More On Manchester United’s Opening Day Victory And A Brief Look At The Other Results From Saturday

Posted: August 12, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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In the opening game of the new Premier League season Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1. The score may have been rather predictable, especially when United’s team was announced and it looked far stronger than the one originally envisaged given the manager’s pessimism about available players, but the game was quite close and Leicester controlled large portions of it.

It turned out that Paul Pogba could manage most of the match as could other returning World Cup attendees David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Fred and Marcus Rashford.

Alexis Sánchez who had taken advantage of a commitment-free summer for the first time in nine years was always going to play and the substitutes bench included Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku.

So it was no real surprise when United started like an express train and took a very early lead through a Paul Pogba penalty.

This period of attacking football lasted around 15 minutes or so then United retreated into their shell. The bad habits of last season resurfaced and they continually gave the ball away. It was during this period that Leicester were in the ascendancy but they failed to create any clear cut chances and paid for their profligacy by conceding a second with a couple of minutes of normal time left.

The goal was a personal achievement for Luke Shaw who, as well as having a solid game, also managed to score his first ever senior goal.

Southampton v Leicester City - Premier League

Jamie Vardy – Has already scored the easiest goal of the season in the first game!

This being United we couldn’t sit back and see the game out comfortably. Four minutes of added time were announced and, as is often the case, United conceded a soft goal to leave the fans with an anxious couple of minutes at the end.

They managed to see it through and collect the points which, after all, with a totally disrupted pre-season and players returning at different times at different levels of fitness, was all that really mattered.

Now, having complained about having even less time than the rest to prepare due to the game being brought forward to Friday night for TV purposes, will José Mourinho now point out that, for this same reason, he now has longer than most of the rest to prepare for his second game? Probably not.

He did have time, however, to point out that the manager is now really a coach which was a reference to the fact that he gives a “wish-list” to people who know nothing about football and they then decide who they will try and sign and in which direction the club needs to go.

For him they decided to sign nobody and the direction of the club is unknown at this moment in time.

Mourinho also praised the performances of Pogba, Fred, Shaw and Pereira, a fact not reported quite as widely as the perceived negative remark about managers now being coaches.

And finally…..

Some more Premier League teams began their campaigns on Saturday and those were:

Newcastle United who faced Tottenham Hotspur and were very unlucky to lose 1-2;

Huddersfield against Chelsea, which ended 0-3 to the visitors

Bournemouth versus Cardiff City with no dream start for the Bluebirds as they lost 2-0

Watford who faced Brighton and won 2-0

Fulham versus Crystal Palace which was also won by the visitors 0-2

Wolves playing Everton which ended 2-2 and was the only game in which one of the newly promoted teams managed to take a point.

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Possibly the stand-out match on Sunday

As it is only the first day of the new season the Premier League table is a complete irrelevance, (which didn’t stop BT Sport from showing it, although Sky Sports passed on the honour), so we’ll just look forward to tomorrow’s games at:

Anfield where Liverpool host West Ham

St. Marys where Southampton play Burnley

The Emirates for the meeting of Arsenal and Manchester City

That will round off a very good weekend of Premier League football and we can all sit back and anticipate a thrilling week of Carabao Cup with a bit of Europa League thrown in for good measure.

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