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Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

In a typically tough fixture at this level against Leicester, the young Reds managed to come out on top at Leigh Sports Village in their opening Premier League 2 match. An experienced Leicester side featuring Gokhan Inler and Liam Moore as well as former United academy players Matty James and Tom Lawrence proved to be a stern test and for most of the match they were on top, ultimately more than doubling United’s number of shots. The first half was a tame affair with Leicester looking the more likely, a powerful shot from Cameron Borthwick-Jackson straight at the keeper being the only highlight from a Manchester United perspective, but the second half was much more spiky and the game opened up, allowing more chances for both sides and keeping Sam Johnstone very active in what was a man of the match performance from him. Marcus Rashford watched on from the stands and no doubt would’ve been on his feet as his former team-mate Demetri Mitchell won the game for United with a well-executed lob after some route one work from Johnstone.

Manchester United

Sam Johnstone

A really impressive performance from the United keeper. He showed why he's above this level with countless important saves, one of which prevented an own goal from Regan Poole. "Switch on" was the call from Johnstone after the winning goal, showing his experience in comparison with his teammates at this level, being at the threshold of this U23 level at 23 years of age.

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Joe Riley

Another busy performance from Riley who was ever present both at the back and in the final third. Not much came off for him going forward and he committed several cheap fouls throughout the game but it was solid as you'd expect from the 19-year-old.

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Regan Poole

Poole was a key part of a sturdy defence which came under a lot of pressure. An important block to deny a good chance was no less than you'd expect from the all-action defender and he can be proud of the shift he put in although he has Johnstone to thank for not scoring an own goal when intercepting a dangerous cut-back.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The standout player of the defensive line on the night, it's becoming a common theme to say that he was solid in defence and hopefully we'll be saying the same about him in the first team in and for years to come. Assured on the ball as always and notably strong even up against experience, it was just another day at the office for Tuanzebe.

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Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Up against Leicester's new signing Bartosz Kapustka, Borthwick-Jackson didn't embarrass himself at all and didn't look much like a player that had just returned from injury. He saw a decent effort saved in the first half and should have had an assist after his excellent cross ran across the face of goal untouched.

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Devonte Redmond

Much like Willock, Redmond was good in possession without doing anything too exceptional with it. He spread play well though and looked decent in the deeper role that was vacated by Goss due to injury. He still needs to impose himself more in matches both in defence and attack in order to catch the eye.

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42 Matty Willock

A tidy game from Willock, who will look to recapture his form from a very impressive season last year. He was anonymous at times but, much like in his last match, he looked to get more involved in the second half and he will hopefully build on that.

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Matthew Olosunde

One of the key components of United's struggles in the attack, it was a quiet match for the American out wide. He showed glimpses of what he's potentially capable of with some neat footwork under pressure and one or two attempted drives forward but he's still yet to make his mark at this level.

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Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

Harrop looks to be United's chief creator at Reserve level this season on paper and you could see why as he probed and attempted to orchestrate the runs of the men in front of him, although the lack of a recognised striker made things hard. A feisty challenge that on another day might have seen him carded was indicative of his grit and determination; everything about his performance suggested that he wasn't settling for a draw. He'll be looking to pose more of a goal threat in future but he looked bright regardless.

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Tosin Kehinde

The naturally central Kehinde found it difficult at wide left although he'll no doubt be grateful for the games time as he embarks on his debut season at U23 level. He was slick and assured on the ball although he created little apart from a pull back for James Weir after beating his man.

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Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

A stark lack of service was the main issue for Weir in the first half although he wasn't where he needed to be when the chances did begin to come in the second half. This was perhaps due to his unfamiliarity in the role, however, he was noted for his good movement of the ball last season. He looked lost at times and was careless with the ball although he improved when Mitchell came on, allowing Weir to move out to the left-hand side that he made his own last season.

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Substitutes

35 Demetri Mitchell

Replaced Matt Olosunde. The match winner; Mitchell came on and looked eager to impress from the get-go, probably culminating in a bit of over exuberance and some wrong decisions, his positivity though was refreshing as he took players on and made runs in behind constantly. He was able to keep a cool head for the chance that came his way as he hit a wonderful first-time lob over the keeper to give United the lead that by that stage didn't look like coming.

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Goals: Demetri Mitchell 87′

Assists: Sam Johnstone 87′

Manchester United: Johnstone; Riley, Poole, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson; Redmond, Willock; Olosunde (Mitchell 69′), Harrop, Kehinde; Weir

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Whelan, Scott, Tanner

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