Talking points from the East Midlands
A second 1-0 win on the road in the space of five days elevated Manchester United to fifth in the Premier League table, after five games.
Leicester were the victims this time, as Jadon Sancho's well-worked first-half goal proved enough to secure all three points against Brendan Rodgers' struggling Foxes.
Direct from the press box at the King Power Stadium, these are the main points of discussion arising from the game...
NEW ARRIVALS WATCH ON
United made two signings on deadline day, in Antony and Martin Dubravka, with both rightly thrilled to be signing for ‘one of the biggest clubs in the world’. Unfortunately, they weren’t registered in time to face the Foxes but shortly after kick-off they shared posts on social media watching BT Sport’s coverage of the game from home. They’ll both have been absolutely delighted when Jadon Sancho scored to put us 1-0 up and no doubt cannot wait to get involved.
United had the better of the opening 20 minutes but the home side were working their way into the game when Sancho broke the deadlock. It was a superb team move as the Reds advanced the ball from our own third and into the Leicester net virtually in the blink of an eye. Diogo Dalot found Bruno Fernandes in space down the right-hand side and the Portuguese showed great vision to pick out Marcus Rashford between the lines. Our no.10 swiftly threaded in Sancho and he calmly rounded the advancing Danny Ward before sidefooting home his second of the season. An early contender for our next Goal of the Month prize? You can vote for August’s award now.
ERIKSEN KNITS IT TOGETHER
Christian Eriksen again took up a more withdrawn position than we became accustomed to seeing him in while at Tottenham and once more the Dane thrived as United’s ‘quarterback’. Our no.14 is a constant option in possession and a career playing as a no.10 means he has the ability to receive the ball on the half-turn and pick out a wide range of passes. Just like at Southampton, he made United tick, especially during a first half in which we dominated play.
MORE DAVID BRILLIANCE
De Gea was forced into great saves to protect the wins against Liverpool and Southampton and he was also called into action here. Five minutes after the break, the Foxes won a free kick 25 yards out, with the dangerous James Maddison standing over it. The England international’s effort seemed to be destined for the top corner, only for David to stretch every inch of his six-foot-four frame to keep it out. After a soporific first 45 minutes in the home terraces, that one certainly helped perk up Foxes fans and the home side then grew into the game.
FURTHER MINUTES FOR CASEMIRO
Leicester’s bright start to the second half convinced Ten Hag to call for Casemiro. The Brazilian appeared for the last 10 minutes at Southampton on Saturday but, with three of United’s four defenders on bookings, he was required earlier tonight as he continues to adapt to his new team. Our no.18 replaced Anthony Elanga on 58 minutes and slotted in alongside Scott McTominay, with Eriksen pushing out wide. He was involved at both ends almost immediately, first arcing a superb 30 yard pass out to Fernandes on the right wing and then dropping back into the centre-back position to dispossess Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, with the Leicester youngster threatening.
MARTINEZ v VARDY
Lisandro Martinez was deservedly crowned United’s Player of the Month for August and he’ll be buzzing with that after his performances against Liverpool and Southampton. Our first game of September brought a new test for him, however, up against Jamie Vardy. The Leicester no.9 may be 35 years old now, but he can still cause problems with his pace and had scored in this fixture four times previously. That Licha kept a seasoned Premier League scorer so quiet – Vardy had just 21 touches and his main contribution was being booked for a late challenge on Tyrell Malacia – is yet another feather in the Argentine’s cap.
CLOSING OUT ANOTHER WIN
Although Leicester were much improved in the second half, United were comfortable in seeing out the game and could have added further goals late on, with substitute Cristiano Ronaldo heavily involved. It’s now three wins in a row in the league for the Reds: the first time since December 2021 that’s happened and the first time in a year that we’ve managed back-to-back top-flight away victories. Table-toppers Arsenal await at Old Trafford on Sunday – bring it on, we say!