Jose Mourinho dropped Wayne Rooney and Manchester United looked an entirely different team.
The Red Devils’ 4-1 win at home to Leicester City was a joy to watch for everyone besides Rooney, who will now find it difficult to regain his place in the starting line-up.
Mourinho’s team were slicker and more clinical. Goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba ensured the game was over at half-time.
Rooney’s United career has been nothing short of terrific but the end certainly looks in sight.
Rashford and Pogba are the future. Ibrahimovic is simply a better striker than the England international.
And if Mourinho needed any more proof of how much more threatening his team was without Rooney, he only needs to look at the stats.
Stats vs Leicester City
The stats from the Leicester win are compared with United's season's best. And they’re incredibly telling.
These were brought to our attention by the Metro.
Goals: 4 = 1st
Possession: 67.3% = 1st
Shots on target: 7 = Joint 2nd
Shots: 16 = 2nd
Touches: 907 = 1st
Passes: 710 = 1st
Corners: 8 = 1st
So there you have it. If it wasn’t obvious from the defeats against Manchester United, Feyenoord and Watford, United are a better team without Rooney.
Mourinho: Rooney is the man
Mourinho insisted afterwards that the 30-year-old has a big part to play this season.
“A big player for me, a big player for United and a big player for this country,” the Portuguese said, per Sky Sports. “I have nothing else to say, he is my man, I trust him completely, he is happy as I am in this moment."
And was Rooney happy to see his teammates flourish? “Of course, his team won, his United won. That's normal."