Diagnosis: How Jose Mourinho Finally Got It Right In Midfield For Manchester United


Following a poor and stuttering couple of weeks for Manchester United in the Premier League, the Red Devils responded well, taking apart Leicester City in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford where Jose Mourinho’s men looked unstoppable. 

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They looked like a team playing at the top of their game as goals from captain Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and new record signing Paul Pogba saw United easily see of Leicester in a blistering first half.

For me, three players stood out in the thumping home win. Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata. The three midfielders stood out, and in a team that Jose Mourinho is constantly tinkering with, the three highlighted showed us exactly why they should regularly feature in the United starting eleven.

Ander Herrera started in the defensive midfield on Saturday, and had an excellent game playing alongside Paul Pogba. The midfielder completed 88% of his passes and won 67% of his tackles playing in that deeper role, and really excelled in that position. The Spaniard also made six interceptions and made three clearances in his quality display.

The excellent performance in the defensive midfield from Ander Herrera allowed Paul Pogba to push forward a little more. His distribution and range of passes was much improved on previous games and the Frenchman looked a lot more threatening going forward. The record signing took two shots, one being his headed goal, completed 87% of his passes, and created three chances in the 4-1 win.

Finally, Juan Mata produced a tremendous performance against Leicester and was pivotal to the team’s attacking threat in the first half. The attacking-midfielder took two shots, one being his excellently-taken goal in the first period, delivered four crosses and won all of his aerial duels.

The Spanish attacker started ahead of Wayne Rooney, who have been subject to a lot of cristcism over the past couple of week as the Englishman dropped to the bench for the game against Leicester.

What looked different about Manchester United on Saturday was that they looked much more like a team at Old Trafford rather than a group of individuals, which I haven’t quite seen in recent weeks from Mourinho’s men.

It was an impressive and commanding performance from United as they blew Leicester away on Saturday afternoon, and in my opinion Jose Mourinho would be stupid to tinker anymore with the United starting line-up in the next Premier League match-up. The team should stay the same after an outstanding performance like that.

Following losses against Manchester City, Feyenoord in the Europa League, and Watford, United recovered well in midweek against Northampton and against Leicester. They look like they are finally starting to click as a team under Jose Mourinho. The win against the Premier League Champions takes the Red Devils into 6th place as they look to push on and challenge for the Premier League title.