The 1-0 win against Leicester City wasn’t the greatest performance Manchester United fans will ever see, but it was all about the three points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew that it was going to be a tough afternoon and at times United looked like the away side as Leicester dominated possession.
The Norwegian was missing a number of players due to injury, and the game could have been completely different if James Maddison had taken his early chance.
With fans wanting Solskjaer to give youngsters a opportunity, it was two of the Red Devils’ most experienced players who struggled at Old Trafford.
The Serbian admitted during the international break that he was frustrated with a lack of playing time throughout the opening month of the season [Daily Star].
Recalled to the starting line-up against Leicester, due to the absence of Pogba and Solskjaer’s reluctance to start Fred, Matic had an opportunity to show his Norwegian manager that he deserves a place in the team.
However, the holding midfielder looked extremely leggy and pedestrian in possession, he was eventually replaced by Fred in the 66th minute as Solskjaer became increasingly concerned about Matic’s inability to get near Tielemans and Maddison.
It is looking increasingly likely that Matic’s time at Old Trafford could be coming to an end as his ageing legs struggle to keep pace with the frantic tempo of the English game.
When Angel Gomes was left out of the under-23s squad, there was growing optimism that he could finally get his first taste of first team football this season, but Solskjaer opted to go with the experienced Mata in the number ten role.
Gomes did make the bench for the first time season, so maybe we are making progress.
Mata had some tidy moments and tested Kasper Schmeichel after a neat move involving, Andreas Pereira and Wan-Bissaka, but on the whole he was largely ineffective.
The Spaniard was replaced by academy star Tahith Chong in the 69th minute and the young Dutchman impressed in his 20 minute cameo.
Mata was unable to stamp his own imprint on a game which was conducted by Leicester’s number 10, Maddison, who showed United what they desperately miss.
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