Premier League Champions Leicester faced FA Cup winners Manchester United in the Community Shield on Sunday. Manchester United were victorious thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic while Jamie Vardy was on target for Leicester. Here are five observations from the Community Shield match.
Lingard is still full of potential.
The youngest made a breakthrough into the first team last season and scored the winning goal as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the FA Cup final. He showed his natural ability again against Leicester when he went on a superb run, glided past three Leicester players (Huth, Morgan and Simpson), and put his side 1-0 up. Whether Lingard is a regular starter under Mourinho remains to be seen, but his fantastic solo effort proved that he has the talent.
It’s time for Fellaini to move on.
Manchester United is not the club for a player like Fellaini. It never was. David Moyes signed him from Everton when he was Man United manager and now that he is Sunderland manager he had hoped to sign Fellaini again. Fellaini has recently expressed his desire to stay and fight for his place at Man United, but in the long run, he is likely to regret not joining his former Everton and Man United boss. The Belgian international was at fault for Vardy’s equaliser after a weak back pass and the role he played in will soon be occupied by Paul Pogba. Mourinho has already stated that he wants to win everything with Manchester United. He won’t do that with Fellaini as a regular member of his starting XI.
Zlatan only needs one chance.
Ibrahimovic was absent for the majority of the game bar a few moments of excellence, but when United needed him, he delivered. He scored a superb and direct header which won his side’s first trophy of the Jose Mourinho era. He may be 34 but to Zlatan age is just a number and there is no reason why he cannot continue his outstanding career at Man United, in the Premier League.
Eric Bailly looked comfortable in defence.
Having to stop Jamie Vardy is a challenge for any defender, never mind a defender who is new to the intensity of the Premier League. Bailly coped well with the threat of Vardy and made crucial interceptions on several occasions when Vardy was clean through. He did have some shaky moments but overall, it was an assured performance from the 22-year-old Ivorian centre-back who deserved his Man of the Match award.
Mahrez not at his best.
For the majority of the summer Riyad Mahrez has been linked with Arsenal, but, as with most players Arsenal are linked to, no transfer has materialised. Having said this, Mahrez was clearly distracted for one reason or another as his side faced Man United. He made his trademark pacy runs but there was no end product and the Algerian winger looked out of ideas at some points during the game. Ranieri will be hoping that the PFA Player of the Year improves in time for their Premier League opener against Hull City and then the following match against Arsenal.