Manchester United clicked into form and rallied in the first half to win 4-1 from three set-piece goals. Chris Smalling’s corner goal was added to when Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba nodded home from corner flag efforts that raised the confidence at the club. Between Smalling and Rashford’s efforts was a phenomenal team effort finished with a Mata half-volley, completely stunning Leicester’s defence and raising the melancholy mood at Old Trafford. Demarai Gray came on and produced an excellent performance, scoring a blinder of a goal in the second half from outside the box.
Daley Blind was excellent again and Juan Mata was one of the best players on the pitch, but the man of the match award was handed to Paul Pogba, who took his goal superbly and completely dominated in midfield. Ander Herrera provided the steel needed for Pogba and Mata to change the game in attack. Rashford’s goal and Lingard’s assist will have vastly improved their slowly rising stock. United, normally dependent on Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, looks finally able to give both a rest for a little while, as fatigue has affected both their performances and recent injuries. The Red Devils finally showed signs of making a squad out of this deep, young team, and Mourinho’s foundations all kicked into gear after the exclusion of underperforming captain, Wayne Rooney.
Goals: Chris Smalling 22, Juan Mata 37, Marcus Rashford 40′, Paul Pogba 42′
Assists: Jesse Lingard 37′, Juan Mata 40′, Daley Blind 22′, 42′
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Blind; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard (Carrick 78′), Mata (Young 87′), Rashford (Rooney 83′); Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Fosu-Mensah, Rojo; Fellaini