Man United beat Leicester 4-1 - four things you may have missed

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Football News

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United produced a formidable first-half performance to hit back at their critics by blowing away the defending champions Leicester at Old Trafford.

Before the game, all of the talk was about Mourinho's team selection as he made the bold call to leave captain Wayne Rooney on the bench.

It was what many United supporters had been hoping for after three consecutive defeats at the start of September and Mourinho was richly rewarded for his ruthless selection.

Goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba were enough to seal the victory as Old Trafford were treated to a goal fest on Saturday afternoon.

In the end, Demarai Gray's second-half thunderbolt proved to be just a mere consolation in an enthralling encounter.

Here are a few key points we noticed during the game that you may have missed:

Juan Mata showing Wayne Rooney how it's done

Juan Mata was given the responsibility of playing in behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Rooney's usual role in the side.

As well as putting the final touch on one of the best team goals seen so far this season, the Spaniard's creativity was stunning to watch at times.

While Rooney might be able to ping a ball 50 yards across the pitch, Mata's ability to pull off the more intricate and delicate passes were vital to picking holes in Leicester's unusually ragged defence.

Daley Blind proving he can still cut it at left-back

The injury to Luke Shaw gave Daley Blind an opportunity to play his way back into Mourinho's good books.

He was up against the pacey Riyad Mahrez but Blind never let the Algerian get away from him and blunted one of Leicester's biggest weapons.

Mahrez was substituted at half-time, albeit so he could be rested for the Foxes clash with Porto next week, however, credit should go to Blind for keeping him so quiet.

Increased threat from set pieces

Three of United's four goals came from set pieces and Mourinho's summer recruitment plan to bring in tall and strong players paid dividends.

Ignoring Leicester's poor defending, Blind's corner deliveries were spot on - another positive of his selection.

The normal set piece taker, Rooney, was on the bench but the ingenuity the Dutchman showed to feed Mata for Rashford's goal shows he should be on dead ball situations regardless of whether the captain is on the pitch.

Paul Pogba thrived without Marouane Fellaini

Throughout the Red Devils' losing run, Ander Herrera was one of the few to come out with any credit.

He was rewarded with a start against Leicester and his extra mobility over Fellaini allowed Pogba the freedom to put on arguably his best display back in a United shirt.

Herrera also proved he is better at picking out a pass and covering space defensively than his Belgian teammate.

If it means Pogba can worry less about defending and concentrate on his contributions in the final third than Mourinho might have finally stumbled upon his best midfield pairing.

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Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Premier League
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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