Written by Kurt West
Manchester United and Leicester kicked off the season with the traditional curtain opener of the FA Community Shield. Although some say it is just a glorified friendly played at Wembley, neither club had that mentality going into the match and were both looking to go into the new season, in the best way possible.
United took the spoils in a game they controlled on the most part by goals through the impressive Jesse Lingard and brand new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Jamie Vardy had equalised after taking full advantage of a poor back pass from Marouane Fellaini. The Red Devils struggled after the break with Leicester upping the tempo considerably higher with the introductions of Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray and they seriously tested a United team who have had a fairly disruptive pre-season after a pretty disastrous tour of China, a 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund and their ‘friendly’ with city rivals, Manchester City, being cancelled. With United only playing 3 pre-season games prior to the shield win, the players have struggled to gain match fitness and sharpness something that may take it’s toll in the early part of the season. However one man, who has took part in every game, Eric Bailly; impressed massively during the win, keeping Vardy very quiet and looked calm and composed on the ball. From early signs he looks born to wear the United shirt and at the age of only 22, looks like he may have all the top attributes to have a big future at the club.
credit Sean MacEntee
David De Gea – 7 – A faultless game from Dave as always, in truth had very little to do but is immaculate in everything he does and is surely now the best around.
Antonio Valencia – 8- Valencia has had a very impressive pre-season at right back and looks to be Jose’s first choice over Matteo Darmian. He provided the ball for Zlatan’s winner to claim his fourth assist of pre-season and was solid at the back again.
Eric Bailly – 9 – Mine and many others man of the match, solid in the tackle, composed on the ball and he chose red over blue, how could it be anymore perfect?
Daley Blind – 8 – Calm and composed performance. Despite playing in a position where you feel he doesn’t have the attributes to play, he handles himself very well and was very impressive once again.
Luke Shaw – 7 – As cliche as it may be, Luke Shaw is like a new signing for United after his horrendous injury last year and he has come back just as impressively as he did before he got injured. Could be a key man for United this season.
Marouane Fellani – 4 – A truly horrendous performance, he was at fault for the Leicester goal and offered the team virtually nothing in any other department. Absolutely baffling to me that Bastian Schweinsteiger is being overlooked for this waste of space.
Michael Carrick – 5 – The central midfield was the weakest area of United’s game on Sunday, Carrick gave away the ball far too much and when he didn’t it was normally backwards or sideways.
Jesse Lingard – 8 – A breathtaking goal from the Warrington boy, many expect him to be a squad player for United this season but with performances like that it’ll be hard to drop him. His direct running during the first half scared the Leicester defence to death and he thoroughly deserved his goal.
Wayne Rooney – 5 – Another poor performance from the skipper, I feel like Mourinho may be the man who finally has the balls to drop Rooney. There are players far more deserving of his spot and surely it’s only a matter of time before he loses his place.
Anthony Martial – 6 – A very quiet day for the young Frenchman, I do like his direct running at defences but he needs to improve his final product from out wide.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 7 – Another one who was quiet but took the only chance he got with great precision and will surely be a key part in any United success this season.
Marcus Rashford – 7 – The boy is going to be special and had more of an impact after replacing Martial, he has a long way to go but his fearless running helped United really put Leicester under pressure.
Ander Herrea – 8 – Probably should of started in place of Fellaini, brought a purpose to the United midfield and dictated from the centre, will be a big player in the United midfield this season.
Marcos Rojo – 7 – Not the biggest fan of the Argentinean but was very solid when he came on and worked very well down the left with Rashford. Hopefully he can continue to perform like that when he is needed.
Mata, Schneiderlen, Mkhitaryan – Not really on the field long enough to give a fair rating to.
Manchester United fan, do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Iain Middleton-Duff