Highlights and report as Paul Pogba’s penalty and Luke Shaw’s first senior goal seal opening-day United victory; Jamie Vardy nets consolation
By Jack Wilkinson at Old Trafford
Last Updated: 10/08/18 10:20pm
Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw scored in each half as Manchester United ushered in the new Premier League season with a 2-1 victory over Leicester at Old Trafford.
France international Pogba coolly converted a third-minute penalty after Daniel Amartey was penalised for handball, before Shaw wrapped up the victory seven minutes from time with his first goal in senior football.
Leicester pulled one back two minutes into added time through Jamie Vardy’s close-range header, but United withstood a late onslaught to secure Jose Mourinho the third successive opening-day victory of his tenure at the club.
Man Utd: De Gea (8), Darmian (6), Bailly (6), Lindelof (6), Shaw (8), Fred (7), A Pereira (7), Pogba (8), Mata (6), Rashford (6), Sanchez (6).
Subs: Lukaku (5), McTominay (5), Fellaini (5).
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Amartey (4), Morgan (5), Maguire (6), Chilwell (5), Ndidi (5), Silva (6), R Pereira (6), Maddison (7), Gray (6), Iheanacho (6).
Subs: Vardy (6), Ghezzal (5), Iborra (5).
Man of the Match: Luke Shaw.
There were only 75 seconds on the clock when Pogba was handed, literally, the chance to score the first goal of the Premier League season, as a blocked Alexis Sanchez shot hit Amartey’s outstretched arm.
Up stepped United’s captain, who showed no sign of fatigue after his World Cup-winning summer, to dispatch the spot-kick beyond Kasper Schmeichel into the roof of the net.
United continued on the front foot but any hopes of putting Leicester to the sword in a blistering opening spell subsided as the visitors got a foothold, Wilfred Ndidi drawing David de Gea into action at full stretch with the Foxes’ first attempt on target after Fred’s poor clearance.
The Spanish goalkeeper was forced into action on 29 minutes as his stunning point-blank save denied James Maddison a goal on his Premier League debut, after Ricardo Pereira’s cut-back found the Leicester new boy in space in the area.
And when the resulting corner was cleared as far as Ricardo – another new Leicester signing – Pogba was on hand with a crucial last-gasp deflection to preserve United’s lead through to the interval.
United had Eric Bailly to thank for keeping them ahead on 62 minutes as the Ivorian showed great strength to outmuscle Kelechi Iheanacho after he had been played through on goal.
World Cup winner Paul Pogba captained United, while summer signing Fred made his Premier League debut. Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial started on the bench. Harry Maguire lined up against United having been linked with a move to the club all summer. New signings Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison started too, but Jonny Evans and Rachid Ghezzal were named on the bench.
The insurance of a second goal proved elusive for Mourinho’s men, who thought they should have had a penalty when Juan Mata’s shot deflected behind off Wes Morgan’s elbow, but not even a corner was awarded.
And their slender lead faced its greatest threat when substitute Vardy picked Shaw’s pocket and crossed for Gray on 75 minutes, but again De Gea proved impenetrable with another fine save.
Substitute Romelu Lukaku should have put the game beyond Leicester on 78 minutes, but the onrushing Schmeichel diverted his effort onto the roof of the net.
Shaw then secured the victory when he fired past Schmeichel from a narrow angle, with Vardy’s late effort mere consolation for the Foxes.
- 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).
Brighton vs Man Utd
August 19, 2018, 3:30pm
After the nine remaining games on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, United travel to Brighton – live on Nissan Super Sunday at 4pm – while Leicester host newly-promoted Wolves at 3pm on Saturday.