Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Ibrahimovic heads winner for Man United in Community Shield

Published:Monday | August 8, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (centre) holds the trophy after Manchester won the Community Shield soccer match against Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in London yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Manchester United hired JosÈ Mourinho and signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to bring a winning mentality and trophies to a fallen English giant.

Barely a month at United and they've already made their mark.

Ibrahimovic headed in an 83rd-minute winner yesterday as United beat Leicester City 2-1 in the Community Shield - the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season - and gave Mourinho his first piece of silverware as Old Trafford.

"That's what it's all about, winning trophies," Ibrahimovic said. "This is why I came. Hopefully, I can win much more than this."

On the day United moved closer to signing Paul Pogba in potentially a world-record transfer, their most high-profile off-season signing so far made an immediate impact, despite having a quiet game by his high standards at Wembley Stadium.

Ibrahimovic was lurking at the back post when Antonio Valencia floated over a cross from the right wing. Beating Wes Morgan in the air, Ibrahimovic planted a downward header against the post and the ball rebounded over the line.

The Community Shield is nothing more than a friendly match between the winners of last season's Premier League (Leicester) and FA Cup (United), but both teams treated it seriously and Ibrahimovic proudly hailed it as the 31st title of his trophy-filled career.

"Something big is going on with our team," Ibrahimovic said, before walking with his teammates up the Wembley steps to lift the shield to explosions of ticker-tape.

SPECTACULAR GOAL

Eleven weeks after scoring an extra-time winner for United in the FA Cup final at Wembley, Jesse Lingard returned to the stadium to put his team ahead in the 32nd minute with a solo goal that started 45 metres out. He slalomed past both of Leicester's centre backs, Robert Huth and Morgan, darted past Danny Simpson and slid a finish under goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Jamie Vardy equalised for the League champions in the 52nd, pouncing on a short back pass from Marouane Fellaini, who had done well initially to track back and break up play. However, his pass to goalkeeper David de Gea was underhit, allowing the alert Vardy to round De Gea and shoot in left-footed from an acute angle.

In injury time, Mourinho took off Juan Mata, who had only been on the field 30 minutes as a substitute. Mata, who was sold to United by Mourinho when the coach was at Chelsea, looked unhappy at a decision that was Mourinho at his ruthless best.