United punish Leicester City to silence Mourinho critics

Manchester United have given their strongest display of the season, overpowering champions Leicester City 4-1 at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard

Paul Pogba celebrates his goal with Jesse Lingard. Source: AFP

Wayne Rooney's absence from the starting side seemed to make little difference in the early stages of the match, as the Red Devils found themselves on the back foot against a Leicester team who started the game in an attacking mind-frame, looking to counter at every chance.

Islam Slimani, Jamie Vardy and even Robert Huth had their chances in the opening twenty minutes of the match but it was Chris Smalling, United's stand-in captain, who opened the scoring off a Daley Blind corner 23 minutes in, putting a powerful header into the back of the net past Leicester keeper Ron-Robert Zieler.

From that point on it was like a flick had been switched, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic gifting a perfectly placed through-ball to Marcus Rashford on the counter who mistimed his shot into the stands, then minutes later was followed by a Pogba chip from outside the box through to a chasing Ibrahimovic who again failed to find the back of the net.

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Juan Mata ensured the pressure was rewarded, scoring off a Lingard knock-down after a prolonged period of pressure with a beautiful volley from just inside the box at the 37 minute mark, as the Foxes defence went missing.

"We were very strong... it's a great result." Well summed up, boss! #MUFC #MUTVHD https://t.co/0ZvWfaeS1x — Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 24, 2016
Rashford following up off a Mata corner while Leicester's backs were turned, then Paul Pogba opened his account with United at the 42 minute mark, again scoring off a corner to put his team up 4-0 going into the break. 

The second half was a closely contested affair, with Demarai Gray ensuring David de Gea wouldn't keep a clean sheet, scoring with a stunning long-range strike.

Leicester City's efforts weren't enough as the match finished 4-1 in United's favour, Jose Mourinho no doubt thankful as ever for a win with pressure mounting for results.

Speaking after the match, Mourinho insisted the 83rd-minute substitute Rooney remains a part of his plans after a disappointing opening spell of the season.

"He is a big player for me, a big player for Untied and a big payer for this country," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"I have nothing else to say, he is my man I trust him completely.

"His team won, his United won. That's normal (that he is happy)."


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3 min read
Published 24 September 2016 at 5:44pm
Source: SBS