Manchester United beat Leicester City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium with Erik ten Hag’s side getting three wins in the last three matches, keeping two clean sheets. Jadon Sancho scored the only goal of the match, assisted by Marcus Rashford. Arsenal lie in wait now.
United started well against Leicester. In the first minute David de Gea tried a through ball, but Anthony Elanga was caught offside. Christian Eriksen had the second chance of the match, missing the target after being found by Bruno Fernandes.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had a chance on goal in the 21st minute of the match after being provided the ball by James Maddison. However, De Gea made the save to deny Leicester taking the lead. Two minutes later, United were the ones in the lead.
Jadon Sancho opened the scoring after being found by Marcus Rashford. The England winger beat the Leicester defenders and the goalkeeper to score his second goal of the season, putting United into the lead in the early stages of the match.
Anthony Elanga missed the target two minutes after the first goal, which was a shame as United should do all they can to make Leicester suffer in this match. Eriksen had a shot saved in the 27th minute of the match, his second shot on goal in this match.
Diogo Dalot was the first player to be booked in this match, seeing his yellow card in the 28th minute of the match. Rashford saw his shot blocked in the 36th minute with Sancho seeing his blocked a minute later. In the same minute, Harvey Barnes missed the target completely.
In the 41st minute De Gea tried another through ball, but Jadon Sancho was caught offside this time. Tyrell Malacia found himself in the referees book in the 43rd minute of the match, being the second player to be shown the yellow card this evening.
There were two minutes of time which was added on at the end of the first half but the scoreline never changed. United went into the break 1-0 to the good and seeking a matched performance from the first half in the second. Erik ten Hag should have been happy with that half.
There were no substitutions by either team at the start of the second half. Dewsbury-Hall won a free kick in the 49th minute after he was fouled by Lisandro Martinez, who was shown the yellow card for the foul – three of United’s back four were in the book this evening.
Maddison saw an attempt on goal, from the free-kick, saved in the 51st minute of the match. Barnes then missed the target a minute later as Leicester tried to get back into the match. Dewsbury-Hall had another shot blocked in the 55th minute of the match. United needed to be careful.
Ten Hag made his first substitution in the 59th minute of the match as Casemiro replaced Elanga. United gave away so many free-kicks with Maddison good at scoring them. However, that was not the case at this point in the match. United were still leading.
Cristiano Ronaldo replaced the goalscorer, Sancho in the 68th minute of the match as Ten Hag looked to change the flow of the match. United really needed a second goal to take the three points back to Manchester this evening. Leicester could get back in with it still 1-0.
Leicester made their first substitution in the 76th minute of the match with Kelechi Iheanacho replacing Youri Tielemans. United have a good chance in the 82nd minute with Rashford on the attack but nothing materialised from it.
Ronaldo had a great chance seconds later, trying a bicycle kick from a tough angle, beating the defence and the goalkeeper but missing the target. A minute later he was through on the right but his effort went across the face of the goal without many problems for Leicester.
It looked Jamie Vardy was booked for a foul on Malacia just before he was replaced by Patson Daka, but it was Maddison who was booked. Fred replaced Rashford in the 87th minute. Leicester nearly scored an own goal just before the 90th minute of the match.
There were four minutes to be added on at the end of the second half, with United dominating the match. Leicester had a big chance at the end of the match but James Justin fired his effort into the crowd. United ground out the win for three wins in three. Arsenal next.
David De Gea: The Spanish goalkeeper was better with his feet, trying long balls with players caught offside. Made a great save to deny Maddison from one of his free-kicks, and he got a few in the second half. It was probably his best performance this season. ★★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: The Portuguese right-back had a fantastic match against Leicester. He started the attack in which Sancho scored the only goal of the match. He was proactive in attack and very slick on the ball. He was booked in the first half though. ★★★★★★★
Raphael Varane: Probably the best defender on the pitch in this match and did not get booked either – the only one not to. He does what he does silently and does not demand any attention. Three wins in a row and two cleans sheets. ★★★★★★★★
Lisandro Martinez: Did well against Vardy, who can still be a threat – although he has not yet scored this season. He defended with his heart and his mind and did so well doing so. He was booked though, putting three of the back four in the book this evening. ★★★★★★★★
Tyrell Malacia: He was efficient in a very quiet way against Leicester. He was harshly booked which made me wonder about the officiating. Shaw is going to have a problem getting back into this team. Malacia is so confident and a brilliant signing for United. ★★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Some were suggesting why he started but looking back at his game, he anchored the midfield, doing so with discipline for much of the match. He did panic at times, but that is understandable. A different United is emerging under Ten Hag. ★★★★★★
Christian Eriksen: BT Sport named him the MOTM. He was elegant on the ball and tried to get some goals, but they evaded him. His attitude and performance level is second to none at this time. A cracking signing. He did not waste his passes and kept control of the game. ★★★★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Scored the opening goal of the match, his second goal of the season. It was such a great finish too – with Rashford becoming the provider. This should be a good season for him, considering he got five goals last season. Replaced by Ronaldo. ★★★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: He seemed to learn something from the Southampton match and ahead of Sancho’s goal, took his cue and did not waste it. In the final third, he could have done more and needs to intensify his attacking to bring his best back to the club. ★★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Gave United something with his pace pressuring Leicester. Had a great shot on goal in the 25th minute of the match, but missed the target. His output of late has not been great but it worked in this match. He was replaced by Casemiro. ★★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Got the assist for Sancho, his 40th assist for United. He played much better through the middle than he did against Southampton, but to lead the line, he needs to start doing a lot more, especially getting the goals in the back of the net. ★★★★★★
Casemiro: Replaced Elanga 59′. Got another 30 minutes under his belt. Could perhaps start on Sunday against Arsenal. He was proactive with his passing and seemed to cal things down at times. Implementing him in this team will be great to see with Antony too. ★★★★★★
Cristiano Ronaldo: Replaced Sancho 68′. He used the ball well when he came on. Could have started but I understand why he didn’t. Could have scored a few goals including that bicycle kick, would would have been a great finish. ★★★★★★
Fred: Replaced Rashford 87′. Came on the the last few minutes of the match to add fresh legs to the midfield and see out the win, which is what happened. There could be three Brazilian’s on the pitch at points this season with Casemiro and Anthony playing too. ★★★★★★
Goals: Jadon Sancho 23’
Assists: Marcus Rashford 23′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen; Sancho (Ronaldo 68′), Fernandes, Elanga (Casemiro 59′); Rashford (Fred 87′)
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Kovar; Lindelof, Maguire; van de Beek, Garnacho
Bookings: James Maddison 87′; Diogo Dalot 28′, Tyrell Malacia 43′, Lisandro Martinez 49′
Written by John Walker