There was much excitement going into this game following the superb summer of football in Russia. Not only was it the opening game of the premier league season but the circumstances going into the game created a lot of drama. United had a relatively quiet transfer window only signing Fred, Dalot, and Grant, despite late attempts to sign a center-back one of whom was Leicester City’s, Harry Maguire. This along with the late arrival of some of United’s world cup stars left Mourinho cutting a frustrated figure during the pre-season tour after disappointing results. Leicester, on the other hand, had spent big on the likes of Pereira, Maddison, and Evans following the sale of their best player Mahrez.
The drama surrounding the game was heightened an hour before kick-off when the team sheets were released and the world cup winner Paul Pogba was announced as captain. He took to the role very quickly as he confidently slots away from a penalty after just 3 minutes. Things looked positive for United early on despite the poor pre-season. The play was sharp with Pogba, Sanchez, and Pereira at the forefront of things. However, for large parts of the first half Leicester controlled the game with the larger share of possession and creating dangerous chances. Much of Leicester’s joy came from their trio of young English players, Gray, Chilwell, and Maddison, and this continued in the second half.
United had spells of good play throughout the game, with Pogba’s flair continuing to light the game up, however, they lacked the final pass -perhaps due to a lack of sharpness- with Sanchez being the main culprit of stray passes.
Leicester continued to press up until the end of the game, despite Shaw getting his first senior goal after a half-volley in the 83rd minute, but United defended well. They reaped the rewards in the 92nd minute with yet another Vardy goal against a top 6 team. Despite the late goal, United have a lot of positives to take from the match, such as; Pogba, Shaw, and Pereira.
By Jonathan Ojo