Lessons learned from Manchester United's convincing 4-1 win against Leicester City

Goals from Smalling, Mata, Rashford and Pogba ensured a big victory for Mourinho's side but what lessons were learned from the game?

Lessons learned from Manchester United's convincing 4-1 win against Leicester City
The United players celebrating Rashford's goal (Picture source: Tom Purslow / Getty Images)

After back-to-back defeats in the Premier League going into the weekend, it was really important for Jose Mourinho's Manchester United side to get a much-needed victory against Leicester City in the Saturday's early kick-off at Old Trafford

They did just that as they scored four goals in a 20-minute spell in the first half which blew the Foxes away. Chris Smalling scored the opener in the 22nd minute heading in a corner taken by Daley Blind.

Juan Mata added a second 15 minutes later after a brilliant team move. Marcus Rashford then added a third before Paul Pogba headed in his first goal for the club since his return in the summer.

The team took their foots of the pedal in the second half with the game won at half-time. This allowed Leicester to get a goal back through Demarai Gray

Overall though it was the most impressive performance since Mourinho took over as manager but what lessons were learnt from the game?

Pogba showed his class

It is fair to say that in recent weeks that Pogba has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny, most of it undeserved but he answered his critics in fantastic fashion during this game against the Foxes. His whole display was fantastic but especially his first half in which he scored his first goal for the club but he also had two shots, made two key passes and completed 34 passes which showed the impact he had on the team's performance.

To be successful this season, Pogba will be the key man in the team as he is the driving force that will take the team forward like he proved he can do in this game. Overall it will be important to see if he can keep up his level of performance and if he can then United are in with a huge shout of winning trophies this season.

Rooney must stay on the bench

Rooney watching on from the bench during United's win against Leicester | Photo:
Rooney watching on from the bench during United's win against Leicester | Photo: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Many people had been calling for Mourinho to bench Wayne Rooney for many weeks and he finally did for the game against Leicester. Rooney's performances really haven't merited him being in the starting eleven but it looked like that he was never going to be dropped. He was though and the team benefited from the decision as it allowed the team to be so much more fluid and that is how the team managed to be so dominant in the first half of the game. 

Rooney, therefore, must stay on the bench if the team want to keep on winning in style as it allows players such as Mata and Pogba to really shine in a system that should suit everyone. 

Blind has to stay in the starting eleven

Blind, who had a fantastic game, does battle with Gray in the second half of the game | Photo:
Blind, who had a fantastic game, does battle with Gray in the second half of the game | Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Blind is probably the most underrated player in United's squad and he once again produced a fantastic performance for the team. Due to Luke Shaw's injury, Blind was required to play left-back for the game which really wasn't a problem for Blind given how many times he has done it for club and country.

Blind isn't the most mobile of players but his fantastic range of passing and crossing was a huge reason why the team came away with the victory. The defender got two assists plus played a huge part in Mata's assist for the Rashford goal, showing his ability for everyone to see. Since joining United, Blind has been asked to play in midfield, centre-back and left-back and he has never let the side down and must start in the team as he gives the team something that not many players have.

Scoring the first goal was key

So far this season when United have scored the first goal in a game they have gone on to win the game. In the three defeats so far this season United have conceded the first goal. It seems to give the players so much more confidence to go and express themselves and that is exactly what they did against the Foxes.

Before the opening goal, it really wasn't the best of starts for United as they looked nervous but when Smalling powered in his header the huge relief around the ground was there for everyone to see. Going forward it is something to take into account to see if this changes but so far this is a pattern that has started to grow.

Ibrahimovic's presence made a huge impact

Ibrahimovic puts a volley over the bar when he should have scored | Photo:
Ibrahimovic puts a volley over the bar when he should have scored | Photo: Tom Purslow / Getty Images 

He mightn't have got on the scoresheet during the game but Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a huge part in the win. The big striker held the ball up on numerous occasions which really unsettled the Leicester defence. The vision in which Zlatan has is amazing and he showed it during the game as he made some hard passes look really simple.

You could see from the corners that United scored from Leicester were always focused on Zlatan and therefore didn't pay attention to the goalscorers which was one the big reasons that they lost the game. Ibrahimovic will be disappointed that he didn't finish off the chance when Pogba played him in on goal but overall he made a huge impact when the team needed him.