Man United wins opener against Leicester City

AP

Jose Mourinho received an instant reward for handing Paul Pogba the captain’s armband when the World Cup-winning midfielder paved the way for Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Leicester City as the Premier League season opened on Friday.

Having returned from France’s triumph in Russia last month to intense media speculation about his future under United manager Mourinho, the 25-year-old Pogba was named skipper of a team that included debutant Fred.

After an unusual stuttering run-up that briefly gave way to jogging on the spot, Pogba rifled home the first goal from the penalty spot in the third minute after Daniel Amartey had handled a shot from Alexis Sanchez.

The France playmaker then continued to impress as the first half wore on at Old Trafford, leading his teammates by example.

United had several chances to extend its lead against a Leicester side that called goalkeeper David De Gea into action more often than Mourinho would have liked.

The manager, however, celebrated on the touchline after Luke Shaw directed home his first senior goal to put the result out of reach after an excellent through ball from Juan Mata.

Substitute Jamie Vardy pulled one back with a stoppage-time header after Ricardo Pereira’s cross came back off the post, but it was too little, too late for Leicester.

“Paul was fantastic, his contribution was amazing,” Mourinho said after taking his captain off late in the game. “But the fuel was disappearing.

“I am very pleased for Luke. He made one mistake in 90 minutes, he was very good defensively.”