Jose Mourinho’s side scraped a victory against Leicester City in the first match of the season.
Manchester United secured three points against Leicester City on the 2018/19 Premier League’s opening night. The Red Devils grabbed a 2-1 win against the Foxes in front of their fans, courtesy of Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw. We take a look at five things we learnt from this match-
Paul Pogba is unstoppable in a free role
Paul Pogba was captain for the evening and also got United’s first goal in the match from the spot. He played in a free roaming position as his defensive midfielder’s role was occupied by Andreas Pereira. It has been mentioned a number of times, and it should be again- Paul Pogba is unstoppable playing freely. As observed versus Leicester, he was all over the pitch. He fell back to help out in defending, won aerial duels and also provided brilliant balls to the attackers.
Eric Bailly is indispensable
Eric Bailly, after today’s performance has to be one of the indispensable players from the Manchester United team. The former Villarreal man was an absolute beast in stopping the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Demarai Gray. While nothing could be done from his part to stop Vardy’s fortunate goal, he performed superbly throughout the match. His pairing with Victor Lindelof was brilliant. Eric Bailly also did a great deal to limit the attacking abilities of the Leicester forwards by showing his physical strength.
Luke Shaw deserves more chances
Luke Shaw was wonderful today, at the back and even while contributing towards the attack. He also scored his United career’s first goal at the Old Trafford. That made sure that the Red Devils got all three points and Luke Shaw probably won a bit of Mourinho’s faith. The former Southampton man had a fractious relationship with his boss, which could well be healed after tonight’s performance.
Juan Mata is Jose’s answer to right wing issues
Jose Mourinho had been linked with a lot of players in the transfer window. Most of them were right wingers. However, little did Mourinho know, his former Chelsea colleague would be the answer to his woes. Mata played beautifully alongside Sanchez and Rashford in the match. His defensive contribution was also commendable. An assist from a great lobbed ball capped off a good night for him.
United need to kill of games quickly
Manchester United were not convincing enough today despite grabbing all three points. Jamie Vardy’s late consolation did give Leicester some hope, but it was too late for them. The Red Devils had numerous chances today to wrap up the game and end the game with a margin of three or four goals. Sanchez needs to go for goal more often and Lukaku needs to work very hard on his finishing.