United 4 - 1 Leicester City
Valencia Smalling Bailly Blind
Lingard(Carrick) Mata(Young) Rashford(Rooney)
I watched this game on an iPhone screen on a beach in Comino (an island part of the Maltese archipelago). The setting of the sun shining, crystal clear water and golden sand was magic but our first half performance was even better. I had complained on this blog that we failed to show up for the first half of three of our 4 most recent games but boy did we show up for the first half of this game. It’s been a while since I’ve seen United annihilate an opponent in 45 minutes.
Mourinho finally saw the light and realised that Rooney was offering very little to our team and thus dropped him for this game. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that Pogba’s best game in United’s red arrived on the day when Roo was dropped. Some of the passing by our Frenchman was both cheeky and brilliant. It was also great to see him score his first United goal. It must’ve been a big relief for him and those who decided to invest in him to see him hit the back of the net. Hopefully more stellar performances will follow. Pogba was definitely my man of the match.
Another player who put in a great performance was Ander Herrera. He was everywhere. That was a performance that reminded me of a younger Ander who faced United in the Europa League for Bilbao some 4/5 years ago. That was an excellent performance in front of our back four. Fellaini and Schneiderlin will struggle to get Herrera off the starting XI when he’s in this kind of form.
In such performances you’d struggle to find a player who did not play his part. Bailly and Smalling had Mahrez and Vardy in their back pockets. Blind produced two assists. Mata scored the pick of the goals and also created a goal for Rashford. A very good performance by our Spaniard. Rashford squandered a good chance to finish off a great counter-attack but made amends with a goal some minutes later. Ibrahimovic did very well to hold the ball and feed the players around him. He could have scored the goal of the game when he controlled an immaculate lobbed pass from Pogba but fired over the bar. Lingard did well to set up Mata for the second goal. DDG made a fine save on Gray but the goal he conceded from the same player was unsavable.
Europa League game vs Zorya next. I expect some squad rotation. Would be good to see Rooney play to build back his confidence and, hopefully, form. I expect to see Fosu-Mensah, Fellaini and Memphis back in the side. Feel good factor seems to be back after a bleak week. Come on United!