Monday Briefing: The weekend in 10 key points
Your Monday Briefing is here to provide a straightforward round-up of Manchester United news from the weekend, beginning with the most obvious place…
The Reds opened the Premier League season on Friday night with a victory over the 2015/16 champions, thanks to Paul Pogba’s 3rd-minute penalty and Luke Shaw’s first goal in professional football. Jamie Vardy pulled one back for the Foxes late on, but it was ultimately a consolation strike.
POGBA WAS MAN OF THE MATCH
Paul took home the star man award after winning our Twitter poll with 43 per cent of votes cast, which capped a top night for the French World Cup winner. He’d earlier been handed the captain’s armband by Jose Mourinho after starting the match as part of a midfield three, following his return to training earlier that week. Pogba was substituted to a standing ovation after 83 minutes.
WHY PAUL WAS CAPTAIN
“Last season, he was captain a few times,” Jose told Sky Sports. “The captain is [Antonio] Valencia. Valencia is not here. Paul is one of the options. It’s his third season in the club, he was made in the Academy and understands the club, the culture of the club and the tradition. He is with the boys in the dressing room and is a good example today of putting himself available to try to participate.”
DEBUTS FOR OUR TWO BRAZILIANS
New signing Fred made his official debut following a positive pre-season and he caught the eye in central midfield, playing alongside Andreas Pereira – who started his first Premier League game for the club. Both players earned praise from Pogba, who said: “Andreas has been playing very well in pre-season, I saw it, and Fred came in and did great. I saw the ability and they're two great players.”
'I enjoyed my first Premier League start'
Fresh from a first Premier League start, Andreas spoke to us about his display and two central midfield partners...
That’s how Luke described his outing at Old Trafford, after impressing at left-back and netting the eventual winner in front of the Stretford End late on. “Honestly I can’t describe it, in front of the Stretford End, it’s the best feeling I’ve had,” Shaw told us afterwards. “I’m so proud and happy to be able to help the team. Hopefully I made my family proud tonight too with my first goal and hopefully I can push on forward and get many more and help the team out more.”
LUKAKU IS BACK IN RED
Marcus Rashford started the match wearing his new no.10 shirt for the first time in a competitive match and he produced an energetic display up front, before he was replaced by the returning Romelu Lukaku after 67 minutes. It was the Belgian’s first appearance since the World Cup third-place play-off and his return is a massive boost for Jose, who suddenly has more options available.
United 2 Leicester 1 gallery
The best images from our opening match of the new Premier League season.
DEFEAT FOR OUR NEXT OPPONENTS
The Reds are currently seventh in the Premier League table following the opening weekend's results. Our next opponents, Brighton & Hove Albion, are down in 16th following their 2-0 defeat at Watford.
THREE LOAN PLAYERS IN ACTION
Axel Tuanzebe played for 65 minutes as Aston Villa beat Wigan Athletic 3-2, Dean Henderson made his third appearance for Sheffield United in their 2-1 away win at QPR and Matty Willock registered 75 minutes in St Mirren's 2-0 defeat at Rangers. Joel Pereira and Tim Fosu-Mensah were both unused substitutes for Vitoria Setubal and Fulham.
TWO ACADEMY RESULTS ON FRIDAY
It was a busy Friday with all three male age groups in action. That began when Neil Ryan’s Under-18s drew 3-3 against Derby County with Mason Greenwood (2) and Brandon Williams among the goals, before the Under-23s drew 2-2 at Fulham thanks to goals from Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.
On Sunday we published an exclusive interview with Jaap to mark the 20-year anniversary of his transfer from PSV Eindhoven and, in a fascinating read, the Dutchman revealed how he took a pay cut to make the move happen. “Normally in your contract, you’re entitled to certain clauses to maybe get a certain percentage of the transfer fee, and I was no different… But when United came I was very excited to go over there and join them. My first thought was being a success, not making as much money as I could, so I decided that I had to give up the money to make that step to United.”