On Sunday evening, Manchester United got off to a good start for the season as they overcame the current English champions, Leicester City. Wembley was packed end-to-end with supporters roaring to see their teams shine, especially the United faithful, who were hungry to see their expensive Mourinho side make waves and make waves they did. There were some surprises in United’s line-up as fans saw the likes of young Jesse Lingard and the much talked down Marouane Fellaini walk out of the dressing room. While the former made a vital impact on the game, so did the latter but in vastly contrasting ways.
The devils were playing a fine game with hints of Louis Van Gaal still noticeable in their ways, such as possession play that never really led to anything concrete and a lacklustre Rooney who has failed to find his old self in the final third of the pitch. Although, in the 32nd minute, Jesse Lingard, Mourinho’s surprise pick over fresh off the bus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, took charge of the ball and left 4 Leicester defenders in his wake before slotting past Kasper Schmeichel. After having taken the lead, United were looking like a decent unit playing against the fearless Foxes until a horrid backward pass by Fellaini to De Gea was intercepted by an alert Vardy who then went on to go around the Spanish keeper to finish a relatively easy goal.
As it stood 1-1 with 7 minutes to go, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the apparent ‘New king of Manchester’, rose high to meet an Antonio Valencia cross with his head and found the back of the net off the crossbar. 2-1 to Mourinho’s men, with the talismanic Zlatan making all the difference.
After the game, Ibrahimovic went on to say
“He’s a winner[Jose Mourinho], I’m a winner and we know both what we want. We want to win. Wherever we go, we win. And we will win.”
There were a lot of positives Manchester United could take away from this tie and what’s even better, they look like a side that will be a lot easier on the eye after the past two almost dismal seasons they had. Mourinho’s harsh treatment of Juan Mata is evident as he replaced the Spaniard after 30 minutes of coming on, a rare sight to see unless the player is injured. Mkhitaryan was utilized as a time wasting pawn for this tie and probably is still rusty with all the moving between clubs.