Pogba leads United to victory

Manchester United claimed all three points from the opening game of the new Premier League season with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Leicester City on Friday night.

  • Manchester United 2 Leicester City 1
  • Pogba scores from the spot on 3′
  • Shaw scores his first goal on 83′
  • Vardy comes off the bench to head in on 90+2′

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Match summary

World Cup winner Paul Pogba wore the captain’s armband and gave his side the perfect start with a cooly converted penalty in the opening minutes at Old Trafford.

It took until the 83rd minute for full-back Luke Shaw to add a second for his first goal for United.

There were some nerves at the death as Jamie Vardy got his season up and running, from the substitutes bench, with a good reaction header but the home side held on for the win.

Full report

Pogba cooly steered his side ahead on three minutes from the penalty spot with a curled effort into the top right-hand corner, after a handball from Daniel Amartey on just 72 seconds.

A rattled Leicester were pegged back by United, and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was alert to a long ball forward from Matteo Darmian as he raced out of his box to clear.

The fast early pace of the game settled somewhat as the home side looked to take control of possession, only to be matched as Leicester built well from the back.

New signing James Maddison and Demarai Gray were showing plenty of early promise, with Jamie Vardy left on the bench.

Ben Chilwell was also an outlet for the Foxes with his penchant for a quick give-and-go that was keeping Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof alert.

A Wilfred Ndidi shot was comfortably smothered by David de Gea on 15 minutes as Kelechi Iheanacho came within a whisker of putting his side ahead as he skewed just wide on the turn in the small box, before being ruled offside.

A Ricardo cross from the right was cut out by Bailly while Marcus Rashford, who had been lively at the other for United, was back defending the first corner of the match, on 27 minutes.

Maddison so nearly pulled Leicester level but De Gea got a strong right hand to a thunderbolt from the young attacker.

The Spanish stopper took a blow as he defended a succession of corners before a quick counter that was well cut out by Gray.

Luke Shaw did well to get in the way of a low cross from Gray as Leicester continued to threaten, while a super tackle from Lindelof denied Iheanacho an equaliser as he was played through on 36 minutes.

Pogba fired into the arms of Schmeichel in the 40th minutes as United tried to end the half on a high.

Alexis Sanchez was adjudged offside as he headed over on the run while Shaw drilled in a good low shot that the away keeper got his body behind.

Leicester were bright at the start of the second half with United struggling to regain possession, while Rashford was offside with a rare chance as he looked to let rip, having snuck in behind the Leicester defence.

After a feisty ten minutes, with Fred putting himself about, Sanchez and Pogba started to influence the game more, with Darmian testing Schmeichel with a driven shot from the right.

Ndidi played Iheanacho though with 62 minutes played but he was stopped in his tracks by a solid recovering tackle from Bailly.

Vardy and new signing Rachid Ghezzal were then introduced by Leicester boss Claude Puel as he looked for a way back into this match, with Maddison and Amartey withdrawn.

Juan Mata couldn’t steer a square pass from Sanchez on target, although replays showed the ball hit the arm of Wes Morgan on its way out.

Romelu Lukaku came on for Rashford with 66 minutes on the clock but there was little in the way of goalmouth action as both sides enjoyed spells on the ball.

Adrien Silva kept the midfield ticking over for Leicester, with Ricardo dangerous with his crosses from the right, as De Gea had to save at close quarters from Gray after Vardy pickpocketed Shaw before delivering a cracking ball into the box.

Fred, with a yellow card, made way for McTominay on 76 minutes as Gray fired well over from the edge of the area after driving forward on another good run.

Lukaku was soon somehow denied by Schmeichel as he was slotted in by Sanchez inside the area, with the keeper directing the ball off target, when the Belgian was favourite to score.

Silva came off for Vincente Iborra with 10 minutes to play but just two and a half minutes later, and United were ahead, through Shaw. He was fully deserved of his goal, that he slotted to the bottom right-hand corner, after a touch-up and over Ricardo Pereira to set himself up.

Marouane Fellaini took over from Pogba as Mourinho looked to see out the game but Vardy had other ideas as he stole in late on to reduce the deficit while Schmeichel got his head to a corner in the dying seconds, but the ball flew just past the right-hand post, much to the relief of Mourinho.