Manchester United earned their three points against a reeling Leicester City squad on Saturday at Old Trafford. With a final score of 4-1, Jose Mourinho‘s Red Devils get back in the win column after having lost its last two matches.
Mourinho’s Manchester United Dismantle Leicester City
Where does this leave Leicester City?
Leicester were never supposed to win the league last season. Indeed, pundits were writing them off for much of last season, just waiting for the team to be exposed. They didn’t crack. But this season is a different story.
Claudio Ranieri‘s Leicester were revered last campaign for their stalwart defending and vicious counterattacks. If today’s loss to United is indicative of what fans should expect moving forward, there is a lot to fear through the long 38-match season for the Foxes.
No play was a better marker than the goal given up to Marcus Rashford. The striker was found wide open in front of goal, unmarked and uncontested, after a routine corner. That simply would not have been the case last season. And if fans are concerned about the lack of goals, they should be more so about the ones finding their way past Ron-Robert Zieler.
Leicester finished with only 33% possession today. While that might be disappointing, they weren’t a possession team last year either. The difference? They defended as a unit, which was missing entirely from today’s match.
Statement match for Manchester United?
After two poor league performances in as many weeks, and a lacklustre mid-week clash in European competition, Jose Mourinho had an important task this weekend. Many television pundits took opportunities to draw comparisons to his disappointing spell on Chelsea‘s sideline. It was important to squash the speculation that he might have ‘lost the room’ early this season.
The decision to leave Wayne Rooney out of the starting line-up drew some speculation that the England international is out of favour with the manager. As the match went on, the actual starters seemed to gel very well. It became increasingly apparent that the decision might be one that becomes the norm.
Rooney did receive a cameo role in the 83rd minute when he was brought in for goalscorer Marcus Rashford. It had a real feeling of a changing of the guard.
The club had a sizzling first half, scoring four goals before the half-time whistle. Forwards were getting into prime positions, which is as much to do with their quality as Leicester’s inability to play as a unit. While the visitors got one back, it was a very strong statement match against the league’s current holders.
Manchester United 4 – 1 Leicester City
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