Manchester United and Leicester City faced off in the opening game of the new Premier League season at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s men put in a solid defensive performance with Paul Pogba opening the scoring as early as the second minute with a penalty. Luke Shaw scored the winner with what was his first goal of his senior career. There were numerous individual and collective traits that stood out from the game that have been broken down in the form of animation clips as always below here. In particular, a certain Andreas Pereira stood out as the #6 in United’s system.
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- Andreas Pereira put in a very disciplined performance off the ball as the #6 for United. He held his position comfortably and did not venture out of his zone unless there was an interception on offer. Quicker release of the ball after intercepting also stood out
- Andreas Pereira was tidy in possession and kept it simple. He played a huge part in the increased tempo in United’s passing by making himself available for making a switch in play at all times, not complicating the flow of play by always releasing the ball in his second touch
- United were solid in their defensive shape but Leicester were able to cause them some problems down their left side. Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray caused problems for Darmian with Mata being unable to cover down that side. Mourinho is bound to take note of this for the next game
It was a straightforward victory for United despite Leicester’s late goal via Vardy in stoppage time. United were still not full strength in terms of their first eleven, while the performance was found a bit wanting in certain areas. Nevertheless, the three points matter the most at the start of the season while Leicester would not lose much heart over this loss. They were able to hog possession for large periods and had a few half chances of their own. While their end product and play in the final third has to improve significantly, some of the individual performances would have given Puel heart. The season has just begun, but Mourinho and co would be happy with the three points gained now.