Manchester United clinch a hard-fought 2-0 win over Leicester City, as Mourinho’s men maintain their 100% league record this season. Substitutes Rashford and Fellaini scored for the home side, who now have three wins in three matches this season.
The first half ended goalless, but saw both sides create ample of chances. United dominated possession and were the dominant side, but saw Pogba hit some brilliant strikes just wide, while other decent strikes by Lukaku, Mata and Martial were well saved by Kasper Schmeichel. Mata had a goal ruled out offside, while Leicester came closest to scoring a goal when Okazaki’s tame effort from distance was easily caught by De Gea.
The second half wasn’t as one sided as the first, and United had a great chance just minutes after the break as Simpson’s handball gifted United a penalty. However, Lukaku’s spot kick was well saved by Schmeichel. The miss heaped pressure on the home side, who were trying their best to score a goal which they deserved. Rashford, just three minutes after coming on for Mata, scored the first of the evening as he found the net after being unmarked for Mkhitaryan’s corner. Fellaini then rounded off the hard-fought win as he deflected Lingard’s shot into the net.
With this win, United stay top of the table after three fixtures, and go into the international break with an impeccable league record.
Here are the major Talking Points from the match:
What’s all the hype about?
Many United fans, myself included, have been pretty hopeful of our team this season, and a couple of big margin victories over Swansea and West Ham had led the fans into believing that we would win the league this season. None of the opponents we’ve faced are top 8 teams this season, and if we just manage to scrape through with a hard-fought win against Leicester with a full-strength team, what happens when we play a title rival. Mourinho has been right in saying that such wins don’t matter too much, as his team hasn’t really been tested against big oppositions yet. The fans shouldn’t get too much excited just yet, and have realistic expectations of our team this season.
Substitutes save the day
The match was heading towards a draw but just when Leicester started looking dangerous, Mourinho introduced Rashford and then Fellaini to alter the course of the game. And it worked like magic- Rashford scored the opening goal of the day from Mkhitaryan’s corner, while Fellaini also managed to get on the score sheet as he diverted Lingard’s shot past Schmeichel. This shows that Mourinho has a lot of squad depth and has many players on the bench he can rely on. Of all the reasons why United looks set to challenge at the top this season, availability of so many match-changers is probably the most enviable feature for rival coaches.
Beautiful football by United
The first half saw United play so well that they were unlucky to have not scored two or maybe three goals. The free flowing, end-to-end and expansive football reminded the fans of Sir Alex’s days, and this was a welcome sight for many. Mourinho has a lot of expectations on his shoulder and playing beautiful football is high on the agenda. If his team manages to play this way week in week out, it’s only a matter of time before they return to the top of the league and possibly Europe very soon.
Quiet evening for Lukaku
Lukaku had a day to forget, as he was kept quiet by a solud Leicester defence. Maguire, in particular, didn’t give too much space to the Belgian, whose link-up play was still good despite being surrounded by so many players. He even missed a penalty, as his tame effort was well saved by Schmeichel. He’s had a good start to his United career, but things didn’t go his way this time.
Resilient Foxes Defence
United made abundant of chances in the first half but couldn’t manage to score deserved goals. The impressive centre-back duo of Maguire and Morgan, coupled with the brilliant Schmeichel in goal, made United work a lot for a goal. Had there not been any confusion in the defence which led to Rashford’s goal, things could’ve been very different for the Foxes whose defence was simply sensational today.