Here are five things we learned from today’s Community Shield final.
Eric Bailly will be United’s hero and villain
The defender made his United debut after a move from Villarreal and has the potential to be a crowd favourite as well as a target for abuse. His unorthodox style will land him in trouble but also allows him to throw himself into last-ditch challenges to save his team. Bailly’s battle with Jamie Vardy brought a yellow card for a rash shoulder barge but there will be plenty of golden moments - good and bad - from the centre-back this season.
United need Paul Pogba
While spending a figure close to €120million on a player who you let go four years ago is not entirely great business sense, he is needed at Old Trafford. Marouane Fellaini’s awful back-pass gifted Vardy a second-half equaliser and the midfielder had rarely imposed himself on the game before then. The Belgium international is likely the one who will lose his place when Pogba completes a world-record move from Juventus, and will have given Jose Mourinho plenty of excuses to banish him from the first team along with Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Jamie Vardy can shine again
It has been a distracting summer for Vardy, but the striker looked back to his best at Wembley. He was presented with the equaliser by Fellaini’s gaffe but showed great composure to round David De Gea and slot in. His rejection of Arsenal and decision to sign a new deal at Leicester, along with Euro 2016 disappointment with England, and his wedding, had already put him in the spotlight but he shrugged off any extra pressure to be Leicester’s talisman again.
Wayne Rooney needs to find himself and his form
Wayne Rooney suffered a miserable summer with England and hardly looked like putting any ghosts to rest at Wembley. The United skipper was unimpressive and struggled to work in tandem with debutant Ibrahimovic. Too often his touch let him down and his only effort on goal was a tame first-half header straight at Kasper Schmeichel. Ibrahimovic did little before popping up with a late winner to show Rooney what needed to be done.
Juan Mata’s days at Old Trafford look numbered
Mourinho may simply have wanted to give Henrikh Mkhitaryan a debut at Wembley but did so at the expense of embarrassing Mata.
The midfielder was a 63rd-minute replacement for Jesse Lingard but was hauled off in stoppage time and, clearly unhappy, had an exchange with the Portuguese on the touchline.
Mourinho, let’s not forget, sold Mata to United while he was still in charge at Chelsea and history is likely to repeat itself if yesterday’s evidence is anything to go by.
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