Jose Mourinho has praised his Manchester United players for maintaining their composure during their 2-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday.
The hosts, brimming with confidence following consecutive 4-0 wins, made an ebullient start against Craig Shakespeare’s men and had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside just before half time.
Romelu Lukaku was then handed a chance to score from the spot but saw his tame effort saved by Kasper Schmeichel, only for substitutes Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini to save his blushes with goals in the last 20 minutes.
And Mourinho, speaking to BT Sport after the game, was pleased with the way his side didn’t panic in the face of Leicester’s resolve.
“We played very well and the result was open as it was difficult because they were well organised as they defended well but we kept calm and stayed in control as we deserved the win and if I could chose a word to describe the team it would be solid,” he said.
“If I didn’t have the subs on the bench I cant make successful changes but they’re working hard waiting to pick up game time, they came on and broke down Leicester’s defence.
“We had too many draws last season at home even with 1-0 we were quit comfortable today as we looked in control, I think there is a difference in a quality in our football, if I didn’t win today I wouldn’t have anyone to blame because we played very well and it was great football.”
How often last season did we pray to see United, leading at home to a lesser side, claim a second goal to kill the game and instead witness an implausible home draw?
Too often. But there is something different about United this time around. Even after Lukaku’s penalty miss you felt it was only a matter of time before an inexorable attacking unit found its way through.
Leicester gave United an important test – a sort of performance that would have seen them stumble to an unsatisfactory draw. But Mourinho’s men are teeming with confidence and, crucially, a deadly instinct in front of goal that simply wasn’t there last season.
Even during a frustrating afternoon hallmarked by innumerable defensive headers from Harry Maguire and fizzing but inaccurate shots from Paul Pogba, United still claimed two goals, miss a penalty and see an effort wrongly ruled out. Make no mistake: Mourinho’s men are making important progress.