Cyprus Mail

Polished Pogba leads United’s rout of Leicester

Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their fourth goal

JOSE Mourinho’s reshaped Manchester United destroyed Premier League champions Leicester City 4-1 with a performance that thrilled Old Trafford on Saturday and justified his decision to leave out Wayne Rooney.

The shake-up seemed to liberate Paul Pogba who led the way with a polished display, heading his first goal for the club on 42 minutes and starting the clever move that led to Juan Mata firing home United’s second after 37 minutes.

Mata, who replaced Rooney, also played a major part in United’s third, firing across goal for Marcus Rashford to convert from close range. Chris Smalling, who succeeded Rooney as captain, had begun the rout with a header after 22 minutes.

Three of the goals came via Daley Blind corners from the left as Leicester headed for their third league defeat, as many as they suffered in the whole of last season.

Claudio Ranieri responded by replacing Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at halftime with substitute Demarai Gray looping a 20-yard shot over David de Gea for a 59th-minute consolation.

Rooney, England’s record goal-scorer, came on as a late substitute.

“Of course, he is as happy as I am,” Mourinho told reporters.

“His team won. He is a big player for me, for United and for this country. I trust him completely.”

Mourinho, who also left out Marouane Fellaini, was delighted with the showing on the back on two successive league defeats.

“It was a very good performance and a good result. Obviously in the second half no one was expecting us to score four more goals. It was more about control.

“We had intensity, movement, good dynamic.”

Ranieri said his team paid the price for not concentrating properly.

“I made the changes at halftime because the game had gone and I preferred to keep them for the next game,” he said.

The win moved United into third place with 12 points from six games ahead of Saturday’s other games. Leicester drop to 12th with seven points.

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