Rooney played just seven minutes of the game, summoned as a substitute for his 528th appearance for the club, replacing Marcus Rashford, who had scored United’s third. Mourinho was prepared to play any tune necessary to get the show back on the road, and despite his protestations about a tactical decision to introduce pace and width to the side this was unquestionably a significant chapter in the Rooney years.
The last time United were four goals up at half-time Rooney had bywill leave Manchester United next month.The French midfielder has been linked with Real Madrid and Juventus.But Raiola insists Pogba will not force his way out of Old Trafford in January.“Paul has always respected Manchester United just as Manchest then scored one of two goals he would get in that game, against Fulham on Aug 20, 2006. The first time in a new manager’s era that a big name is left out – and it happened to Rooney under Sir Alex Ferguson – is always an awkward moment for all concerned but it is always a case that life moves on to fresh controversies.
As for United, they scored an improbable three goals from corners, while the second was a brilliant passing movement finished by Juan Mata, Rooney’s replacement. They blitzed Leicester at the end of the first half, and Ranieri’s men were complicit in their own defeat, but it was a strange game that was played out without much note in the second half, save from a brilliant strike from the substitute, Demarai Gray.
Afterwards, Ranieri said that his team had been the more likely to score the first goal, and then having conceded Chris Smalling’s header direct from Daley Blind’s corner from the left, fell apart seven minutes before half-time, when United scored their remaining three goals. At half-time Ranieri replaced Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to save the legs of his key players for the Champions League game against Porto on Tuesday.
There was also Paul Pogba’s first goal for United, the fourth before half-time. Sam Allardyce was in the directors’ box to witness Gray’s right-footed hit on the hour and also to see Michael Carrick come on in the second half for his first minutes in the Premier League this season.
Mourinho said before and after the match that he selected Jesse Lingard and Rashford because he expected a “phenomenally intense and fast” game and wanted those two young players to offer width and pace. Mata was having a quiet afternoon until he shaped the move that ended with his brilliant 37th-minute goal, the pick of United’s four, and for now it is the Spanish midfielder who is ahead of Rooney in his manager’s mind.
In spite of Mourinho’s predictions it was a slow burner in which United only came alive in the last third of the first half. Without the intensity to overwhelm their opponents, United required the quality of their passing to pick their way through the substantial defensive line that Leicester had established to stop them.
The first decent sequence of United passes came on 22 minutes and won them the corner from which they scored their first. Daley Blind, an accomplished left-back for the day, whipped a left-footed ball in from the left and amid the general Leicester confusion, Smalling got above Islam Slimani to head the ball down past Ron-Robert Zieler.
From there, United hit a groove that would deliver another three goals before half-time. Ander Herrera was outstanding in midfield. He seems to have played his way into favour under Mourinho, who says the Spanish midfielder offers a defensive intensity others do not. Herrera played arguably the ball of the game to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who teed up Rashford with the outside of his right foot, but the teenager missed.
The three goals in five minutes in the lead-up to the break finally got Old Trafford on its feet. Mata started the move for his goal with the ball going to Pogba and then to Lingard, whose sharp flick with his right foot put the ball on track for a fine left-footed finish from Mata. Lingard seems to have been forgiven earlier than expected for his first-half performance against Manchester City two weeks’ previously.
Leicester looked broken, and two more goals followed quickly, both from corners from the left. Blind played the first low into the inside-left channel, where Mata struck it hard across the face of goal, and Rashford finished. Then Pogba met another Blind corner to head past Zieler with three minutes of the half remaining.
Gray’s right-footed shot from the left with Lingard hanging off his arm was a fine goal for the half-time substitute, who had a good 45 minutes for his team. The game was long over by then, and a victory over the champions – however flat Ranieri’s team might be – was just what Mourinho needed. He says that he is still weaning them off Van Gaal’s negative approach – and this, you might say, was the start of the shock treatment.
Perhaps too nonchalant … Gray picks the ball up on the left, drops his shoulder to get past Valencia and rifles a missile that dips over De Gea and under the bar. What a goal!
