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Report: Rashford and Fellaini score to send Manchester United to the top of the Premier League

Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-0 at Old Trafford with Marcus Rashford scoring the first goal of the match minutes after he came on as a substitute. United dominated Leicester and pressured them for much of the match. United won a penalty after Danny Simpson handled the ball in the area, Kasper Schmeichel thwarting Romelu Lukaku’s spot kick which could have seen him score in three consecutive Premier League matches, which was not meant to be. Marouane Fellaini scored United’s second goal with the assist coming from Jesse Lingard, both late substitutes in the match.

Jose Mourinho made one change to the team which beat Swansea City 4-0 last weekend with Anthony Martial making his first start of the season, Marcus Rashford being benched. United started well and immediately tried to get an opening goal putting Leicester’s defence under pressure twice in the opening few minutes. In the 13th minute of the match, Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s effort on goal was deflected and collected by Kasper Schmeichel. United have been on top of the game since it started with Leicester getting into United’s final third a few times, not doing anything when they were there.

United found a goal through Juan Mata in the 18th minute but the Spanish midfielder was adjudged to be offside and the goal would not count. Seconds later, United were on the attack again with Anthony Martial crossing over to Paul Pogba on the other flank and volleying the cross, going just wide of the target. United seemed determined to get something early in the game with another chance coming in the 20th minute of the match. The Leicester team needed to do so much more to get something out of this game, playing somewhat too deep in their own half. Fear factor maybe?

In the 23rd minute of the match, Leicester were through with Jamie Vardy making the run, United thwarting him from doing anything and him passing back to Shinji Okazaki who made the shot with David De Gea making an easy diving save. At the other end of the pitch, Pogba had a shot from well outside of the box, just missing the target. Pogba, after all the abuse which was given last season his certainly showing his class this season. Perhaps his haters will grow to hate him more, just so he can make them hate him even more. When opposing fans hate a United player, it means United are starting to return to the team they once were under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Just before the half hour mark of the match, Pogba had another shot on goal, clearing the crossbar. Based on attacking intent, United were still in the driving seat but had not done enough to punish their opposition. It was similar to the last two matches, a tough affair with United getting the ball into the area more times than not. United seemed to be throwing everything at that elusive goal, it still not coming 33 minutes into the match. Martial played the ball into Mkhitaryan with was deflected out for a United corner in the 34th minute.

Daley Blind took the corner, Okazaki making the clearance with United gaining possession in the final third. Harry Maguire sent the ball out for a throw in and United had another shot, Schmeichel making the save. United won a free kick in the 37th minute after Maguire brought Romelu Lukaku down outside the box, Pogba taking the free-kick, clipping the wall with Schmeichel catching the ball. United were determined to get something from the game in the closing minutes of the first half, getting the ball into Leicester’s area, pressuring them more and more with one minute added at the end of the first half. It ended 0-0. All to play for in the second half.

At that start of the second half, United continued where they left off, pressing Leicester. There was a penalty cry after Lukaku was taken out just inside the box, not given then another was awarded after Danny Simpson handled the ball in the area. Lukaku took the penalty and Schmeichel made the save rather superbly. United had the chance to take the lead, the pressure will keep coming for Leicester now until United find the back of the net. In the 54th minute of the match, Mkhitaryan was booked for a challenge on Riyad Mahrez. In the 57th minute, De Gea got a foot to a cross by Mahrez which could have been dangerous for United. Leicester were starting to pressure United, the game turning a little.

Leicester made their first two substitutions with Demarai Gray and Andy King replacing Marc Albrighton and Shinji Okazaki. In the 53rd minute, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini were all warming up ahead of possible changes for United with Mourinho looking to shuffle his pack. Rashford was the first change for United, replacing Mata in the 67th minute. Rashford won a corner for United, taken by Mkhitaryan, Bailly tried to make the header, missing and the ball falling for Rashford buried his shot past Schmeichel. 1-0 to United, Mkhitaryan getting another assist. The Armenian was replaced by Fellaini in the 74th minute of the match.

Jesse Lingard will be the third and final substitute for United replacing Martial in the 75th minute of the match. Islam Slimani replaced Vardy in the 76th minute of the match with both teams using all of their substitutions with 14 minutes plus added time remaining of the match. United scored the second goal in the match through Fellaini in the 82nd minute after some good play by Lingard creating and assisting the goal for the Belgian. Rashford won a free-kick in the 89th minute after he was fouled by Matty James, the Leicester midfielder being booked.

Four minutes of added time at the end of the second half could have been a fraught affair if Fellaini didn’t score United’s second goal. De Gea made a late save to deny Leicester from a consolation goal, thwarting their corner attempt too. Lukaku was unlucky not to get on the score sheet with his chance in the final minute of play. Schmeichel was booked before the end of the match.

United were three matches into the new season and three victories on the board, nine points out of nine. Ten goals scored and three clean sheets. Heading into the first international break of the season, United will be confident. Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium in a fortnight will be their next Premier League clash with the UEFA Champions League returning three days later.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 70′, Marouane Fellaini 82′

Assists: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 70′, Jesse Lingard 82′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Rashford 67′), Mkhitaryan (Fellaini 74′), Martial (Lingard 75′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Darmian; Herrera

Bookings: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 54′

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