Manchester United captain Paul Pogba scored the opening goal as the Red Devils beat Leicester in the first game of the Premier League season.
United had a frustrating summer, unable to sign any centre-backs and with Jose Mourinho looking increasingly irritated.
But that did not hinder them too much at Old Trafford as they made a flying start on Friday night, winning a penalty in the second minute when Daniel Amartey handled Alexis Sanchez’s deflected shot.
France midfielder Pogba stepped up and after a slow run-up placed the ball in the top-right corner above Kasper Schmeichel. The World Cup winner had not even expected to start, having only returned to training on Monday.
Left-back Luke Shaw then scored the first senior goal of his career after controlling Juan Mata’s aerial pass to double their lead.
Substitute Jamie Vardy scored a late consolation after Ricardo Perreira’s cross had hit a post, and Foxes goalkeeper Schmeichel came forward for an injury time corner but his header went wide.
The Foxes had edged the first half following their early setback with debutants James Maddison and Ricardo both forcing saves from David de Gea.
The second period was a slightly tamer affair before the late goals, although United substitute Romelu Lukaku was denied a goal by a good Schmeichel save.
It is the third year in a row Leicester have conceded the opening goal of the season – having lost to Hull and Arsenal in the first games of the previous two campaigns.
Pogba steals the headlines
Pogba, who has been linked to Barcelona this summer, was not expected to start – let alone captain United – five days after training for the first time since Russia 2018.
But he brought his World Cup form into the opening stages, producing a couple of excellent early passes before the opening goal.
A penalty was fairly awarded with Amartey’s arm high when he handled – although the video assistant referee was not an option to review the decision, with the Premier League the only one of Europe’s top five leagues not using the system this year.
Pogba – with two stars shaved into his scalp to celebrate France’s second World Cup win – had a brief word with Sanchez before deciding to take the kick himself.
After an unusual staggered run-up, he scored, although his celebrations were muted. He has now scored in his last two games – his previous match being the World Cup final when he scored in a 4-2 win over Croatia.
By the time he was replaced by Marouane Fellaini in the latter stages, at 2-0 up and seemingly safe, he had touched the ball more times and played more passes than any of his team-mates.
He came off to handshakes from the bench after a good job well done.
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More to follow.