Manchester United 2-0 Leicester City, 5 Talking Points: Premier League 2017-18
Three Wins in Three.
Ten Goals Scored.
Manchester United continued their rollicking start to the season with a convincing 2-0 win against Leicester at home - thanks to a 70th minute goal from substitute Marcus Rashford and an 83rd minute from another substitute Marouane Fellaini.
Leicester City put a fight - combining some excellent defending with sharp counter-attacking - but the home side dominated the game from the first whistle to the last; it was the kind of performance that would have ended in a draw if it had happened last season (as Paul Pogba confirmed during the regular post match interview)... this, in fact, segues neatly into the first of the five major talking points this entertaining affair raised:
#5. There's a marked difference in the quality of football on offer from Manchester United
This might just be stating the obvious, but Manchester United are a far cry from the side that laboured its way to the moniker "Drawchester" last season. It's not just the addition of Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku - both of whom have slipped straight into the starting XI - but the way United kept at it, without losing confidence, without losing shape till they were finally rewarded for their efforts.
A saved penalty, a controversial offside, umpteen superb saves from the opposition keeper - all things that would have ruffled their feathers last season - were taken in their stride - as Mourinho said: "There is a difference in the quality of our football. The team is playing very well, great football."
There indeed is a difference.
And he's done this without losing any of the defensive solidity he worked so hard at building up last season.
No one exemplifies that more than Phil Jones. The Englishman is now the butt of jokes and a favourite of the internet troll machine, but you don't have to go that far back in history to unearth the ripples of excitement Jones had been sending down the collective spines of the English football establishment just before his transfer to United. A number of recurring injuries have hampered his growth; but, and this is a big BUT, provided he stays fit he'll soon start reminding us all of the reason he was once praised with this from Sir Alex Ferguson: "Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player,"
P.S. United have built up some momentum - the international break could not have come at a worse possible time, could it?