A 2-0 victory for Manchester United made it three wins from three in the Premier League for Mourinho’s men who sit top of the pack in the EPL.
A hard-fought win was very much well-deserved for United, although Leicester will be frustrated with the way they conceded goals and arguably deserved at least a point after a courageous performance from Shakespeare’s men.
A first half which was very much dominated by Manchester United ended with the score 0-0 – the whistle coming a huge relief for the Foxes who were bombarded with constant pressure from Mourinho’s men. Yet, United struggled to find any real opportunities with their best chances being shut-out by Leicester shot-stopper; Kasper Schmeichel, who very much mirrored his Dad in every department at Old Trafford this evening.
Frustratingly for United, most of their efforts came from Pogba, who registered seven shots from outside the box in the first half alone. Lukaku struggled to find any rhythm in the first 45 minutes and was left with isolated up top due to the constant physical battle he found himself in with Leicester centre-halves; Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire, who once again deserve extensive recognition for their performances.
The best chance of the first half however did fall to Lukaku who dropped infield, received the ball to his feet, spun and riffled a low shot towards Schmeichel’s goal. A good save was put in on the rebound by Mata, who was correctly ruled out with his left foot adjudged to be offside, much to the disagreement of Mata and the United following.
The second half very much followed suit as United came out and continued to batter the hard-working Leicester defence, who for most of the game had at least 10 men behind the ball as United looked for a way to goal.
On the 53rd minute, referee Michael Oliver awarded United a spot-kick after a cross struck the hand of Leicester defender, Danny Simpson. Up stepped Lukaku to make some history at United and become the first player to score in his first three league games for United in the Premier League era.
Yet, Lukaku was not the one to make history today as his penalty was superbly saved by Schmeichel, who now has saved more penalties at Old Trafford (1) then his father, Peter.
Leicester grew into the 2nd half and begun to look dangerous on the break, especially when the ball was at the feet of Leicester’s magician, Mahrez, but he struggled to find any way to goal.
However, after Marcus Rashford was put onto the field to replace Mata, it took him only 3 minutes to break the determined Leicester defence. After a lack of concentration in the foxes’ back line, Rashford found himself unmarked and fired home Mkhitaryan’s corner; the fifth assist this season for the Armenian.
Old Trafford suddenly found its voice and it was another substitution who put the final nail in the Leicester coffin. Fellaini got himself on the scoresheet and although probably offside it was more than they deserved after their patience and determination in breaking down the Leicester wall.
As for Leicester, they certainly offered United their toughest test this season and Mourinho had nothing but praise for the well drilled city back line in his post-match press conference stating “the blue wall was very well organised”. Though there were little positives to take from Leicester’s performance going forward with their best opportunity brilliantly saved in the final minute by David De Gea from substitute, Andy King.
Jamie Vardy was not at the races and Demari Gray struggled to get going when he came on. Shakespeare and Leicester will feel hard-done by with the defeat yet Shakespeare will certainly take positives from his team’s defensive display.
Man Of The Match: Kasper Schmeichel. A heroic performance from the Leicester shot-stopper who will be undoubtedly frustrated with the end result at Old Trafford.
Next up: United face a difficult trip to Stoke after the international break. As for Leicester, it doesn’t get any easier when the current Premier League champions, Chelsea, take the trip to the King Power to face Shakespeare’s men.
Written by Eamon Kitching.