Brendan Rodgers made a surprise change in his line-up, letting Demarai Gray start this football game, without any previous starts this season, strange and “too smart” as Rodgers isolates the strengths of this player and see him being the “genius act”, and Gray was of course not.
Gareth Southgate never gave James Maddison the chance for England and the player probably isn’t ready yet, as we so easy could see at Old Trafford this Saturday, missing too many of his opportunities, not finishing off the fantastic things he do and often it ends in nothing, sadly.
This was exactly what happened today, James Maddison was stopped in the very start by a goalkeeper that for many years has been among the best in the World and de Gea got the edge. Just a few minutes later a mirror of the nightmare was clear.
The player Brendan Rodgers has decided is the one replacing Harry Maguire, Caglar Soyuncu makes a fatal mistake and another England star and great finisher, Marcus Rashford does no errors as he trolls Kasper Schmeichel to the wrong side and it’s Man Utd 1-0 up after eight minutes.
Leicester is not a bad team, not at all, and they have quality players all over the pitch, but chances are not created in the way this team needs, they need more than one chance to score. There were little or few chances to score and after those first 10 minutes, a Ben Chilwell shot, and a James Maddison’s free kick, going wide, was the two to count.
The ball is in the Leicester City players feet, but domination in it self is not giving you results and too much play out to the wingers, without being able to set up Jamie Vardy who was totally absent most of the game, cleverly marked by Lindelof and Maguire, who both had an outstanding game in the Man Utd defense.
Leicester comes out in the 2nd half with a good momentum and continues to dominate field play, but it’s Marcus Rashford who gets the most of it, with a free kick hitting the bar and also late in the game could have scored his 2nd.
Ayoze Perez comes on, so does Harvey Barnes, both players that you would believe should have started long before Demarai Gray in this game, and Rodgers just using two of his three subs tells a story of a manager that today had lost his magic, and was sadly totally outplayed, tactically by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
To see those errors done in a game at Old Trafford, with the manager being “too smart”, against a team that Leicester City had the chance to beat, makes you as a fan very irritated and annoyed as we did see these errors also done by Claude Puel, and this should not be happening.
The edge of this performance shows that clubs that buy your best players will be rewarded and of course you will hopefully understand in the future that if someone is valued to £80million and play for England, the majority of people are not daft, and they will be honored for such a signing and get three points on board.
The game faded out with little or no big chances to Leicester, and all in all well played at Old Trafford, but zero points in the pocket, and three points to a team that played a very good game defensively, with players really committed to the course.
To bring on Hamza Choudhury is logical, but to field Demarai Gray straight from start for the first game of the season against Man Utd at Old Trafford looks as a desperate act and cannot be seen than anything else that Rodgers don’t believe in Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes and has totally forgotten about the skills of his £30million signing Ayoze Perez. Sad to watch and also difficult for Demarai Gray, that in all did his best and contributed in the same manner as he always does, but why not give him a chance from the bench with space being more obvious in the end of games.
Manchester United legend Gary Neville analyzed the game for Norwegian television and was the special guest of the afternoon. His in depth knowledge of his club and also admiration for Leicester City, shows how you can balance talk and be positive in a non-neutral way, giving solid and in depth views on a game that in all was a possible win for Leicester City, but as Neville himself said, football games are won inside the boxes and not out in open play.
Form listening to the post match live at the LCFC.com, the old guard, Elliott, Taggart and Guppy, had their key points, using a few words on atmosphere, which they were not impressed with, with just 1500 to 2000 tickets given to Leicester, in a stadium of 75 000. They also talked about the surprise inclusion of Gray, the Soyuncu incident and that it was a game that wasn’t really a good one for Leicester.
- Possession is good, and to have the ball so much at Old Trafford is comforting
- Central midfield, Choudhury, Ndidi, Tielemans, great to watch, they have a real momentum
- Defensively solid, but one slip made it difficult to win or get anything from the game
- Sadly a bright start to the season is destroyed with the one key error done by Soyuncu, but in all he does a good game
- Rodgers being “too clever”, not doing the obvious, to play either Barnes, Perez or Albrighton, Gray exposed and being put under pressure
- Solskjaer tactical brilliance stopped both Gray and Vardy from getting any space, a real wake up call for Brendan Rodgers
- No real plan for 2nd half, just bringing on two subs, and not having a forward on the bench, with Perez just a link up or a winger, strange
- Not able to convert the domination into chances and this must be addressed as a key problem for Leicester, also passing the ball a bit too much backwards and to the sides
- Rashford and Maguire are clinical in the boxes were football games are won, that is why you pay £80million for those jobs done
- When you field a player like Gray in the team, you easily forget that you will get a total different pattern defensively as offensively often used with cleverness from opposition, he also moves in a very different way from Perez, Albrighton and Barnes that the team has been used to, especially defensively, strange and little comforting from a manager that should know better
- Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6. Pereira 5, Chilwell 5, Evans 6, Soyuncu 6, Nididi 6, Maddison 6, Tielemans 6, Choudhury 6, Vardy 5, Gray 5, Subs: Perez, Barnes
Match Stats: H/A
- Possession: 46 / 54
- Corners: 3 / 9
- Shots on target: 4 / 4
- Fouls: 14 / 11
- Offsides: 0 / 2