Football

Mourinho delighted with impact from the bench

Jose Mourinho shifted praise to his substitutes after they impressed in the 2-0 win over Leicester City yesterday morning (Singapore time), as Manchester United maintained their 100 per cent start to the EPL season.

Having drawn 10 times at home in last season's Premier League, a United crowd Mourinho thought was "quiet" must have felt a sense of deja vu as the stubborn visitors refused to be breached for more than an hour, with Kasper Schmeichel even saving a Romelu Lukaku penalty.

However, the cavalry arrived to save the day as replacements Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini scored shortly after coming on, the latter having been set up by another substitute Jesse Lingard, to seal United's third win in as many games.

Mourinho's pre-match programme notes were reserved for those who had played little or no part in United's good start and afterwards he once more lauded those on the fringes.

"This is about the quality of the players, the players are good, and not just good, they are motivated to help one another," the Portuguese said.

"It doesn't matter if they play from the beginning, if they come from the bench. The group is solid, very, very friendly in between games and (there's) great empathy.

"I'm really happy, not for me. When (managers) make changes, we always make the right changes, sometimes it works against us. I'm happy for them, for Marouane, for Jesse, for Marcus."

United's issue last term was a failure to beat teams on home soil, with 10 draws outweighing their eight victories, and it looked early on as if another of those nights was in store at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata's disallowed goal in the first half was followed by Schmeichel guessing correctly when Lukaku stepped up from 12 yards, but Mourinho was pleased his team kept probing and were eventually rewarded.

Not that Mourinho witnessed Rashford volleying in Henrikh Mkhitaryan's corner three minutes after he was introduced.

"We scored from a corner that I didn't even see because I was speaking with Lingard," the United boss said.

"I saw the ball jumping in the net and other guys jumping.

"The crowd was very quiet so it would be easy to know that was a goal because it was the first time I really understand that the stadium was full." - PA SPORT

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