Pit, pat, pit, pat. Right here comes Paul Pogba, for his penalty. Pit, pat, pit, pat. Little steps, a weird abstraction, as if he is began one thing and now can’t cease. Pit, pat, pit, pat, pit, pat. He is getting nearer now, advancing on the ball, 14 little hops and counting.
Then the stride lengthens, and the comedian vignette is at an finish and the ball is within the roof of Kasper Schmeichel’s web and Manchester United’s season is off and operating. That’s what successful a World Cup does for a participant. It fills him up: with confidence, bravery, wit, creativeness. Perhaps that it what the captain’s armband at Manchester United does, too.
Besides Pogba has had that earlier than and has not often performed with the swagger and certainty of Friday night time. If this wasn’t an announcement United victory it was as a result of Leicester stay very troublesome opponents, on their day, and few groups will discover it straightforward in opposition to them.
Paul Pogba captained Manchester United, and gave them the right begin with a penalty after simply three minutes
Pogba – after an informal run-up – planted the spot kick within the high nook to present United the right begin to the brand new season
The World Cup successful midfielder – linked with a transfer away from United – is congratulated by his crew mates for scoring
United struggled to construct on their lead for lengthy durations earlier than left again Luke Shaw made the three factors secure with this aim
The house facet noticed out the nervy final couple of minutes after Jamie Vardy scored following a cross that got here again off publish
MATCH FACTS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
MAN UTD (4-3-3): De Gea 7; Darmian 5.5, Lindelof 6.5, Bailly 7, Shaw 6.5; Fred 7 (McTominay 76, 6), Pereira 6.5, Pogba 8 (Fellaini 83; Mata 7, Rashford 6 (Lukaku 67, 6), Sanchez 6
Unused subs: Grant, Smalling, Younger, Martial
Targets: Pogba pen 3, Shaw 83
Bookings: Fred 54, Andreas 69
LEICESTER (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel 7; Amartey 6 (Ghezzal 63, 6), Morgan 6, Maguire 7, Chilwell 7; Ndidi 6, Silva 7 (Iborra 80); Ricardo 6, Maddison 7 (Vardy 63, 6), Grey 7; Iheanacho 6
Unused subs: Ward, Evans, Fuchs, Albrighton
Objective: Vardy 90+2
Bookings: Amartey 51, Maddison 54
Referee: Andre Marriner 7
Star man: Paul Pogba
Rankings by Chris Wheeler
Season at a look
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
Marcus Rashford ran arduous however was unable to supply a constant aim menace for Manchester United, as his warmth map exhibits, and was changed on 66 minutes. For extra stats and info, try out unique MATCH ZONE service by
United did not however neither facet, to be truthful, might area their strongest beginning crew so quickly after the World Cup. United didn’t introduce Romelu Lukaku till halfway by the second-half, whereas Jesse Lingard couldn’t even safe a spot within the squad. Pogba captained within the absence of Antonio Valencia though seeing what it introduced from him, will Mourinho be tempted to make the change everlasting?
He actually appeared impressed with Pogba’s willingness to play so quickly after his exertions on the World Cup, and if the participant’s head has been turned by Barcelona, he confirmed no signal of it with an lively, diligent show.
A report this week claimed Manchester United acquired essentially the most luck of all Premier League groups final season and it might be argued that’s persevering with. The handball given in opposition to Daniel Armatey from an Alexis Sanchez shot after two minutes regarded harsh. He had his arms by his physique and was turning away however Andre Marriner seized an early likelihood to become involved and pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Pogba, forward of Marcus Rashford, beginning striker and shoot-out scorer in Russia – and so it started, the prolonged pitter-patter run-up. Had Pogba missed, he would have been a laughing inventory. He would have recognized that, too, however did it anyway. That’s what a World Cup winners’ medal offers you. In his thoughts, it was by no means unsure.
Pogba regarded assured earlier than he struck the penalty, performing a small-stepped, shimmying run as much as the ball to shoot
Daniel Amartey gave away the penalty when he was judged to have dealt with within the space after an Alexis Sanchez shot
Luke Shaw had by no means scored a aim in senior soccer earlier than he burst into the field and slotted into the far proper hand nook
Shaw – who has beforehand been a magnet for criticism at United – is embraced after scoring what proved the successful aim
Jose Mourinho – who has been a vocal critic of Shaw’s health and performances – celebrated the participant’s aim with gusto
Had Belgium received the World Cup, as many felt they might, maybe Lukaku would have taken the great alternative to finish the competition that was offered after 78 minutes, after Sanchez put him in with solely Schmeichel to beat. As a substitute, like father like son at Previous Trafford, the goalkeeper got here charging out, unfold himself and the ball clipped a leg and spun over the bar.
It was left to Luke Shaw, of all individuals, to safe victory. So usually the whipping boy right here, Shaw has by no means scored a aim at senior degree for any membership, however this was fantastically taken. He obtained a crossfield move from Juan Mata tried to put it off, acquired a bit fortunate with the spin, however skipped round his man to say it on the opposite facet and end first time.
