"Pogba is finally living up to the hype" - Three things learnt from Manchester United 2-0 Leicester City
For much of the Saturday evening fixture, it looked as though Leicester City could deny Manchester United their third consecutive win. The Red Devils were dominant from start to finish but for 70 minutes could not find a way through.
Juan Mata had a first half goal incorrectly ruled out after pouncing on a rebound, but the real golden chance to break the deadlock was Romelu Lukaku’s as Kasper Schmeichel produced a fine penalty save following Danny Simpson’s handball in the box.
Substitute Marcus Rashford did find the breakthrough, pouncing on Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s corner only moments after entering the action.
The next two substitutes produced the next goal as Jesse Lingard’s run created space in the final third before his cross-cum-shot wasn’t deflected into the back of the net by Marouane Fellaini on the six yard box.
Here is what The Boot Room learnt from the game…
Paul Pogba is finally living up to expectations
The Frenchman arrived as the marquee arrival last summer, but in his first season he clearly felt the pressure of his huge £89 million fee. This season, with Nemanja Matic giving him a more liberated role in the midddle of the park, he is having the impact that everyone was expecting from a player who was once the most expensive in the world.
Pogba dictated the tempo and was United’s key attacking outlet, being crucial in the transition from defence to attack. He has been in superb form this season and the key challenge left for him to overcome will he to produce such dominant displays against superior opposition than the mediocre sides that United have faced already this season.
Harry Maguire is the bargain of the summer
Signed from Hull for a fee believed to be around £17 million, Maguire’s towering display showed exactly why he’s just received his first England call up. Leicester may not have been able to hold out for the full 90 minutes, but they were the first side to stop United scoring four and Maguire kept Romelu Lukaku very quiet throughout.
A real mountain of a man, Maguire’s physical presence proved hard to beat. Winning five aerial challenges, more than any other Leicester player, it took United some time to find a way around him. Maguire is the kind of opponent who previously stopped Manchester United in their tracks and held out for a clean sheet, but unfortunately for the 24-year-old, United’s attack is much more clinical this season.
Competition for places is Manchester United’s biggest strength
In each of the two opening games of the season, Anthony Martial has come on as a substitute to score. With Martial starting against the Foxes, it was Marcus Rashford who took up the reigns as super sub and came on to score the opening goal. His strike came only three minutes after his introduction and was indicative of the attitude of Manchester United’s squad.
The second goal was fully constructed by substitutes as Jesse Lingard assisted Marouane Fellaini, and that’s what without even considering the quality of the likes of Ander Herrera and Chris Smalling who couldn’t even make it off the bench despite having been key players last season.