EPL Community Shield: Kelechi Iheanacho Breaks 20 Years History In Leicester City’s Win Over Man City
By Amaechi Agbo
Super Eagles attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho came of the bench on Saturday to earn and score a penalty and hand Leicester City a 1-0 win over EPL Champions, Manchester City in the 2021 Community Shield, with the goal breaking a 20-year old history in the competition, www.bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Substitute Iheanacho confidently despatched a late penalty as Leicester stunned Manchester City to claim the Community Shield at Wembley.
The 24 years old became the first player to score a penalty in a Community Shield final – excluding shootouts – since Gary McAllister for Liverpool v Manchester United in 2001.
Iheanacho’s compatriot, Wilfred Ndidi was at his destructive best, winning the ball back eight times, making five tackles and contributing three interceptions.
In his ninth game in all competitions against his former side, Iheanacho scored his first goal against Manchester City with what was his sixth shot attempt against the Citizens.
The meeting of last season’s Premier League champions and FA Cup winners was absorbing in parts and looked to be heading for penalties, but Iheanacho struck from the spot into the top corner with a minute remaining after being tripped by Nathan Ake.
City’s record £100m signing Jack Grealish was given his debut on 65 minutes, but he could not muster a clear-cut opportunity for a much-changed team.
Ilkay Gundogan saw an arrowed free-kick superbly tipped over the crossbar by Kasper Schmeichel and the German midfielder also blazed over a first-time effort from 10 yards out.
At the other end, Manchester City handed a teenage Nigerian, Sam Edozie, 18, a start
Winger Edozie had scored in all three pre-season friendlies and was presented with a golden opportunity in the first half via Gundogan’s through ball, but the youngster screwed his effort wide in front of the Leicester end.
Edozie’s darting run in the second half drew a foul on the edge of the box, but Riyad Mahrez curled the resulting free-kick from the edge of the box over the bar.
Leicester City’s win, excluding 2019, when Manchester City appeared as Double winners, ensured that the FA Cup winners have won the Community Shield in six of the past seven campaigns, with the exception being Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in 2018.
Leicester City coach, Brendan Rodgers described the victory as a “special feeling”
“There was a great feeling coming here today. Every Leicester player, fan, staff member coming here, it was a really special feeling.
“We wanted to take that into the game and keep that feeling going, and thankfully we’ve done that.l,” he told BBC
The Community Shield is the traditional curtain raiser for the 2021/2022 EPL season which gets underway on Friday with newcomers, Brentford hostings former champions, Arsenal on Friday night kick-off.
Leicester open their Premier League campaign with a home match against Wolves on Saturday, while Manchester City are away at Tottenham on Sunday