Manchester United 4–1 Leicester: Four Things We Learned

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Britain Football Soccer – Manchester United v Leicester City – Premier League – Old Trafford – 24/9/16
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba scores their fourth goal Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine

Goals from Pogba, Rashford, Mata, and Smalling ensured Manchester United the three points this afternoon, as the Red Devils cruised past last season’s Champions.

The Red Devils managed to scrape a win this afternoon, after losing their last two Premier League matches, with critics beginning to question Mourinho’s managerial skills.

Manchester United were 4-0 up at halftime and managed to hold on for the three points despite Leicester pulling one back.

The Red Devils managed to beat last season’s Premier League winners for the second time this season, after already beating them for the FA Community shield last month.

United looked refreshed from the start of the match. Jose Mourinho started the game with Chris Smalling captaining the Red Devils, while Wayne Rooney was left on the bench.

David De Gea started in goal, with Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind being used as full-backs. Captain Chris Smalling started alongside United’s new boy Eric Bailly in defense.

Pogba and Herrera were paired in front of the defensive back four, while Mata, Rashford, and Lingard were behind striker Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Chris Smalling opened up the scoring in the 22nd minute after he managed to head the ball in from a Daley Blind corner.

Manchester United’s second goal came from Juan Mata, who made his 150th start in the Premier League this afternoon. The Spaniard slotted one past Zieler with a powerful strike after series of passes within the team.

Marcus Rashford got Manchester United their third goal of the match, all but securing victory for the Red Devils. Daley Blind’s corner found Juan Mata, who drove a cross towards Rashford, who managed to tap the ball into the net.

Paul Pogba scored Manchester United’s fourth and final goal of the match, sealing the win for the Reds. The record signing managed to catch Daley Blind’s corner and head it past Zieler, scoring his first ever goal for United.

During the second half, Leicester City substitute Demarai Gray scored the Premier League Champions a consolation goal. Gray managed to find the net from a stunning, long-range shot, which caught De Gea off-guard.

Here are four things we learned from Manchester United’s 4-1 home win against Leicester City:

  1. Wayne Rooney’s time looks to be up at Manchester United

The Manchester United skipper started the match on the bench as Jose Mourinho opted for Juan Mata in his preferred role behind the first-choice striker Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Jose Mourinho’s decision not to start Rooney proved to be crucial as Manchester United easily cruised past Leicester this afternoon.

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The Red Devils looked more active, had more pace and a better attacking presence without Wayne Rooney commandeering the squad.

Juan Mata also managed to get a goal after a sensational string of passes from the Red Devils.

Zlatan, who didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet, also looked lively. He tried a few long range shots, but also concentrated on helping the team defend their win.

Jose Mourinho will definitely be faced with a tough task in deciding whether Rooney should start in United’s next match or not, but one thing is sure: Manchester United can cope without him at the moment.

  1. Paul Pogba is starting to adapt

Manchester United’s £89 million man has finally started showing signs of his old self from Juventus.

Pogba scored his first ever goal for Manchester United, and is sure to silence many critics after the performance he put in today.

Many began to bash Pogba after his first few games for Manchester United, but all the French International needed was time.

The fans expected instant results due to the astronomical fee paid for him, but even Mourinho made it clear that time is an important factor.

Pogba partnered up with Ander Herrera this afternoon, and the combination looks to be taking shape slowly.

Herrera sat back and allowed Pogba to venture forward and try to stir up the Leicester defense. Pogba even tried a few long-range shots, which excited the Manchester United fans.

All we can do now is sit back and watch his progress. He’s only 23, and starting to gain momentum – soon his £89 million price tag will be justified.

  1. Marcus Rashford continues scoring

The 18-year-old continued to make his presence known in the footballing world, after scoring his fourth goal of the season.

The youngster started the match on the left wing. His pace terrorized the opponent’s defense and his starting spot in Manchester United’s squad looks almost certain.

Jose Mourinho had plenty of praise for the youngster after United’s EFL Cup tie against Northampton, and he even admitted that he will be starting the youngster more often.

With Wayne Rooney’s struggling form, Rashford may even manage to get a spot behind Zlatan Ibrahimović, but the youngster has already stated that he is happy to play in any of the three positions behind the striker.

Anthony Martial, who Mourinho usually starts on the left wing, was not available for the match today, after he suffered a knock during United’s last Premier League match – a 3-1 loss away to Watford.

With Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming back from injury soon, it is likely that Mourinho will keep Rashford on the left-hand side while playing Mkhitaryan in the No. 10 position.

  1. Leicester City’s fairytale over?

Claudio Ranieri shook the entire footballing world last season, when he managed to guide Leicester City to the Premier League title triumph.

The Foxes managed to beat all the heavyweights to the title last season, but that doesn’t look to be the case this year, as the Foxes have only won two of their first six Premier League matches so far.

Ranieri and his side also have to cope with Champions League matches this season, and it looks like it’s definitely affecting their performances.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who were pivotal in Leicester’s title-winning squad last season, were subbed off during the start of the second half, as Ranieri began planning ahead for Leicester’s Champions League match next Tuesday.

We can’t write them off so early, but it doesn’t look good for the reigning English Champions at the moment.


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