Harry Maguire clenched his fists in triumph and a wave of relief swept around Old Trafford.
Manchester United had beaten his former club, the previously undefeated Leicester City who arrived here fancied by many to win this game.
In doing so, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side moved above their opponents into the top four and quietened talk of an early-season crisis after three games without a win.
Manchester United had to work hard to beat Leicester and have to adjust to new horizons
Harry Maguire faced his old club as United managed to secure a 1-0 victory against Leicester
Had they lost, the alarm bells would have been ringing. Victory, albeit an ugly one, has put a much healthier complexion on United’s start to the season. Win, draw, defeat, draw, win. Not great, but no need to panic.
There we have it, the modern-day Manchester United, adjusting to new horizons and the reality of their place in the new order.
This is where home wins over Leicester, in what one travel information board on the A56 into Old Trafford on Saturday mockingly referred to as ‘the race for sixth’, are now a cause for celebration.
This is how it is going to be for the foreseeable future. When the club abandoned the quick-fix approach of recent years and put their faith in Solskjaer to oversee a more gradual improvement, they knew it would be the case.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United are expecting gradual change rather than instant success
Asked on the eve of this game what he thought of Paul Scholes’ assessment that United’s title chances can be written off for the next two years, Solskjaer didn’t disagree. ‘Paul knows what it is to be a United player and looking at the difference between us and City and Liverpool last year, you don’t expect us to challenge straight away,’ he said.
Gary Neville was even more blunt as he called for the club to be patient with their manager.
‘Give him three to four transfer windows to clean up the trash in the dressing room, because there is trash in there,’ said Neville.
At least this summer’s transfer business has improved United — which hasn’t