Manchester United started the new Premier League season with a win over Leicester City, in a mixture of grinding out and finishing things off. The Red Devils got the lead after just three minutes, when Paul Pogba finished coolly from the penalty spot. It was Luke Shaw that doubled the lead late on, after a lovely assist from Juan Mata. Jamie Vardy was in the right spot to score the only goal for Leicester in the stoppage time.
Eric Bailly Could Be Setting The Tone For His Season
This match was far from vintage Manchester United, but Eric Bailly showed a performance a vintage Manchester United defence would find quite useful. The Ivorian partnered very well with Victor Lindelöf against a slightly weaker Leicester attack. The Foxes are still getting used to not having Riyad Mahrez and Kelechi Iheanacho was the one that started over Vardy.
However, Bailly exuded coolness and quality in the centre of the defence. He won every single one of his four duels, including the one when he raced back to catch Iheanacho before the Nigerian was able to shoot on goal. Bailly also made six clearances and completed 95 percent of passes. A really commanding performance.
Luke Shaw Makes A Statement
Luke Shaw got the chance to start the match against Leicester. Ashley Young came back late after a long World Cup journey and the younger of the two Englishmen was in the starting XI. His performance was not spectacular, but it had everything a manager would want from a youngster that had confidence issues.
Shaw was looking energetic and alive, running up and down on the left flank and his beautiful goal also helped. That was his first career goal and it came in a very important more for him. It is the start of the season and now could be the right time for him to prove to Mourinho he can be a reliable outlet. Also, it was refreshing seeing United have width on the left flank for once.
Alexis Sanchez Sloppy In Possession But With The Right Mindset
The Chilean star did not really enjoy the opening night of the season. He had just 64 percent of successful passes, he made just one shot and that one was blocked. He failed to make a single dribbling and penetrate the ball the way knows and he also lost a majority of duels he was part of.
However, it was not a terrible performance either. Alexis Sanchez was not great and he can improve massively. Amidst all of this negatives, his nervousness to pass the ball forwards as soon as possible, Sanchez did create four chances for United. His energy levels were quite good and the better displays will arrive with more games.
James Maddison Shows Why He Could Be The Next Big Thing
Leicester City maybe lost Riyad Mahrez, but they got James Maddison. He might not turn out to be leading Leicester towards the Premier League title, but the youngster showed why he could be the next big thing. He came to King Power for 25 million pounds and already showed he was not fazed by Premier League. Maddison looked really composed on the ball, especially in tight areas and he was able to create for those around him. Enough for the debut.