Much of the pre-match talk of Manchester United’s 4-1 humbling of defending champions Leicester City surrounded dropped England captain Wayne Rooney, who was benched for a Premier League mach for the first time since Boxing Day 2015. As it turned out the man deputising the United captain, Spanish midfielder Juan Mata, thrived in the Number Ten role in Rooney’s absence, and the England man served as a mere spectator for a reinvigorated first-half performance from Mourinho’s United as they ended their September slump in impressive style.
After a subdued start to the game- very much reminiscent of United’s lack of intensity under former manager Louis Van Gaal-, the gloves were off from the moment Chris Smalling’s header from a Daley Blind corner managed to evade stand-in goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, and the impressive Mata got in on the act next with a curling finish following a superb passing move by United.
The Foxes contributed to their own downfall, a defence renown for its resilience last season shipping three times from corners, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba- with his first Manchester United goal- the latter two recipients before Demarai Gray pulled a goal back with a sensational long range strike.
Wayne Rooney was treated to a cameo performance having been thrown into the fray in the 83rd minute by Mourinho, but the match was already sealed before half-time whilst Leicester suffer their third defeat of the campaign already, their whole loss total for the entirety of their title winning season in 2015/16.
So what did we learn from a day where Mourinho managed to rejuvenate his Red Devils towards the dynamic football that the Old Trafford faithful have been so accustomed to down the years?