Manchester United got their title quest back on track after whipping champions Leicester City by 4-1 at Old Trafford today.
All the United goals were scored in the first half, with their most expensive player, Paul Pogba registering a goal and winning plaudits as Man of the Match.
The team had earned derision from fans and pundits having lost back-to-back Premier League matches .
But today, Jose Mourinho’s team responded by blowing Leicester away with goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
Smalling, captain in place of the benched Wayne Rooney, headed in Daley Blind’s corner midway through the first half, and three goals in the final eight minutes of the half put the hosts out of sight.
Mata produced a sublime finish on 37 minutes after Jesse Lingard had laid off Pogba’s chipped pass, and two minutes later Rashford scored from close range, after Mata helped on Blind’s quickly-take’s quickly-taken corner.
Pogba made it four on 42 minutes, heading another Blind corner past Ron-Robert Zieler and though Demarai Gray, on for Jamie Vardy, reduced the arrears on the hour there was no coming back for the defending champions.
With a dominating performance today, Manchester United maybe confirming Jose Mourinho’s statement on Friday that the team were a work in progress and that they were poised to change their narrative.
Manchester United’s midweek win over Northampton Town had arrested a run of three defeats, but Jose Mourinho was keen to stress that patience will be key as he continues to implement his own methods and style.
Despite a strong start to the campaign, a bad eight days had prompted fierce vilification, something that the manager felt completely unnecessary at this early stage of the season, labelling some pundits ‘critical Einsteins’.
He also added that he had taken a number of positives from United’s recent games despite the negative results.
“Of course [it is still a work in progress],” he told MUTV.
“This is a process of years, not a process even of months. But you can change things and improve things like I think we have done. We’ve played a few matches already where you could feel the differences in the style, differences in the approach and differences in the intensity.
“Even in the difficult week where we had bad results and defeats, in these matches we saw, not with consistency, a few very interesting things,” he continued. “For example, the way we played in the second half against Manchester City and Watford. In every match, we try to improve but, without the results, it’s difficult to persuade people that we are in a process.”