Late Iheanacho penalty fires Leicester past Man City in Community Shield

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho was the hero as his late penalty gave Leicester City a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield.

The former City striker, who departed the Etihad Stadium four years ago, settled a generally lacklustre curtain-raiser to the new domestic season at Wembley.

Iheanacho came off the bench in the 79th minute and was brought down by Nathan Ake in the closing minutes.

The Nigerian international, who scored 19 goals for the Foxes last term, calmly slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper Zack Steffen from 12 yards out to give the FA Cup winners the spoils.

With record signing Jack Grealish named on the bench and a host of first-team regulars not available yet, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola handed starts to youngsters Cole Palmer and Samuel Edozie.

Palmer demonstrated good strength to rob Wilfred Ndidi of possession in the 27th minute before Ilkay Gundogan fed Edozie, who could only fire wide of the target with the angle closing.

Steffen then came to his side’s rescue in the dying moments of the first half with a tremendous reflex save to tip Jamie Vardy’s volley onto the post following a quick counter.

The reigning Premier League champions then saw a great chance go begging 14 minutes after the restart as Ricardo Pereira’s error saw Riyad Mahrez race clear, but Ndidi made up important ground and just about did enough to put off his former teammate.

A penalty shootout loomed until Iheanacho robbed the ball from Ake and was subsequently fouled, allowing him to score the winner against his old employers in the 89th minute.

What does it mean? Foxes run away with another trophy

Leicester land the first English silverware of the 2021-22 season after a third successive victory at Wembley, where Manchester City are beaten for the third time in their last four trips to the stadium.

The result continues an excellent run for the FA Cup holders in the fixture. Excluding 2019, when Manchester City appeared as double winners, the league champions have lost in six of the past seven campaigns, with the exception being Guardiola's team recording a 2-0 win over Chelsea in 2018.

Iheanacho steps up to deliver

All eyes were on the potential impact of Grealish, who completed his British-record transfer from Aston Villa earlier this week. However, it was another player who was introduced into proceedings who claimed the headlines.

Iheanacho looked lively and forced the error from Ake that led to the winner. It was his one and only attempt on goal, while he had just eight total touches in his crucial cameo.

Torres fails to impress

Following Sergio Aguero's departure at the end of another championship-winning season, Torres was handed an opportunity to stake his claim to start as the spearhead of the forward line.

However, the Spaniard was unable to capitalise with just 15 touches and eight attempted passes before being replaced after 74 minutes, while he failed to register a single shot on goal. It was the type of performance that could encourage his club to step up their interest in Harry Kane.

What's next?

Leicester begin their Premier League campaign at home to Wolves next Sunday, with Man City launching their title defence away at Tottenham the following day.



Story first published on The World Game, SBS

Link to original article

The World Game, SBS