Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late winner as Manchester United secured the 2016 Community Shield with a 2-1 victory over Premier League champions Leicester City.
The Swede outjumped Wes Morgan to head past Kasper Schmeichel, sending the Red Devils back in front after Jamie Vardy had cancelled out Jesse Lingard’s opener.
The win secured Jose Mourinho his first silverware as United boss, but the performances of both teams left much to be desired in what was nothing more than a glorified friendly.
It was the Foxes who got the game underway, but United who registered the first chance of a tight and tense opening passage – Wayne Rooney directing a weak Luke Shaw cross towards goal with his head, which Schmeichel easily held.
Marouane Fellaini, playing in a holding midfield role, also had a weak attempt saved by the keeper, as the Red Devils failed to turn their dominance of the ball into serious chances on goal. Leicester slowly grew into the game, and the first time Jamie Vardy got to show his pace, the Foxes registered a good chance.
The England international broke through the centre of the pitch, and played the ball towards strike partner Shinji Okazaki. He turned with possession and sent a left-footed shot flying towards goal, which deflected wide for a corner.
From the resultant corner, the Japanese international crashed a header against the bar, as the Premier League champions came closest to breaking the deadlock. Claudio Ranieri’s men had grown into the game after a slow start, but they were undone by a moment of genius from Lingard, who opened the scoring after a miraculous solo run.
Breaking through the centre of the pitch, he beat five Foxes players – who, admittedly, made it easy for him – and the 23-year-old sent a composed finish past Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.
The goal brought a renewed vigour to the Red Devils, the impressive Shaw causing chaos on the left flank. Danny Simpson was being given the run around with the full-back and Anthony Martial combining, and he was booked for a blatant trip on Wayne Rooney five minutes from the half-time whistle.
With United having taken the initiative at the end of the opening period, Ranieri responded by bringing on summer signing Ahmed Musa and young winger Demarai Gray at the break.
The combined pace of the trio caused the Red Devils backline a number of problems, and it was from their high-pressing that Leicester pulled the game level. Musa charged down the left wing before seeing his pass inside intercepted by Fellaini.
Thinking the attack had broken down, the Belgian international prodded a weak pass back to goalkeeper David de Gea – unaware that Vardy was sniffing around.
The 29-year-old easily claimed the free ball as it rolled into the area, and after rounding the Spanish keeper, he finished into the open net.
Leicester were sensing weakness in the United defence, and started to attack with gleeful abandon. Gray forced a save from De Gea with an attempt from outside the box, before sending a curling free-kick into the area which the keeper had to come and claim.
United managed to tame the Leicester threat, but they were struggling to create many chances themselves. Rooney curled a weak shot straight at Schmeichel, whilst the ineffective Ibrahimovic kept attempting to play his strike partner in to little effect.
The Swede did see his toe-poked attempt cleared off the line by Danny Drinkwater, before Musa missed a glorious chance to grab a winner when he flicked Robert Huth’s header just over the bar from only yards out. And that miss came back to haunt the Foxes, as Ibrahimovic made up for his generally poor performance by netting the winning goal in the final minutes.
Antonio Valencia sent a cross in from the right after some great solo work, and the summer arrival from PSG jumped highest to nod the ball past Schmeichel at the far post, earning Jose Mourinho his first piece of silverware as Manchester United manager.