Report: Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City; Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw win the game for the Red Devils


Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1 in the opening Premier League match at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba captained United, scored the opening goal in the third minute from the penalty spot after Daniel Amartey used his arm to control the ball. Luke Shaw scored his first United goal in the 83rd minute. Jamie Vardy scored a late consolation.

Jose Mourinho may have shocked the media after the summer speculation surrounding him and Paul Pogba with many suggestions that the Frenchman would be leaving the club this summer. However, Pogba started and captained United in their opening match of the season. United started in fine fettle, breaking forward through Luke Shaw on the left flank.

The ball was passed to Alexis Sanchez and his driven effort was smashed into Wes Morgan’s body. Daniel Amartey then tried to control the rebound with his arm and Andre Marriner blew his whistle and awarded United a penalty. Pogba took the penalty, stuttering his run and beating Kasper Schmeichel. A lovely penalty to put United ahead in the opening three minutes of the match.

United should have won a free-kick in the sixth minute after Shaw was fouled by Ricardo Pereira, but Marriner awarded nothing. Leicester did get one of their own moments later though after Fred fouled James Maddison. Ben Chilwell delivered the free-kick but United cleared the threat through Pogba before streaming up field with Marcus Rashford leading the charge.

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In the ninth minute of the match, Sanchez played a poor pass as Fred started an attack for United. The Chilean’s pass was intended for Rashford but it was cut out by Adrien Silva. Sanchez then tried to chase the ball down but Leicester were too quick on the ball and he looked disappointed with himself. Leicester had another free-kick after Demarai Grey was fouled by Matteo Darmian. Maddison took the set-piece, Pogba cleared.

Leicester started to play some good football in the 12th minute of the match with swift passing but Maddison’s final ball through the middle to Gray was too long. In the 15th minute, Gray changed his direction, getting the better of Darmian, fizzed in a cross but Eric Bailly defended well to deny the visitors from gaining any momentum.

By the mid-stages of the first half, both teams were showing hunger to win the ball back when possession had been lost. United then won a free-kick after a foul on Fred. The Brazilian is still finding his feet at the club, playing a few pre-season matches before his Premier League debut. In the 24th minute, Pogba had the chance to shoot after a wayward Sanchez pass found him but the Frenchman decided not to.

Just before the hour, Leicester had a chance to level the game but Maddison’s effort was saved by David De Gea. Ricardo cut the ball into Maddison, who was waiting in the area, it caught United’s defence off-guard with Maddison unmarked. His strike forced De Gea into a superb save. Kelechi Iheanacho tried with the rebound but was not quick enough and the ball was cleared for a corner.

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Leicester had some more set-pieces but could not get anything from them with United proving to be a tough side to beat, in the early stages of this match anyway. United tried to play their way out of trouble in the 34th minute and were not doing as good as they should have been, giving the ball away easily at times. United then got out of their half as Juan Mata attempted to send Rashford through but the cross had too much on it.

In the 36th minute, Iheanacho got in between both Bailly and Victor Lindelof to latch onto a fine ball from Gray. However, the Nigerian former Manchester City striker was being marked by Lindelof, who managed to get the ball from his path. Leicester won another free-kick ammonite later after Fred fouled Gray, but again, it came to nothing for the visitors.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, United still had a lot to do in order to ensure a victory from this game. Pogba had a shot from 25-yards after a knockdown from Sanchez but Schmeichel caught the attempt, thwarting the French World Cup winner from scoring a second goal of the evening. United had another chance after Fred lofted the ball to Sanchez but he was offside.

United looked to be ending the half as the stronger team after Shaw broke forward on the left, cutting into the box after Mata found him before getting a shot away. He did not put enough on the ball to get the better of Schmeichel though. There was a minute of added time at the end of the first half before Marriner ended the half with United still leading from Pogba’s early penalty.

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United started the second half well with Harry Maguire giving the ball away in his own half, which allowed Rashford to break forward on the right flank. The ball he played into Sanchez was cut out of play by Amartey. Leicester win another free-kick three minutes into the second half after Chilwell was fouled before he could find his feet. The free-kick was short and quick and nothing came of it.

United won a free-kick in the 51st minute after Sanchez was fouled by Amartey, who was also the first player to be booked in the game. United then nearly found a second goal but Rashford was ruled offside, with the player fluffing his lines in a chance to double the lead. Three minutes later, Sanchez put in an ambitious cross from the left, looking for Fred but he found Schmeichel instead.

Bailly put in some great last-ditch defending in the 62nd minute of the match with the Ivorian getting the better of Wilfred Ndidi and clearing the danger. Leicester made a double change in the 63rd minute of the match with Rachid Ghezzal replacing Amartey and Jamie Vardy replacing Maddison. Mata had the chance to double United’s lead after being played on by Sanchez, his shot deflected out, no corner though.

Mourinho made his first change in the 66th minute as Romelu Lukaku replaced Rashford. United were not getting the luck late into the game. Sanchez played a poor ball into Lukaku in the 72nd minute but Maguire was there to cut out the pass. Two minutes later, both teams were passing sloppily, which took a lot of interest out of the game, Leicester did manager another shot in the 76th minute though, but De Gea was there.

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Scott McTominay replaced Fred in the 77th minute of the match with Mourinho having one more substitution as his side look to secure their first victory of the season. Lukaku had a great chance to win the game for United, the Belgian being played in by Sanchez, taking his shot with Schmeichel sending the ball over the crossbar for a corner, which came to nothing for United.

Leicester made their third substitution in the 80th minute with Vicente Iborra replacing Silva. Luke Shaw doubled United’s lead in the 83rd minute, scoring his first goal for United, four years after arriving at the club. Marouane Fellaini replaced Pogba in the 84th minute. Mourinho looked happy after he saw Shaw score his first goal. This could be the confidence boost the left-back needs to finally stake his claim in the team.

Leicester saw a lot of the ball in the dying minutes of the match with United welcoming the pressure and dealing with it well. Four minutes were added at the end of the game. Vardy had two chances to put his side back into the game, De Gea thwarting the first and the Leicester striker firing over the crossbar on his second chance.

Vardy scored for Leicester two minutes into added time, the ball hitting the post with the England striker ducking to head the ball into the back of the net with De Gea not attempting to make the save. It was 2-1 with Leicester having all to play for with 90 seconds remaining. Squeaky bum time as Sir Alex Ferguson would put it. Leicester had a corner in the dying second, Schmeichel was in the box but the match ended, United winning 2-1.

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Goals: Paul Pogba 3′, Luke Shaw 83′

Assists: Juan Mata 83′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Pereira, Fred (McTominay 77′), Pogba (Fellaini 84′); Mata, Rashford (Lukaku 66′), Sanchez

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Smalling, Young; Martial

Bookings: Fred 55′, Andreas Pereira 69′

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