Tuesday 22 October 2019

'Harry was brilliant' - Solskjaer hails Maguire as Manchester United end Leicester run

Manchester United 1 Leicester City 0

Manchester United's Harry Maguire in action with Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during the Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates
Manchester United's Harry Maguire in action with Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during the Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted the performance of defensive talisman Harry Maguire as he turned in a majestic display against his former club in a tense 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford's eighth-minute penalty was enough to secure United their first win since the opening weekend of the Premier League season, yet it was the classy display of £80m summer signing Maguire that earned praise from Solskjaer.

"When you play against strikers like Jamie Vardy, you have to concentrate because if you mistime your run, he is in behind you and I thought Harry did well," said Solskjaer.

"He certainly didn't look like he was missing playing for Leicester today and he was outstanding for us once again.

"I said before this game what a big impact he has had on the dressing room and we saw that on the pitch again today. He is a leader and it highlights why we were so keen to get him here."

Rashford joined the chorus of praise for Maguire, as the United striker acknowledged his role played by his England colleague in the victory against the Foxes.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

"Harry was brilliant," stated Rashford. "This is the kind of game you can drop points in if you are not composed at the back and Harry brings that to us.

"We didn't hold on to the ball as well as we would have wanted in the second half, but we defended well and it was important to get the win."

Aside from Maguire's masterclass, United were unconvincing in the absence of the injured duo of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, with Solskjaer confirming his team is still very much a work in progress.

"We hung in there, even if it wasn't a great performance," added the United boss. "It was the first time this season where we have had to defend for large periods. We have dominated the other games but today we saw a team that could defend in their own half.

"They are a good side who want to get into the top four. To keep a clean sheet is great but let's not get too excited because we know we can play better. We defended as a proper team."

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was frustrated by his side's lack of cutting edge, as they slumped to a first defeat of the season.

"I thought we deserved something from the game," he said. "We didn't start well but and that is when they took a lead. 

"We gave away a soft penalty and that ultimately decided the game. In the second half, we played well and it looked like it was coming but we couldn't find that last pass.

"We didn't connect the game through our midfield well enough to serve Jamie (Vardy). He thrives on that, but we were unable to make those passes.

"We started to get higher up the pitch after the break but nothing really dropped to him. It was a game of few chances for both sides."

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