Ibrahimovic heads winner for Man United in Community Shield

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares LONDON (AP) — Manchester United hired Jose 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 on Sunday as United beat Leicester 2-1 in the Community Shield — the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season — and give 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, its most high-profile offseason 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.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 meters out. He slalomed past both of Leicester’s center backs, Robert Huth and Morgan, darted past Danny Simpson and slid a finish under goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.Jamie Vardy equalized 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.Mourinho blamed Fellaini’s mistake on the slowness of the Wembley field.Ahmed Musa, Leicester’s club-record signing this offseason, was brought on at halftime and his pace, allied to Vardy’s, worried United. Eric Bailly, one of United’s three signings so far, lost his composure after a strong first half and was booked for fouls on Musa and Vardy.Musa missed a great chance — a header from five meters out — before Ibrahimovic’s goal.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.Victory was all that mattered to the Portuguese coach, who hopes to soon be welcoming Pogba to Old Trafford after United announced earlier Sunday that the Juventus midfielder was set for a medical examination.“It’s an important victory but we have lots of work to do,” Mourinho said. “It was a positive performance for this moment of the season. It’s always important to start with a trophy.”last_img

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