Leicester 1-0 Manchester City: Foxes win Community Shield as Kelechi Iheanacho haunts old club

We came, in truth, to see the £100m man. And Jack Grealish duly arrived and played a good half hour of significant football. But we left impressed by another player who might have made his mark on Euro 2020 had injury not intervened: Harvey Barnes.

And at the end of it all, Leicester had another trophy. It might only be the Community Shield. And they might have won in before in 1971, when Arsenal declined to participate and so they were invited as second division winners. 

But still, Leicester are not yet so wearied by the modern game and a Wembley trip that they can afford to be blasé about days like this.

When Kelechi Iheanacho thumped home his 89th minute penalty past Zack Steffen, who got a hand to the striker but not with sufficient force to stop it, they celebrated with gusto at the Leicester end. As well they might. When Kasper Schmeichel raised the shield, they roared approval. 

Leicester City have won the Community Shield after beating Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley

Leicester City have won the Community Shield after beating Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley

Leicester City have won the Community Shield after beating Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley 

Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winner, netting a penalty after being fouled by Nathan Ake inside the box late in the game

Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winner, netting a penalty after being fouled by Nathan Ake inside the box late in the game

Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winner, netting a penalty after being fouled by Nathan Ake inside the box late in the game 

Jack Grealish debuted at Wembley but didn't have much impact in his 30 minute cameo, after signing for £100m this week

Jack Grealish debuted at Wembley but didn't have much impact in his 30 minute cameo, after signing for £100m this week

Jack Grealish debuted at Wembley but didn’t have much impact in his 30 minute cameo, after signing for £100m this week

In truth, despite the cameo of Grealish, who was greeted with equally huge cheers and boos from rival fans as befits his status as most expensive Englishman and modern-day maverick, it was Leicester who looked the more Premier-League ready.

And it was Barnes who, until his departure on 78 minutes, was responsible for much of that superiority. He was a constant thorn in City’s side and after a series of mazy runs which left Joao Cancelo eventually resorting to an old-fashioned shoulder block,

Having missed the last three months of the last season with two operations on his knee, he shone throughout the first half. Indeed, his combination with Ryan Bertrand, impressing after his summer move from Southampton, look like being a productive outlet this season.

Had it not been for that injury, he might well have made Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020. He might too have been on the pitch four weeks ago, as Grealish was, on the fateful night England succumbed to penalties to Italy.

Ake was caught napping inside his own box and Iheanacho pounced to take the ball away, but the defender hacked him down

Ake was caught napping inside his own box and Iheanacho pounced to take the ball away, but the defender hacked him down

Ake was caught napping inside his own box and Iheanacho pounced to take the ball away, but the defender hacked him down

The former Man City star came back to haunt his old club, slotting the penalty away as Steffen got a fingertip to the ball

The former Man City star came back to haunt his old club, slotting the penalty away as Steffen got a fingertip to the ball

The former Man City star came back to haunt his old club, slotting the penalty away as Steffen got a fingertip to the ball 

All in all, the Community Shield often feels like a match too soon, and given the emotional intensity of the summer, that felt even more the case here. Nevertheless, both sides conspired to produce a decent match even it if took until the 86th minute for the decisive moment to emerge. 

Nathan Ake was dwelling on the ball when Iheanacho hounded him down and nicked it away. As he fell, Ake made a grab for his opponent’s shorts and then desperately kicked out, striking his backside. 

Was it an involuntarily act caused by his temporary discombobulation or a deliberate foul? Referee Paul Tierney decided on the latter and Fernandinho argued the case so strongly for the former, he earned yellow card.

Perhaps it was unsurprising. Leicester started with the more recognisable team, even if the Wesley Forfana injury has exposed the lack of centre halves, with Jonny Evans not yet fit. Daniel Amartey filled in adequately here.

City started with teenagers Sam Edozie and Cole Palmer and with Ferran Torres at No.9. It’s almost like they need to spend £100m plus on a new centre forward. They looked predictably ragged, far from the slick machine from the back end of last season. 

And with key England players waiting to get fit – there was no Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling or Kyle Walker on the bench – it may be a while before they hit their stride.

So it was left to Barnes to steal the show. He had already exposed City’s vulnerabilities when he teed up a 24th minute shot, which rebounded to Vardy, whose striker was pushed away by Zack Steffen.

Pep Guardiola will be frustrated as his squad, which he admitted was a 'second team', struggled to connect well on Saturday

Pep Guardiola will be frustrated as his squad, which he admitted was a 'second team', struggled to connect well on Saturday

Pep Guardiola will be frustrated as his squad, which he admitted was a ‘second team’, struggled to connect well on Saturday

Harvey Barnes has a fantastic game, with his relentless running and brilliant link with Jamie Vardy producing great chances

Harvey Barnes has a fantastic game, with his relentless running and brilliant link with Jamie Vardy producing great chances

Harvey Barnes has a fantastic game, with his relentless running and brilliant link with Jamie Vardy producing great chances 

A huge cheer went up for Grealish when he came on but they'll have to wait for the quality that cost the champions £100m

A huge cheer went up for Grealish when he came on but they'll have to wait for the quality that cost the champions £100m

A huge cheer went up for Grealish when he came on but they’ll have to wait for the quality that cost the champions £100m 

City, though looking very much in pre season mode, weren’t without their own moments. Kasper Schmeichel had to pick up where he left off here in the Euro 2020 semi final, with a fine save from Ilkay Gundogan’s free kick on eight minutes.

And 18-year-old Edozie had a great opportunity to make a name for himself on 28 minutes, played in by Gundogan, but he blazed his shot wide. 

With fellow teenager Cole Palmer, 19, buzzing around behind Ferran Torres, who was playing centre forward, City’s makeshift attack had a raw energy yet a youthful naivety about it. Even with Leicester’s shortage of centre halves, Caglar Soyuncu and Amartey looked in control.

Vardy must have thought his opening goal of the season was imminent just before half time. Bertrand intercepted and carried the ball up the pitch, intelligently waiting for players to get back into onside as the second phase of play began. 

Leicester chairman Khun Top was present for another major moment for the club, who have transformed inside six years

Leicester chairman Khun Top was present for another major moment for the club, who have transformed inside six years

Leicester chairman Khun Top was present for another major moment for the club, who have transformed inside six years 

The Foxes will go into the Premier League season high in confidence, aiming to finally secure a top-four spot for a second time

The Foxes will go into the Premier League season high in confidence, aiming to finally secure a top-four spot for a second time

The Foxes will go into the Premier League season high in confidence, aiming to finally secure a top-four spot for a second time

He fed Maddison who touched the ball to Barnes, who in turn crossed for Vardy. Eight yards out, with a clear sight of goal, Vardy connected cleanly but without sufficient power, striking across Steffen. But the City goalkeeper managed to get a touch with his leg to direct the ball on to the far post.

Leicester fans greatly enjoyed Riyad Mahrez skying a free kick effort on 55 minutes and even more derision was heaped on their former player when, from a Leicester corner, he managed to break free on the counter with the Leicester defence AWOL. 

He charged at goal but Amartey and Wilfred Ndidi did enough to sprint back and distract him to shoot wide.

The penalty shoot out loomed though, until that Ake error and we were thankful it didn’t come to that. We’ve all had enough of those at Wembley for a while.

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