A Marcus Rashford penalty was the difference Old Trafford as Man Utd managed to overcome the absences of Pogba and Martial to secure a key win over Leicester City.
Magic Maguire and McTominay
The English international managed to show his old team what they missed with his dominating display at the back. One instance in the second half was indicative of the kind of work he done all day to keep Leicester at bay. As Leicester threatened to put together a break from a United corner, Maguire had to gallop across in order to win it first. Him missing the ball would have allowed Demarai Gray a clear sight of goal even with the fair distance he had to travel. Even with his lack of speed, he spotted the danger early enough to get a toe to it and put it out for a throw in. Headed clearances, driving into space, front foot defending all encapsulated a very good performance. In front of him, McTominay grew in stature as he managed to stamp his authority on the midfield, in a defensive sense. He put out fires all day as Leicester tried to probe and open up the defence. On the ball, he was less shy than usual and that was needed with the absence of Pogba. Not to a level that is expected of United centre midfielder yet but an improvement nonetheless.
It was clear from the line up that we would do well to keep the ball well today and so it proved to be true. Playing on the counter favours the team but there were times when Leicester were able to build waves of attacks as the ball wasn’t sticking upfield enough. At times, Rashford cut a lonely figure in between Soyuncu and Evans as he lacked support from the rest of the team. When Fred replaced Matic, it got a bit better as he was able to pass through the lines and find players, also the Brazilian ability to press was of good use as he showed on one occasion when Daniel James put it over the bar in the second half. However, it is a big problem that we gave up so much of the ball to Leicester and had to rely on being resolute.
Full backs at the money
Wan Bissaka managed to keep up his amazing start in a United shirt as he held down the right flank defensively once again. Yet Young on the other produced as well as he did well to combat Gray and Perez, when he replaced Gray. He was also able to get up the pitch well sometimes in the second half to relieve pressure on the back, by being able to drive with the ball, winning a throw high up the pitch as he skipped past two one time during the second half. If both full backs were able to get up more, maybe United could have sustained a better threat on the offensive side.
During a good opening few minutes, we managed to produce a good coordinated press that meant either Leicester kicked it long or we won the ball in dangerous areas. It died off but it shows an improvement from the more scattered approach previously seen this season
Chong came on to a mix effect today, as he kicked it out of play for what looked a simple pass then skipping past a man quite easily on another occasion. The more he plays, the more he looks like one who is inconsistent from minute to minute, let alone game to game.
The RoM Manchester United 2021-22 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.