Kelechi Iheanacho came out of Manchester city four years ago on the way to Leicester, to whom he directed this Saturday to the title of the Community Armor, main protagonist and determinant of the triumph on the verge of the end in Wembley because of his faith, because he was subject to a penalty and because he himself transformed it (1-0) to frustrate Pep Guardiola and Jack Grealish, discreet in its debut.
While the spotlights were directed towards the billionaire signing, released with City with just one training session, when he entered the field in the 65th minute, no one was as decisive for the match as Ihenacho, also a substitute, but much more definitive when the match seemed destined for the uncertain penalty shootout.
It took no more than ten minutes. It is true that, already in 88, nothing would have been possible without the excess of confidence, the error or the concession, depending on the interpretation, of the central Aké when he received an inopportune -perhaps- pass behind Rodrigo, as much as without the Ihenacho’s pressure would all have ended in nothing. Not only did he take the ball from her, but he also promoted the winning penalty.
Later, he transformed the launch to make Leicester champion and to defeat City, which, still at the beginning of August, has a lot to refine, although its reduced version also depended on the special circumstances of this preseason, conditioned by the Eurocup and the Cup. America, because the great footballers, the most recognizable, have joined later.
Only three starters of the Champions
A comparison describes the situation: between the final of the Champions League against Chelsea last season and the Community Shield that marks the start of this year in England, only three players repeated in Guardiola’s eleven. Only center-back Ruben Dias, midfielder Ikkay Gundogan and winger Ryan Mahrez, the offensive highlight of a team that barely shot on goal.
Neither Kevin de Bruyne nor Phil Foden, in the process of recovery; neither Kyle Walker nor Raheem Sterling nor John Stones … Nor Rodrigo Hernández, on the bench first, on the field from minute 65. Yes, Ferrán Torres played, who was noted that it was only his first preseason game, that still needs more filming.
And Jack Grealish? A training session is just too little to break into the eleven immediately. Although the investment has exceeded one hundred million. Not even with a title at stake. Not with such significant casualties as Manchester City suffered. The millionaire signing waited on the bench for his debut the first half, warmed up from minute 48 and emerged on the field in minute 65 on the left wing, neither as overwhelming nor as conclusive as it will be when he has reached more minutes and kilometers of travel.
Data sheet:1 – Leicester: Schmeichel; Ricardo Pereira, Amartey, Soyuncu, Bertrand (Thomas, c. 79); Tielemans (Soumare, m. 70), Patience; Ayoze Pérez (Albrighton, d. 70), Maddison (Dewsbury-Hall, d. 70), Barnes (Ihenacho, d. 78); Vardy (Daka, m. 70).
0 – Manchester City: Steffen; Cancello, Ake, Dias, Mendy; Palmer (Bernardo Silva, m. 74), Fernandinho, Gundogan (Rodrigo, m. 65); Mahrez, Ferran Torres (Knight, d. 74) and Sam Edozie (Grealish, d. 65).
Goal: 1-0, m. 88: Ihenacho, from a penalty.
Incidents: Community Shield match, played at Wembley Stadium before about 50,000 spectators.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.