SHAW THE UNLIKELY HERO FOR MOURINHO
PAUL POGBA AND LUKE SHAW INSPIRE MAN UTD TO VICTORY OVER LEICESTER
Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw inspired Manchester United to an opening-day victory as they ignored background noise and their deadlineday frustration to overcome Leicester.
A summer of discontent at Old Trafford appeared to come to a head on Thursday as the transfer window ended without the reinforcements their manager had so publicly declared a priority.
Jose Mourinho’s relationship with his players has also come under scrutiny, but any such tension was forgotten as Pogba and Shaw - a duo that have endured ups and downs with the United boss - secured a 2-1 win against Leicester.
On this occasion, Mourinho had praise for Shaw.
“I’m very pleased not just with (the goal) but he played 90 minutes with one mistake in 90 minutes, and it’s the kind of mistake where probably the linesman could help him with a free-kick. He was very good defensively and physically coped well,” Mourinho said on Sky Sports.
The Portuguese said he was happy with the result given his concerns over the fitness of several players so soon after the World Cup.
“I think Mr Scudamore must be happy,” he said, referring to Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore. “It’s a good way to start the Premier League, a good match, two good teams. But it was a match where I needed six changes not three, that was not enough for me. I wanted to play (Anthony) Martial for Alexis or (Juan) Mata but I know Paul cannot play for 90 minutes and it’s the same for Fred. I needed more changes but I couldn’t so it wasn’t easy on the touchline.”
Mourinho lent heavily on those that served him well during a disrupted preseason at Old Trafford, but such options are no slouches and it showed after 77 seconds when Shaw fed Alexis Sanchez to get away a shot handled by Daniel Amartey.
Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot with none of the hesitation shown in Pogba’s run up the spot-kick. The shuffling lead up may well become a meme, but a superb finish past Kasper Schmeichel justified it.
With seven minutes remaining, Shaw flicked the ball around Leicester debutant Pereira before sending a low left-footed strike home in front of a rocking Stretford End. Vardy pulled one back in stoppage time.
Luke Shaw celebrates scoring the second goal.