Manchester United make a statement with win over Leicester

Adam Cooper Roar Rookie

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    Jose Mourinho’s substitutes proved effective as Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini ensured the red half of Manchester remained undefeated and at the top of the table.

    Although Romelu Lukaku’s missed penalty gave the home supporters flashbacks to last season, United continued to apply pressure and had to work hard to get the first goal, but Leicester will be disappointed with the way Jose Mourinho’s side broke the deadlock.

    A corner from Henrikh Mkhitaryan led to Rashford being unmarked in the box to volley home past Kasper Schmeichel. The Danish goalkeeper was one of the best players on the pitch but Rashford’s shot had too much pace.

    After United got their breakthrough, the Foxes’ heads clearly dropped and just twelve minutes later, Lingard beat Leicester’s last line of pressure to assist Fellaini, albeit unintentionally with a deflection. The big Belgian was arguably offside but the Red Devils won’t care, because that goal sealed the three points.

    From kick-off, United created chances and made use of their fullbacks. They found spaces to play in but Antonio Valencia’s crosses in the first half were too low and Lukaku wasn’t finding much space in and around Morgan and Maguire.

    Juan Mata, Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial were key in finding pockets of space in between the central midfielders and the wide midfielders of Leicester. Despite Leicester’s plan to stop this, the home side continued to fashion chances, especially in the second half due to the substitutes.

    Paul Pogba was constantly switching the play from fullback to fullback. This was due to Leicester’s resilient shape and pressing. Mourinho changed from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3, albeit not a traditional one.

    Fellaini was near the box with Pogba in advanced areas and Nemanja Matic protected counter attacks and kept the ball moving. After the goals were scored, Mourinho tweaked the positioning of the players, with Rashford and Lingard tracking back, Pogba and Fellaini blocking the centre and pressed the away team in the middle of the park.

    Manchester United are looking strong. Even though they haven’t come up against the toughest opposition, they have faced a West Ham side playing a 4-3-3, a Swansea side playing a 3-4-3 and a Leicester side playing a 4-4-1-1/4-5-1 so they have played against different systems, even if those teams all played to stop their attack in a low block.

    It will be interesting to see how they fare against a team that keeps the ball better than they do.