How Manchester United's players rated in their 4-1 victory over Leicester
The game was won in a blistering five minute display at the end of the first half, when the Red Devils’ capitalised on some slack defending to stretch a one goal advantage to four by half time. They eased up in the second half, but the game was already won in a very impressive performance.
David De Gea – 7
Spanish ‘keeper De Gea was not really tested by the Foxes minimal attacking threat, and could do nothing about Demarai Gray’s thunderbolt consolation. He did stop Gray getting another with a smart save, and showed some good work with his feet throughout the game.
Antonio Valencia – 7
Valencia wasn’t really troubled defensively, but he stood up well to both Marc Albrighton and Jeff Schlupp on the right hand side of United’s defence. He offered a threat going forward, and put in a generally sound performance going both forwards and backwards.
Eric Bailly – 9
Another excellent display by the £30 million centre-back. Bailly intercepted everything that came anywhere near him, and his calming influence was vital in keeping United out of danger in a tricky opening spell. When the Foxes got slightly more threatening, he also stood up to the challenge with a pair of excellent tackles on Slimani and Gray. Deserved a clean sheet for his exemplary display.
Chris Smalling – 8
Captain in Wayne Rooney’s absence, Smalling had an excellent game at the heart of the defence. He kept Islam Slimani in his pocket throughout the first half, essentially man marking him out of the game, and his opening goal was just reward for his defensive display.
Daley Blind – 8
Moved to left-back for the injured Luke Shaw, Blind looked far more comfortable than he has in central defence this season, and played very well. His corners led to three United goals, two of them were direct assists, and he was not troubled in defence either. A great display.
Ander Herrera – 8
It is a mystery as to why the Spaniard doesn’t start every week for United. His play from deep in midfield, sweeping up possession, passing the ball brilliantly and keeping the team ticking over was truly outstanding. He is still, however, playing too deep, and was occasionally shown to be too far up the pitch to stop counter attacks, but on the whole, he was fantastic.
Paul Pogba – 9
Finally United fans got to see the Paul Pogba that has been so hyped up. His header and first goal for the Red Devils was expertly powered into the far corner, but it was the Frenchman’s willingness to drive forward and get into the box that made this performance stand out from other average displays this season. He also provided many chances with some clever balls into the box. A fabulous performance.
Jesse Lingard – 7
Lingard was singled out with Mourinho before the game as an exciting talent, and he showed it today with a very good display. He was quiet at times, but he worked very hard and set up Mata’s second goal with an excellent touch ahead of Wes Morgan. There’s more to come, but this was a good display.
Juan Mata – 9
Like Herrera, it is crazy that Mata doesn’t start more for United. He was buzzing between the Leicester lines causing havoc all game, and took his very difficult goal with unerring grace. His quick mind and movement were on full show for Rashford’s goal as well, collecting a corner and laying it on a plate for the youngster. Brilliant from the Spaniard.
Marcus Rashford – 8
Things just keep getting better for 18-year-old Marcus Rashford, as he scored his seventh goal in seven games. His finish was typical of his goal poaching style, getting himself right in front of the goal to tap in Juan Mata’s ball. In general, his play was good, linking up well with Mata and switching wings with Lingard. He is obviously still raw, but this was another very good performance.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 7
This was another good performance from United’s 34-year-old centre forward, although he will be disappointed he couldn’t grab a goal. He missed a good chance with a volley from Pogba’s chip in his best chance, and was denied by Zieler in the second half, but his general link up play was once again important for his side. Another very strong display.
Michael Carrick – 5
Came on in the 77th minute, so didn’t have much time to make an impact.
Wayne Rooney – 5
His omission was one of the big stories, and he didn’t have any time to make an impression. What will be more worrying for him is how good his side were without him.
Ashley Young – 5
No time to make an impression.
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