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Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City: Winning start for Jose Mourinho's men

Luke Shaw: The Manchester United full-back celebrates his first goal in professional football
Luke Shaw: The Manchester United full-back celebrates his first goal in professional football

Manchester United got their title charge off to a promising start after beating Leicester 2-1 in the opening game of the Premier League season.

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 Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw - a duo that have endured ups and downs with the United boss - were on the score sheet to help secure the win.

The Red Devils remain 11/1 with Sky Bet for the Premier League title, behind Manchester City and Liverpool.

Weeks after scoring in the World Cup final as France lifted the trophy, Pogba coolly converted a third-minute penalty after Daniel Amartey was penalised for handball to give United the perfect start.

Shaw doubled their lead when he scored his first goal in professional football, beating Kasper Schmeichel from an acute angle seven minutes from time.

Leicester pulled one back two minutes into added time through Jamie Vardy's close-range header, but United withstood a late onslaught to secure Mourinho a third successive opening-day victory of his tenure at the club.

With more Premier League action taking place on Saturday, why not read our betting preview for the 3pm kick-offs.

Post-match reaction

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Jose Mourinho praised goalscorer Luke Shaw.

He said: "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."

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 (Richard) Scudamore must be happy," he said, referring to Premier League chairman.

"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 had warned United faced a difficult season if they failed to add to their squad but Thursday's transfer deadline came and went without the expected defensive reinforcement. The United boss was keen to draw a line under that matter after the match.

He added: "I think it will be a difficult season for everybody. I had my plans for many months but I find myself at the beginning of the Premier League with the market closed. I find myself in a situation which is not the situation I thought I would be in.

"I think it's the last time we speak about it, it's over, finished, the market is closed and no more talk about it."

Opta match facts

Paul Pogba: The Man United midfielder coolly dispatches from the spot against Leicester
Paul Pogba: The Man United midfielder coolly dispatches from the spot against Leicester
  • Manchester United have won on the opening day in each of their last four seasons, their joint-longest run in the Premier League (also four in a row between 2000-01 and 2003-04).
  • Leicester City are winless in their last 16 away top-flight matches on the opening day of the season (D8 L8) since a 3-2 win at Aston Villa in August 1933.
  • Manchester United have won eight of their last nine home Premier League games against Leicester City (D1), winning all three under manager Jose Mourinho.
  • Jose Mourinho is unbeaten in all 18 of his opening league matches of a season as a manager (W11 D7), winning nine of his 10 in the Premier League (D1).
  • Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has scored in 11 Premier League games and ended on the winning side in all of them – a joint-record he shares with former Liverpool player Ryan Babel.
  • Leicester City have conceded the first goal of the Premier League season in each of the last three seasons, also doing so in 2016-17 against Hull City and 2017-18 against Arsenal.
  • Paul Pogba’s goal inside three minutes was Manchester United’s fastest goal scored in a Premier League season – the previous fastest was Dwight Yorke after seven minutes against Everton in 1999-2000.
  • Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw registered his first senior goal in his 134th appearance in all competitions (67 games each for Southampton and Man Utd).
  • Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has now ended on the losing side in four of the last five Premier League matches in which he’s found the net (W1).

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Odds correct as of 2200 BST on 10/08/18

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Most Read Football

Mesut Ozil celebrates1

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