A late penalty from Kelechi Iheanacho helped Leicester win 1-0 over Manchester City in the Community Shield on Saturday, putting Jack Grealish in the spotlight.
Ihanachos shot a left-footed rocket from the spot to beat goalkeeper Zack Stephen in the 88th minute in the English season-opener, and Leicester celebrated once again at Wembley Stadium, where they won the FA Cup Final in May.
Grealish made his debut for City two days after the Premier League champions broke a British transfer fee record by paying £100m ($139m) to sign him from Aston Villa.
The midfielder came on in the 65th minute and about 10 minutes later was seen whistling as he went down the edge of the Leicester box.
He didn’t get it, but Iheanacho did after being taken down by defender Nathan Acke. The Nigerian international made no mistake by chance against his former team.
I’m really grateful for my team getting the trophy today, so I’m really happy, Ihanacho told ITV. “I think it was a penalty, he caught me, the referee saw it.
I am practicing punishment, he said. “I missed one last season so I was practicing in the pre-season. The only thing on my mind was, just shoot from the angle and hit hard.
City manager Pep Guardiola introduced teenagers Sam Edozzi and Cole Palmer, while established stars such as Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden were either injured or returning from summer vacation.
I would have liked to win the game, Guardiola said. Congrats to Leicester on the win, but the performance was really good. This phase of the season, and for the younger players to play the role, was excellent.
With a little luck and better decisions in the last third, he said, we could have scored. But with all the players out, the players who have trained together in the last two weeks have been exceptional. He said Grealish was really good.
Going against the aggressive, full back, every time he had the ball he would have three players around. Step by step he will find his best, the manager said.
As a traditional season cover-up, Community Shield is a cross between a competitive match and a president friendly. It was contested by the champion of the league and the FA Cup.
We know the preseason is over and players are still looking for fitness, but over the years it has become a major trophy and that is the mindset we want to bring to the team and the club,” said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers he said.
Leicester host Wolverhampton the following Saturday, and City tour Tottenham the following Sunday.