After such a depressing summer time, seemingly, this was the fillip United wanted. With a two aim cushion, Mourinho eliminated Pogba, however this did not really feel like judgement, extra the pragmatic name of a supervisor who won’t be feeling as negatively about his possibilities this season as some suspect.
He will not have appreciated Leicester’s late riposte, although – poached by Jamie Vardy after David De Gea and Eric Bailly had blended up and left a cross from Ricardo which clipped the far publish and got here out to the lurking England striker.
Vardy poached a aim after David De Gea and Eric Bailly blended up and left a cross from Ricardo which clipped the far publish
Vardy raced straight again to the centre circle after scoring as Leicester chased a degree, however finally they ran out of time
Romelu Lukaku began on the bench for United, whereas Harry Maguire was at Previous Trafford in blue after his mooted transfer failed
James Maddison, a £24million summer time signing for Leicester from Norwich, impressed on his Premier League debut
Maddison had Leicester’s finest alternative of the primary half with a strike from 12 yards brilliantly saved by David De Gea
De Gea makes an attempt a punch from a Leicester nook, positioned beneath inadvertent stress from his personal captain Pogba
Ricardo, one other summer time signing for the Foxes, takes a shot from distance that was deflected huge by Pogba for a nook
Within the three campaigns since successful the league, Leicester have now conceded the primary aim of the season every time. Hull, Arsenal and now United the opponents, but if this truth makes Leicester seem ultimately comfortable, the opening 45 minutes right here might be submitted as proof on the contrary.
True, Leicester had been a aim down after three minutes at Previous Trafford however what occurred after that confirmed that Claude Puel’s facet will likely be no pushovers this season. They gave United a rattling good run for the cash, the breakneck pace with which Mourinho’s gamers began the sport subsiding as cavalier ambition gave technique to realism.
They weren’t going to comb Leicester off the pitch in spite of everything. They wanted to be wise, to work arduous defending their aim, to comprise. This wasn’t a damaging plan – United wished to get ahead – however a results of Leicester’s counter-attacking. Ben Chilwell was a big menace on the left, and Matteo Darmian was stretched to the total in opposition to him; the spectacular Demarai Grey will certainly profit from the alternatives afforded by Riyad Mahrez’s sale. As for James Maddison, he was a relentless menace, his motion troubling Eric Bailly, who can look completed one second, naive the following – maybe why Mourinho was out there for a centre-half.
Pogba had one other likelihood to attain for United with a well-struck volley from distance, however the keeper simply handled it
Leicester struggled with a aim menace within the second half, although they got here shut when De Gea saved Demarai Grey’s flick
Rashford, who began within the central striker function with Lukaku benched, battles with England World Cup crew mate Maguire
Rashford ran arduous however was unable to supply a constant aim menace for United, and was changed by Lukaku on 66 minutes
The Belgium worldwide then ought to have scored when clear 10 yards out, however Kasper Schmeichel made a superb save
So United acquired the breakthrough, however Leicester had the a lot of the possession and threatened to do some harm with it, too. What can by no means be underestimated, nonetheless, is that United have the most effective goalkeeper within the league. Chelsea could have damaged Liverpool’s world file charge within the place this summer time, however neither Alisson nor Kepa Arrizabalaga are a patch on David De Gea.
Actual Madrid could have taken Thibaut Courtois however that was solely as a result of he was accessible and De Gea was not. The World Cup was not variety to him, however De Gea is, for now, nonetheless the goalkeeper to beat within the Premier League – and within the 26th minute, he demonstrated why that does not occur too usually.
A sustained interval of stress from Leicester ended with Wilfred Ndidi squaring the ball into the field, the place it fell to Maddison. He acquired a robust connection from shut vary, however someway De Gea stretched out an arm and palmed it away. How had hand-held sturdy, who is aware of? It was a type of pictures that take a look at skeletal construction as a lot as agility or resolve. It might be hasty to declare the save of the season after the opening recreation, nevertheless it’s truthful to say that is the early one to beat.
On the different finish, Kasper Schmeichel was surprisingly untroubled given the beginning Manchester United made. Quickly after Pogba’s penalty, an extended ball performed excessive by Juan Mata introduced him scurrying from his line to clear however, that apart, there was little to check him within the first-half not less than. Shaw minimize in from the left facet and may have accomplished higher along with his shot, nevertheless it went straight at Schmeichel. Whereas United regarded full of life and energetic on the counter, as Leicester began inflicting issues of their very own, so these sorties grew few and much between.
There may be clearly promise right here, although, and Fred will likely be some participant as soon as he adjusts to English soccer. At instances right here he regarded precisely the type of participant to dovetail with Pogba in midfield; at others he appeared to wish a shake of the reins to remind him that the sport on this nation, whereas not essentially the most effective, is exclusive in its ferocious tempo and calls for. That’s the reason the season opens with the depth of final night time; and why it actually ought to convey the most effective out of a personality like Pogba.
United supervisor Mourinho – sad with the membership’s summer time transfers – makes notes after his crew began completely
The Stretford Finish at Previous Trafford was packed beneath the floodlights on Friday night time for the Premier League season opener