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Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City; Main conclusions

Manchester United defeated Leicester City 2-1 on the 2018/19 season opening day

1- Jose Mourinho doing his best to drop super star manager demeanour:

The criticism the former self styled Special One meted on his players in the aftermath of their 1-4 International Champions Cup drubbing at the hands of Liverpool pointed to a great coach trapped in  glory of yesteryear.

It was a ‘Me Against Those Hopeless Players’ mentality that had dogged his rival Pep Guardiola in his maiden season at the Etihad.

Friday night witnessed a wiser Mourinho  burying the hatchet with star midfielder Paul Pogba.  Handing a start to the Frenchman just four days after he reported to duty following Les Bleus World Cup triumph,  then crowning it by bestowing upon him the United captaincy showed Mourinho  is rediscovering the mojo that helped him transform average players into world beaters.

2- Step Up From Championship Not Too Steep:

Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison yet again underlined how exaggerated the gulf in quality between Premier League players and their Championship counterparts is.

Featuring in his first EPL appearance since a £22m move from Norwich City, Maddison outshone United’s £47m Brazilian Fred and team mate Ricardo Pereira in the battle of newcomers. He even kept Jamie Vardy, another player who made a seamless transition from Championship journeyman to Premier League star, on the bench.

3- Ben Chillwell For England:

Watching in the Old Trafford stands was England boss Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland.

They will have noted with satisfaction left backs Luke Shaw, who scored his first senior career goal, and his opposite Chillwell, whose marauding runs into United’s half were from the top drawer. Southgate has identified a successor to Ashley Young.

4- Daniel Amartey Pantomime Villain:

Watching from an African focal point, i found Leicester City’s  Ghanaian defender appalling. How cavalier can a player get? In addition to conceding a needless spot kick right from kick off, Amartey was all over the place throughout 60 forgettable minutes. By the time he was replaced by Rachid Ghezzal, I was sick of the sight of him.

This is a player who can benefit from a loan move elsewhere.

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