After a workman-esque performance at home, the Manchester United faithful would have heaved a collective sigh of relief as the final whistle blew at Old Trafford in the Premier League‘s curtain-raiser yesterday.
The 2-1 victory was especially important for fans of the Red Devils, since the club failed to sign any real big-name players in the transfer window, much to the frustration of manager Jose Mourinho and the loyal supporters of the team.
Even though the performance may have only just been satisfactory, three points to get off the mark seem acceptable at this early stage of the new season.
And while a few United players impressed on Friday night, one particular youngster was on the mind of supporters much more than the other players on the pitch.
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Andreas Pereira, somewhat surprisingly, found himself in the starting line-up against Leicester City, and fans were curious to see what he brings to the table after playing well during pre-season and making a return to his parent club after a successful loan spell at Valencia.
And he didn’t disappoint. The 22-year-old looked calm on the ball, and allowed Fred and Pogba to move forward in attack, while expertly doing the job that players such as Nemanja Matic and Michael Carrick are more used to performing.
The central midfielder’s job was appreciated by fans, who took to Twitter and praised Pereira for his vast improvement and clear maturity.
Andreas Pereira's vs. Leicester:
91% pass accuracy
11 x possession gained
4 fouls conceded
3 tackles won
— Manchester United (@MUFCScoop) August 11, 2018
How good was Andreas Pereira last night? Looked totally unfazed and confident on the ball. Hope to see him go from strength to strength.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) August 11, 2018
Mourinho showed his faith in the youngster in the absence of the reliable Matic, and it looks like Pereira took his opportunity with both hands, showing his class and reminding everyone of his natural ability with a ball at his feet.