That’s one way to shut the Einsteins up, isn’t it? It’s self-evident that United have been working intensely on set-pieces, both defending and attacking them, since looking so feeble at Watford. It’s a third goal from a Blind corner. The left-back whips it to 12 yards where Pogba beats and beasts Fuchs in the air and buries a header with tungsten-necked force.
Oh dear. I fear I rather jinxed Amartey who was dozing at a corner. Mata was wholly unmarked so Blind passed it to him at the near post and he squared it to Rashford who slid in and stabbed his shot home.
First Rooney’s replacement as captain and now his replacement as No 10 score. Mata cuts in from the right, passes to Pogba and continues his run towards the box. Pogba clips it out to Lingard who pushes it into Mata’s path and he hits it on the half-volley from 15 yards and watches as it arcs into the corner around Zieler’s dive.
Made by Pogba’s first-time early pass down the left and Rashford’s deft, cushioned header out to Blind on the overlap. The left-back wins the corner off Simpson, clips in an attractively whipped cross and Smalling gets up to bury the header from eight yards.
He tackled well, bombed forward in support and was effective and energetic throughout in a man of the match display. You could tell how much his team-mates appreciated his contribution when about half a dozen of them converged on him, rather than the scorer Jamie Vardy, when his tackle set up the opener.
City have lost both their away games, they need Amartey today because Fellaini isn’t there to plod about and Herrera and Pogba will push on.
And meanwhile, a sign that exiles can be much worse:
ht he guided them into the Champions League round of 16.Despite the result against Genk, Ancelotti has been axed just three hours after the final whistle.In a statement, Napoli announced:”The Sporting club Calcio Napoli has decided to revoke the role
The champions, Leicester City, were full of the old verve against an admittedly feeble Swansea and ran Club Brugge and Burnley ragged. That defeat at Anfield, though, was alarming even if Liverpool were unstoppable. They haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1997-98 when Tony Cottee’s goal at the end of January took the points and, lest we forget, United were pipped to the title by eventual Double-winners Arsenal by only one point. Islam Slimani has been terrific so far and it will be interesting to see if United pick Chris Smalling to cope with him even though they look better with Daley Blind in the side. We shall find out imminently.
Manager Jose Mourinho has spoken about his new charges reacting badly to "negativity",b after departing Millwall in the summer, says the Millwall-goalkeeper-searches-new-club.html”>Daily MailMillwall-goalkeeper-searches-new-club.html”>.Archer was released by the Lions at the end of the last campaign and would be an experienced option which some observers felt he increased with public criticism of defender Luke Shaw after the 3-1 defeat by Watford last weekend.
A 3-1 win over Northampton Town in the League Cup on Wednesday night prevented a fourth straight defeat, but it was not an entirely convincing United performance against the third-tier outfit.
There will particular interest in Mourinho’s team selection at home to Leicester and whether England and United captain Wayne Rooney, who has been in poor form, keeps his place.
Manchester United are unbeaten in seven home Premier League games against the Foxes, winning five, drawing two and conceding just four goals in that time.Leicester have won one of their last 18 league trips to Old Trafford (D5 L12), claiming victory in January 1998 courtesy of a Tony Cottee winner.United have scored in each of their last 14 Premier League games against Leicester, netting 33 goals.Jamie Vardy has scored in three of his four games against United for Leicester in all competitions.Jose Mourinho has suffered 12 defeats in his last 23 league games as a manager. His previous 12 league defeats as a boss came over a period of 110 games.Mourinho has not won any of his last four league meetings against a team led by Claudio Ranieri, including defeats in the last two games.Islam Slimani has scored 22 goals in 23 league appearances so far in 2016, after adding to his 20 Portuguese Liga goals with two more on his Premier League debut last weekend.
"He played in England, of course, when he was younger and he has quality so it’s a matter of time and he will be playing really well.
"It’s difficult to adjust – new manager, some new players. They have some good players and of course you need time for everybody, but unluckily in football, time is not what you have every time.
"But I think the directors and everybody knows that this could happen and that some games you have to be patient."