Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United v Leicester - story of the match

Jose Mourinho left Wayne Rooney out of the Manchester United starting line-up and got the performance he was looking for with a first-half destruction of Premier League champions Leicester.

Chris Smalling opened the floodgates with a 22nd-minute header and United then scored three goals in five minutes at the end of the half - a fine volley from Juan Mata followed by two more from corners from Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

Leicester improved after the break and 20-year-old substitute Demarai Gray scored a stunning consolation but the damage was done and the 4-1 defeat was a chastening experience for Claudio Ranieri's men.


"Claudio already concentrating on the Champions League. Resting Mahrez and Vardy is shrewd management." - Match of the Day presenter and Leicester fan Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker).


Paul Pogba - The midfielder has been underwhelming since the world record move that brought him back to Old Trafford from Juventus. But with this performance he showed why United shelled out so much money. A dynamic presence in midfield, his apparently effortless passing created a succession of chances and his fine headed goal capped off a stellar afternoon.


If Mourinho was looking for teamwork, then he found it in United's second goal. Juan Mata played the ball back to Pogba and continued his run along the edge of the area before picking up a delightful back flick from Jess Lingard and sending a volley arrowing into the far corner.


Mourinho dropped Wayne Rooney to the bench after criticism of the England captain's recent performances but any raised eyebrows at his team selection were quickly lowered. United were untouchable in the first half after Chris Smalling gave them the lead in the 22nd minute. Leicester arrived at Old Trafford last season looking to wrap up the title but that seems a long time ago now. The defensive solidity that was a hallmark of their success has evaporated and is an issue Claudio Ranieri needs to address urgently.


Manchester United

David De Gea: 6

Antonio Valencia: 6

Eric Bailly: 6

Chris Smalling: 6

Daley Blind: 8

Ander Herrera: 6

Paul Pogba: 9

Jesse Lingard: 7

Juan Mata: 8

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 8

Marcus Rashford: 7


Michael Carrick: 5

Wayne Rooney: 5

Ashley Young: 5


Ron-Robert Zieler: 5

Danny Simpson: 4

Wes Morgan: 5

Robert Huth: 4

Christian Fuchs: 5

Daniel Amartey: 4

Danny Drinkwater: 6

Riyad Mahrez: 5

Marc Albrighton: 5

Jamie Vardy: 4

Islam Slimani: 5


Andy King: 5

Demarai Gray: 6

Jeff Schlupp: 5


Manchester United v Zorya Luhansk (Europa League Group A, September 29)

Leicester v Porto (Champions League Group G, September 27)


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