winner on competitive debut to give Mourinho perfect start

Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1 in the Community Shield thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 83rd-minute header at Wembley.

A LATE GOAL from debutant Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Manchester United a 2-1 win over Leicester City in Sunday’s Community Shield clash at Wembley.

Jesse Lingard put Jose Mourinho’s side ahead in the first half with a brilliant solo goal, becoming the first United player since Eric Cantona in 1996 to follow up an FA Cup final strike with a Community Shield goal.

United enjoyed plenty of possession without causing too many further worries for Leicester, and the Premier League champions snatched an equaliser when Jamie Vardy pounced on Marouane Fellaini’s error shortly after half-time.

Britain Soccer Community Shield Claudio Ranieri's side looked like they were going to take the FA Cup winners to penalties. Source: Frank Augstein

Ibrahimovic, who arrived on a free transfer amid much fanfare following the end of his Paris Saint-Germain contract, had struggled to make a telling impact on his first competitive start for the club, but was denied a winning goal by Danny Drinkwater’s goal-line clearance, before Leicester substitute Ahmed Musa nodded over the bar from just six yards out.

But the former Sweden captain made his mark with seven minutes to play, steering a header beyond Kasper Schmeichel’s reach to secure a 21st Community Shield triumph for his side and a first piece of silverware for Mourinho as United manager.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Community Shield - Wembley Stadium Ibrahimovic will be hoping to replicate the success he had at Inter with Mourinho. Source: Nick Potts

Wayne Rooney was on the receiving end of a smattering of boos by the Leicester fans early on, but it was England’s captain who had the first effort on target, heading straight at Schmeichel from near the edge of the area following Luke Shaw’s deflected cross.

United controlled possession in the early stages, with Leicester content to sit deep and look to spring the counter-attack, but Shinji Okazaki came inches from giving the champions the lead as he glanced a header onto the crossbar from Marc Albrighton’s corner.

Leicester began to creep more and more into the game but, with 32 minutes played, Lingard lit up Wembley once more with a stunning opening goal.

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After collecting the ball close to the halfway line, Lingard skipped beyond challenges from Drinkwater, Robert Huth and Wes Morgan before slotting low past Schmeichel from 12 yards out.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Community Shield - Wembley Stadium United start their Premier League campaign away to Bournemouth next weekend. Source: Nick Potts

United had looked comfortable with their lead, but they gifted Leicester an equaliser just seven minutes after half-time as Vardy pounced on an error by Fellaini.

After intercepting Musa’s pass, the Belgian prodded the ball back towards goal and into the path of Vardy, who rounded David de Gea before slotting home with Leicester’s first shot on target.

United were dealt a further blow when Lingard had to be taken off after being caught on the foot by Huth’s lunging challenge, though Rooney called Schmeichel into action again just moments after a minute’s applause rang out in recognition of England’s1966 World Cup-winning team.

The tempo of the game dropped as both managers made use of their six permitted substitutions, but Ibrahimovic almost prodded United back in front after a spell of sustained pressure, with Drinkwater hooking clear from in front of his own goal after the Swede stabbed the ball past Schmeichel.

Musa steered a header up and over De Gea’s crossbar from the edge of the six-yard box, and Ibrahimovic made the champions pay for that miss, rising above Morgan to head Antonio Valencia’s cross in off Schmeichel’s left-hand post to hand United the trophy.

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