Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City Player Ratings: (UPDATE)


Shaw celebrates his first senior goal – @ManUtd

After a nervy game, Manchester United secured their first three points of the season with a 2-1 win over Leicester City thanks to goals from Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Manchester United

David De Gea – the Spaniard, so often the one world-class United player in the post-Fergie era, didn’t have the best World Cup but he put that behind him here with a commanding performance. He did brilliantly with an excellent stop from Maddison in the first half, then denied Gray after the break. 8

Matteo Darmian – the Italian suffered greatly from a lack of protection against the pace of Chilwell and Gray; he was perhaps fortunate that Leicester did not target his flank with quite as much vigour after the break. 4
Eric Bailly – on this evidence, the Ivorian will be a huge player for The Red Devils in 2018-19. Not only does he possess the raw physical qualities to win the basic defensive duels, he also excels at distribution. Potentially fortunate not to have given away a penalty for a second half challenge on Iheanacho. 8
Victor Lindelöf – after a productive summer on a professional and personal level, Lindelöf looked much improved. There were question marks about the Swede’s capacity to handle the pace and power of the Premier League, but he handled it well and looks far more composed in possession than some of United’s other options. 7
Luke Shaw – there were question marks about his relationship with his manager going into this game, but Shaw certainly wasn’t lacking motivation here. He put in a high-energy display with some impressive forward movement and, although physical challenges were problematic for him on one or two occasions, he deserved his goal, even if it came with a hint of fortune. 7

Paul Pogba – despite only resuming club training on Monday, Pogba not only started this match, he was named captain. Even if he was a different type of United leader to those of yesteryear, there were signs that he seemed to relish the responsibility of having the same influence on this United side that he had on France’s World Cup winning side. Took his penalty well and was a stand-out performer for his side. 7
Fred – an underwhelming debut. Fred was brought in to both contribute defensively, but also push forward from deep to support attacks. While he was solid enough and generally held onto the ball, he didn’t offer much quality in the attacking phases of play. 5
Andreas Pereira – the Brazilian, on loan at Valencia last season, was forced into the side through necessity due to shortage of available midfielders. He took his opportunity with both hands and, although known to be a creative midfielder and not being powerful in the obvious sense, tidied things up nicely in his defensive third. 6

Juan Mata – the Spaniard likes to drift in-field into gaps in front of the defence and in those areas, he threaded pin-point balls through to quicker players, as we saw for Shaw’s goal. Sometimes, the downside to having Mata in a wide role is that he lacks the pace to counter-balance quick opponents and we saw evidence of that in the first half, when at one point the ex-Chelsea man swapped places with Rashford. 5
Marcus Rashford – there have been many calls for Rashford to start up top but when he has played there, he hasn’t exactly been ruthless; 4 goals in 16 starts in that position across the previous two campaigns. The 20-year-old offered the energy and tenacity we have come to expect from him and which was needed, given the lack of support he worked with for much of the game. 5
Alexis Sanchez – the Chilean struggled in the second half of last season and, despite a positive pre-season, he flattered to deceive here. Sanchez did play in Lukaku for a one-on-one second half chance but on the whole, he was guilty of going to ground whenever he came under pressure. 4

Romelu Lukaku (on 67) – had chances to kill the game off but the ruthless touch we have so often seen eluded the Belgian. 5
Scott McTominay (on 76) – an excellent cameo. McTominay pressed well and made lots of selfless runs off the ball to create space for other players, while his passing was quick and sharp. 7
Marouane Fellaini (on 84) – his lack of mobility was problematic for the role he was given; Jose Mourinho perhaps should have stuck with Pereira, Pogba and McTominay as United’s midfield three for the closing stages. 4

Leicester City

Kasper Schmeichel – perhaps posing a goal threat at Old Trafford runs in the family! The former Notts County man concluded the match with a headed effort that flew off-target, but it would be harsh to blame him too much for either of the goals he conceded. 5

Daniel Amartey – because of his defensive instincts, Amartey didn’t offer much in possession during Leicester’s spells of possession and therefore needed to be brilliant at the basics. Given that he conceded a penalty with a clumsy hand-ball in a performance of some iffy defending, it’s fair to say that this was a night to forget. 3
Wes Morgan – the Jamaican centre-back has been an excellent servant to Leicester, but age is perhaps catching up with him and his lack of mobility hinders him on the ball. It will not be long until he is replaced by summer signing, Caglar Soyuncu. 3
Harry Maguire – there had been speculation of Maguire moving to United and given that the centre-back hasn’t trained much after a lengthy World Cup campaign, there were questions about his mental and physical condition going into this game. The Sheffield United fan though did little wrong defensively sprayed the ball around nicely, much like a midfielder would at times. 8
Ben Chilwell – the academy graduate got forward far more often than he might have expected to be able to and at times acted as a wing-back. While Chilwell brought a lot of energy to the side though, the quality of his crossing needs improvement. 5

Wilfred Ndidi – the Nigerian’s tenacity makes him a massive asset to Leicester and there was a spell in the second half when he took control of that midfield, even playing in Iheanacho with a looping through ball. More of this and it might not be long before a club like United come calling. 8
Adrien Silva – the midfielder didn’t catch the eye in the obvious sense; he didn’t charge about, pose a goal threat or play Hollywood balls. However, he did keep things simple in possession and helped give Leicester a griphold on proceedings. 6

Ricardo Pereira – although a right-back by trade, Pereira played on the right wing here, sometimes occupying a wing-back role. He was a growing attacking influence in the first half, when he set up Maddison for a good chance, although in the latter stages he took more of a back-seat and allowed Gezzal to offer width. Guilty of letting Shaw get goal-side of him for United’s second. 5
James Maddison – the attacking midfielder posed a real threat last season for Norwich with his excellent technical ability and capacity to strike from range and we saw more of that at Old Trafford, when he looked lively throughout the first half, winning one or two free-kick through good close control. Unlucky to be denied a first half goal – having based his career in the EFL, he might not be used to facing world-class goalkeepers like David De Gea! 6
Demarai Gray – the Birmingham City academy product carried Leicester up the pitch with his raw pace down the left hand side. Sometimes however, he lacked the technical precision to make the most out of the positions he sometimes got into. In the second half, he too was denied by De Gea from close-range. 5

Kelechi Iheanacho – the Man City academy graduate’s time at Leicester has been restricted by a combination of playing in a deeper role than he prefers and question marks over his attitude. Neither of those things were problematic at Old Trafford and the Nigerian might have won a penalty in the second half, but his killer instinct at key moments was perhaps lacking. 4

Jamie Vardy (on 63) – gave Leicester a cutting edge up top. Not only did he tee up Gray for a golden chance, he also got on the scoresheet himself in injury-time. 8
Rachid Ghezzal (on 63) – looked tricky and lively when he came on as much of the play came down his side. 7
Vicente Iborra (on 80) – added a touch of composure to the midfield. 6