The seemingly eternal wait for the return of the Premier League is finally over. After a good summer transfer window and a reasonably positive preseason for Leicester City the excitement for the new season became palpable in the buildup to the opener at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately, things immediately went awry with a penalty given against the Foxes in the opening minutes of the game. Still, Claude Puel’s men responded immediately and seemed to be the better side for much of the time that remained. The full summer with Puel appeared to make the difference as they played an exciting possession-based attacking brand of football and looked mostly comfortable doing so. Regardless, Manchester United were the victors by a score of 2-1 and City opened the season with zero points to show for their efforts.
Kasper Schmeichel - 7.5
Guessed correctly on Pogba’s penalty but no human could save that shot. Later made a stunning save on a one-on-one attempt from Lukaku and couldn't do much about either of United’s goals.
Daniel Amartey - 4
Guilty of a boneheaded mistake that put the team in the hole early. Will probably find his way back to the bench next week.
Wes Morgan - 5.5
The captain made a couple signature blocks but also looked slow on occasion. His time might be up.
Harry Maguire - 6
Not at his best on the day and was less involved on both ends of the pitch then we’ve become accustomed to. Still, he wasn’t bad.
Ben Chilwell - 8
Looked to be a menace marauding down the left wing. Ran at the defense over and over again in the first half and looked more confident in possession than we’ve seen in the past. Slowed down a bit in the second half but still impressed.
Ricardo Pereira - 7.5
It was a mostly positive debut for the Portuguese player. He was a threat on the right-wing and set up a would-be goal by Madders and a real goal by Vardy. Pereira also tracked back effectively, save for the fluke goal by Luke Shaw where he was beaten by a lucky bounce.
Wilfred Ndidi - 8
Wilf continues to be City’s most consistent contributor. He was involved on the defensive end with two tackles, two interceptions, and one clearance (whoscored.com). He also completed more passes than any other player on the pitch with 87 (with 83 percent pass accuracy).
Adrien Silva - 6.5
It was a mostly solid game for Silva. He made the second most passes of any player on the pitch with 76 (86 percent pass accuracy), but didn’t create much of anything threatening.
Demarai Gray - 7.5
One of the brightest spots for the Foxes, Gray looks set to breakthrough. He was as aggressive as ever, completing five dribbles and getting fouled on three occasions. Between Gray and Chilwell the left wing was where much of the threat came from.
James Maddison - 8
Was every bit as impressive as Foxes fans hoped he would be, and proved that his preseason was no fluke. He was pulling the strings in the space behind the striker and connected well with everybody around him, especially Iheanacho. He also would’ve scored with a powerful shot if it wasn’t for that pesky David De Gea.
Kelechi Iheancho - 7.5
Didn’t get too many chances to threaten goal but came close when he did and moved really well without the ball.
Rachid Ghezzal - 6.5
Came on in the 63rd minute and started off well with some nice touches, but didn’t threaten much in the final minutes.
Jamie Vardy - 7.5
Still Jamie Vardy. Came on and pestered the defense with constant runs off the ball and tireless pressing. Bullied Luke Shaw off the ball and set up a Demarai Gray chance that was saved by De Gea. Also missed a volley attempt in the box, but followed it up with a late goal.
Vicente Iborra - 6
Calm as ever, but the circumstances probably called for a more aggressive offensive presence.
A loss is never a great start to a season, but this was probably as close to great as a loss could feel. An exceptionally young team playing a new style pushed English giants Manchester United to the brink in their own stadium. The Foxes had more possession, more shots, more chances created, and a higher xG sum.
xG map for Manchester United - Leicester City.— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) August 10, 2018
united devil magic, how i missed you pic.twitter.com/FBQw4Ht0qB
There were a few standouts for City, but the Man of the Match had to be Ben Chilwell for his explosive display pushing into attack.