Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Captain Pogba starts in midfield

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       Matt Le Tissier believes Jose Mourinho can still turn things around at Manchester United 1:39 Matt Le Tissier believes Jose Mourinho can still turn things around at Manchester United
Jennie Wade | 11 August, 2018, 22:03

However, it was captain Paul Pogba who would open the scoring after just three minutes, with the World Cup victor converting a penalty after Daniel Amartey had handled the ball in the box.

Pogba's third-minute spot-kick settled the hosts' nerves as United allayed some of the doom and gloom predicted by Mourinho after failing to land a series of targets before Thursday's transfer deadline.

Pogba's early penalty was followed by Luke Shaw - a player who had endured a testy relationship with Mourinho - scoring his first goal for the club, meaning Jamie Vardy's stoppage-time effort was little more than a consolation. "But very complete performance, he just has to keep going, the mentality was very good, the tactical discipline was very good too and he had the power to move forward and score an important goal for us".

"For us, it will be a hard season because I had my plans, and I had my plans for many months, and I started the Premier League season without a situation I thought was possible".

Showing few signs of rust despite only returning to training this week, the World Cup victor, wearing the captain's armband, impressed in possession and without it, leading by example and keeping his cool from the spot.

While Mourinho was happy with his team's effort against Leicester, he refused to be drawn on whether his team would be genuine title contenders this year after finishing in second place, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, last season.

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"We don't really have one", Pogba said on Sky Sports. "We thought maximum (he could play) 60 minutes, but he managed 80".

"Paul was fantastic, his contribution was unbelievable but the fuel was disappearing".

Pogba only returned to training at the start of the week after helping France to win the tournament but he was thrust into the starting line-up on Friday and given the captain's armband, when his penalty set United on course for a 2-1 win against Leicester. I wanted to play Martial for [Juan] Mata or Alexis [Sanchez] but I can't. The style of play under Mourinho has not been easy to watch but he'll always say I don't care what style but we finished second in the league.

Andreas Pereira. The talented young Belgian spent last season on loan at Valencia and got the surprise start in this one.

United were not convincing as Leicester displayed wonderful creativity and had good possession throughout the first 45 minutes of the much-anticipated match.

Leicester responded well though with new signing James Maddison forcing a fine save out of United keeper David De Gea as the visitors gave Mourinho's side plenty to think about.

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