The 2016 Community Shield sees Premier League champions Leicester City take on FA Cup victors Manchester United in the curtain raiser for the fast-approaching season. The Foxes surprised everybody in maintaining their title push until the very end when they were crowned champions with two matches remaining. United, on the other hand, had a very indifferent campaign. The Reds finished outside the top four for the second time in the last three years, finishing level on points with rivals Manchester City. For all of Louis van Gaal’s flaws, he did bring FA Cup success to Old Trafford for the first time since 2004, although that wasn’t enough to save him from the inevitable sacking that quickly followed suit.
Let’s take a look at United’s last three meetings with Sunday’s opponents, all of which came under the management of Dutchman Louis van Gaal.
Manchester United 1-1 Leicester City, Premier League – 1st May 2016
The league leaders headed to Old Trafford knowing that a win in United’s backyard would secure Leicester’s first ever top-flight title. The Reds weren’t going to roll over as they knew a win would put them back in contention for the top four places.
It was the worse possible start for Claudio Ranieri’s side as Anthony Martial fired the home side into the lead with eight minutes on the clock however Foxes captain Wes Morgan out-muscled United’s defence to level proceedings just nine minutes later. Both sides had plenty of chances to win it and although former United man Danny Drinkwater got sent off late on, Leicester held on and claimed the Premier League title the following evening when Spurs threw away a 2-0 lead against Chelsea.
Leicester City 1-1 Manchester United, Premier League – 28th November 2015
This match will always go down in Premier League history, not for the game itself but for the record that was broken during it. Leicester striker Jamie Vardy was in red-hot form going into this game, having scored in 10 consecutive top-flight matches, equaling ex-United man Ruud van Nistelrooy who held the record for twelve years from 2003.
The in-form striker latched onto an inch-perfect pass from left-back Christian Fuchs before striking across David De Gea in the United goal to put the Foxes ahead and in doing so, breaking van Nistelrooy’s goalscoring record. The Reds hit back on the stroke of half-time when Bastian Schweinsteiger headed in his first Manchester United goal from a Daley Blind in-swinging corner and that’s how it stayed leaving Leicester and United second and third in the table respectively.
Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City, Premier League – 31st January 2015
What a difference a season and a half makes. Leicester was rock bottom of the Premier League as we entered the final four months of the 2014/15 campaign. The Reds brushed their opponents aside with three first-half goals, cementing the Foxes to the bottom of the pile. However, Leicester went on to lose just five of their remaining 15 league games, finishing four places and six points above the drop zone.
The opening goal was made and finished in Holland. Daley Blind chipped the ball over the defence to find Robin van Persie who was given the benefit of the doubt by the linesman before powering in a right-footed half-volley. Radamel Falcao doubled United’s lead just five minutes later before Wes Morgan put through his own net on the stroke of half-time giving the Reds a comfortable margin at the interval. Marcin Wasilewski scored a consolation for the visitors but that’s all it was as the game finished 3-1 to the hosts.