Jack Grealish’s Manchester City debut was spoiled by Kelechi Iheanacho as the Leicester striker’s late penalty clinched a 1-0 win in the Community Shield on Saturday.
All eyes were on Grealish when he came on as a second half substitute following his British record £100 million ($139 million) move from Aston Villa on Thursday.
After training with his new team-mates for the first time on Friday, Grealish replaced Sam Edozie in the 65th minute and looked lively in his cameo appearance.
Grealish, the most expensive English player of all-time, carried more threat than any of his team-mates.
But Grealish’s first game in a City shirt ended in disappointment as Iheanacho netted the last minute winner from the penalty spot after the Nigerian was hauled down by Nathan Ake.
Defeat in the annual curtain raiser to the English top-flight season will matter little to City if they can replicate last term’s superb form, which carried them to Premier League and League Cup glory.
But the Champions League runners-up start their title defence at Tottenham on August 15 with an unsettled look that will concern Pep Guardiola.
With Guardiola admitting City’s interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane on Friday, it was notable that his team lacked the kind of cutting edge the England captain would surely provide.
Persuading Tottenham to sell for less than their £150 million ($208 million) asking price remains City’s hope, but they might be advised to splash on the evidence of this largely toothless display.
Admittedly, City were without Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden after the playmakers both suffered injuries at Euro 2020