Jack Grealish’s first trophy with Manchester City will have to wait. Two days after officially joining the reigning English Premier League champions from Aston Villa in a record $ 139 million British transfer deal, Grealish and his new club lost the Community Shield to Leicester City 1-0 in a goal from last minute penalty.
The penalty was converted by Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho, who was also the player who fouled in the area. Man City central defender Nathan Ake was guilty of the infraction after the Nigerian forward caught him with the ball.
Grealish entered the game while still 0-0 in the 65th minute, but was unable to help his team find a breakthrough. Here’s how he did it, along with other key takeaways:
Grealish calm in his debut
His 25-minute second-half second-half appearance in place of left winger Samuel Edozie was enough time to get his feet wet with his new teammates. He didn’t do much else. Grealish’s game was mostly simple, short passes to his teammates down the left flank. He sent a pass into the box for Bernardo Silva and at the end of the game, with his team down 1-0, he made a foray into the heart of the penalty area, but was hit before he could shoot.
Here’s his full SofaScore statistic snapshot after the match:
- Minutes: 25
- Touches: 25
- Passing precision: 94 percent (15 of 16)
- Key passes: 1
- Great opportunities created: 1
- Dribble successfully: 1 of 4 attempts
- Duels won: 1 of 7 duels
- Lost possessions: 7
This was exactly the type of match he was brought in to help solve this season – his dribbling and creativity are supposed to help take down opponents who are well structured on defense. But Grealish didn’t try anything too daring in his first appearance and he didn’t take on many Leicester players one-on-one.
Cameras caught him chatting with left-back Benjamin Mendy after the final whistle and it seemed like a chat meant to put the two of them on the same page. There are plenty of those that will happen before Saturday’s first Premier League game at Tottenham.
Steffen was the star of the game
The American goalkeeper was the starter with the regular number one Ederson and other Man City starters who participated in the Euro and America’s Cup still making their way back to the team. But he made the most of it and was arguably the best player on the field for his team.
Steffen was incredibly calm under pressure with his passes outside of his own box, and he had a variety of saves that showed his range and skill as a world-class goalie – two saves on his line, two on the verge of penalty. boxing, a point-blank save and then another on a patented reflex kick that sent Leicester’s shot into the post and out. Here was his stat box:
- Minutes: 90
- Save: 4
- Touches: 30
- Free spaces: 1
- Passing Accuracy: 93% (13 of 14)
Steffen also hit the Iheanacho penalty, but was just enough to pass his outstretched hands.
It was as if Steffen wanted to remind all fans of the US national team that he is still number one in the USMNT pecking order after all the hype around Nations League star Ethan Horvath and Gold Cup standout Matt Turner.
Man City vs. Leicester City lineup (4-3-3, from left to right): Steffen-GK – Mendy, Ake, Dias, Cancelo – Gundogan (65 ‘Rodri), Fernandinho, Palmer (74’ Silva) – Edozie (65 ‘Grealish), Torres ( 74 ‘Knight), Mahrez
Leicester is back in business this season
After consecutive fifth-place finals in the English Premier League (top 10 in each of the last four seasons) and an FA Cup trophy last year, the Foxes finally have to ditch the lovable underdog tag at some point. . This is a strong team that got stronger this offseason and should be a contender in Europe and on the home front.
They beat Chelsea for the FA Cup in May and beat a Manchester City team for the Community Shield (granted, a very short Manchester City). But they did it with a style of play that can be effective against the Big Six and is one they have grown used to under Brendan Rodgers. It is based on a commitment to defense and quick transitions to attack.
The newcomers are also moving to the right: Ryan Bertrand started the game on the left back, electric forward Patson Daka teamed up with Iheanacho in a 4-4-2 late in the second half, and the former Lille player Boubakary Soumare looked comfortable in midfield alongside Wilfried. Ndidi.
Leicester City have a great chance to get off to a good start in the league and make a strong statement about their ambitions this year after missing out on qualifying for the Champions League for two years in a row. The Foxes host Man City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in the toughest of their first 12 games. Those head-to-head battles will go a long way in telling us how high the Foxes can climb this year. They open at home against the Wolves on matchday one.
Leicester City vs. Man City lineup (4-2-3-1, from left to right): Schmeichel-GK – Bertrand (78 ‘Thomas), Soyunco, Amartey, Ricardo – Ndidi, Tielemans (71’ Soumare) – Barnes (78 ‘Iheanacho), Maddison ( 71 ‘Dewsbury-Hall), Ayoze (71’ Albrighton) – Vardy (71 ‘Daka)
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.