Mourinho hails McTominay after leaving out Pogba for Sevilla draw

Let's break down the five key takeaways from round one.

It was a moment that dominated plenty of the post-match talk (at least, when nobody was discussing Paul Pogba) and underlined why De Gea is widely considered the best goalkeeper in England and, perhaps, the world. Every United fan remembers the De Gea save that caused them to award the Spaniard that honor. You tell them to get on with the game and win the game.

Yet as the temperature dipped towards minus nine Celsius, Argentine striker Ferreyra took advantage of poor Roma defending to score with an expertly-taken goal in the 52nd minute. Chelsea may reap the benefit of having 24 hours more recovery time from their Champions League exertions, having drawn 1-1 with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. In order to catch United off guard, the La Liga club will have to control the match from kick-off, piling on huge amounts of pressure to catch the defense off-guard.

But this season, despite the continued and incessant influx of star names at Old Trafford as Jose Mourinho desperately scrambles to keep within reach of rivals City, De Gea has been United's outstanding player.

As it happened, Pogba was named on the bench with Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic chosen to start in central midfield.

It's freaky that some supporters believe McTominay should be the complete product at just 21 years of age, especially due to him growing match by match as he played confidently vs Sevilla.

However, Herrera's 17th-minute hamstring injury meant Pogba did eventually make the field of play and his performance pleased the Portuguese tactician in the 0-0 draw at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

McTominay's form provides him with some much needed added competition but Mourinho has already stated that he needs to sign at least one midfielder this summer.

Manchester United closed the gap at the top of the league to one point after winning a hotly-contested match against Chelsea, who finished with two players sent off at Stamford Bridge.

Ahead of the game, RTE's Liam Brady described Mourinho's outfit as "a team that are going nowhere" and after the final whistle, it didn't get any better for the Manchester United coach.

Their first chance came soon after, but Romelu Lukaku blasted his volley well over from just inside the area following Alexis Sanchez's excellent lofted pass. This time a year ago, Mourinho's offense was effortlessly silencing pessimists.

"But the other side of the coin is I think there is some gamesmanship going on, I also think there's a clear message here that he doesn't trust Paul Pogba". United played without a recognised centre forward, but with a level of attacking flair and versatility beyond anything we've ever seen from a rigid Mourinho side.

Many clubs are reluctant to pursue Paul Pogba due to his high wage demands.

  • Julie Sanders