Manchester United beat Leicester City 3-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring, assisted by Bruno Fernandes in the 25th minute of the match. Rashford then doubled United’s lead in the 56th minute, assisted by Fred but it was flagged for offside – VAR gave the goal. Jadon Sancho scored the third goal of the match in the 61st minute with Fernandes getting his second assist of the match. What a victory for United.
United started off quickly against Leicester. Marcus Rashford had a shot blocked in the fifth minute of the match. Just two minutes later, Leicester were starting to find their presence in the match with Tetê having a shot on goal, which missed the target. Kelechi Iheanacho then had a shot, which was blocked before Harvey Barnes fired a shot in the eighth minute, which was superbly saved by David De Gea to deny Leicester from scoring an early goal.
Iheanacho had another shot blocked in the tenth minute of the match with Leicester seeking to find an early goal. The Nigerian striker then missed the target in the 11th minute. At the other end of the pitch, Luke Shaw was found by Fred, launching his shot on goal only for it to be blocked. In the 16th minute, Harry Souttar missed the target with a shot with Tetê missing two minutes later. Iheanacho then forced another save from De Gea in the 21st minute.
United broke the deadlock in the 25th minute of the match with Marcus Rashford scoring his 23rd goal of the season. Fernandes found Rashford with a through ball with the England forward striking with his right foot on the right side of the box into the bottom left corner of the goal. That is five goals in the last five matches for Rashford. What a season he is having. In the 31st minute, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall missed the target seeking to get Leicester level.
Alejandro Garnacho had a shot on goal in the 32nd minute of the match with United seeking to double their lead but his shot missed the target. Diogo Dalot had a great chance to double United’s lead in the 37th minute of the match, in fact he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper but he failed to get the ball into the back of the net. Fred had a shot blocked in the 41st minute. Marcel Sabitzer seemed to connect his studs with the thigh of Wout Faes but VAR check it – no card.
James Maddison missed a shot on goal in the first minute but then United started another attack. Wout Faes seemed to have fouled Rashford then Fernandes with the referee giving him a yellow card in the third minute of added time. United won a free-kick which Luke Shaw took, just tipping the ball over the crossbar. The referee blew his whistle after four minutes of added time with United leading 1-0. It would be a big second half for Erik ten Hag’s side.
At the start of the second half, Ten Hag made his first substitution with Jadon Sancho replacing Alejandro Garnacho. Nampalys Mendy became the second Leicester player in the book after his foul on Rashford in the 48th minute of the match. Lisandro Martínez hit the crossbar with a header from the centre of the box in the 49th minute. What a goal that would have been for him. Wout Weghorst then missed a shot on goal in the same minute.
Both Fernandes and Rashford had shots saved in the 50th minute. Maddison then had a shot blocked , then missed another in the 53rd minute. Weghorst missed the target a minute later. United doubled their lead in the 56th minute with Rashford scoring his second goal of the match – his 24th of the season. The linesman raised his flag but VAR gave the goal as he was not offside. That will upset the ABUs. Scott McTominay replaced Fred in the 59th minute.
Leicester then made a double substitution with Youri Tielemans and Boubakary Soumaré replacing Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Nampalys Mendy at the same time United made their second change. United then tripled their lead in the 61st minute with Jadon Sancho scoring his fifth goal of the season with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. What a finish it was. Shaw then had an attempt on goal saved in the 63rd minute as he looked to extend United’s lead more.
Tetê had a shot on goal in the 65th minute, missing the target. United made a double substitution in the 69th minute with Anthony Elanga and Aaron Wan-Bissaka replacing Rashford and Shaw. Sancho had a shot on goal which was blocked in the 70th minute of the match, also missing the target in the same minute. Weghorst missed the target in the 71st minute then had a shot blocked in the 72nd. Martínez then missed with a header in the 73rd minute, which was a shame.
Leicester then made a double substitution with Dennis Praet and Jamie Vardy replaced Tetê and Iheanacho in the 75th minute. In the 80th minute, Ten Hag brought on Kobbie Mainoo to replace Sabitzer. Maddison had an attempt blocked in the 82nd minute with Praet having one blocked two minutes later. Barnes saw another blocked in the 85th minute. Weghorst drew a save from Danny Ward in the 88th minute, which was a shame for him as he had a great performance.
Anthony Elanga forced a save in the 90th minute. Four minutes were added at the end of the second half. Maddison had a shot blocked then saved in the first two minutes of added time. United took all three points from this match with a well-earned victory over Leicester. They can now rest ahead of the UEFA Europa League play off second leg against Barcelona at Old Trafford on Thursday evening. There will be some unhappy people out there today as United won.
David De Gea: The Spanish goalkeeper made a fair few saves to deny Leicester, after an uncomfortable 20 minutes or so at the start of the match. David De Gea stood firm throughout the entire match and earned the clean sheet that saw him level with Peter Schmeichel. United were comfortable for much of the match although Leicester did try and get back into the match – the Spanish goalkeeper had it covered today though. His form is brilliant at this time. ★★★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: The Portuguese right-back played well against Leicester. He should have scored in the first half but somehow missed it. It is good to see him build his fitness up after coming back recently from his second thigh injury after the World Cup. He ended the match playing in the left-back role after Luke Shaw came off. It was a positive performance from him and he will be pushing himself to win back his place ahead of a big week for United. ★★★★★★
Victor Lindelof: He got the better of Kelechi Iheanacho’s shot on goal, which was a bit tame. That said, he was not as confident against Leicester, who had plenty of chances on goal. De Gea was the player that stood out, other than Lisandro Martinez in the centre of the defence. Lindelof will be seeking to play more minutes but perhaps only started this match with Harry Maguire out injured? I am sure we will see him again this season. ★★★★★★
Lisandro Martinez: The Argentinian was not at his best in the first half of the match but recovered in the second. He had a headed effort his the crossbar in the second half, also having another effort on goal – failing to get a goal against Leicester. He got stuck into the match and did what he needed to in the second half with United doing all they needed to win win the match and get three more points after their rivals dropped points once again. ★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: The England left-back was caught out of his position a few times with Leicester’s attacking players looking to capitalise. However, he recovered in the second half, doing much better in both attack and defence for the 23 minutes or so he played in the second half. He seemed to be injured at a point but also seemed to run it off. That said, he was replaced by Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Diogo Dalot reverting to left-back. ★★★★★★
Fred: The Brazilian is a 50/50 player right now. Sometimes he can be good – other times he can be poor. This was not a match that he made himself look great. Marcel Sabitzer had more work to do with him on the pitch. He had some moments and got his third assist of the season for Marcus Rashford’s second goal of the match. That said, his match was over almost instantly with Scott McTominay replacing him with the Scotland international returning to fitness. ★★★★★
Marcel Sabitzer: The Austrian was perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch after his challenge in the first half which resulted in his studs connecting with the thigh of Wout Faes. I think Marcel Sabitzer will be much better playing alongside Casemiro in the United midfield and will probably compliment the Brazilian like Christian Eriksen has this season. Sabitzer’s match ended on the 80th minute after he was replaced by Kobbie Mainoo. ★★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Scored his 23rd goal of the season – his fifth goal in the last five matches. What a season Marcus Rashford is having. When United need him, he seems to be there at the moment. He could easily reach 30+ goals this season now with the number of matches left. He got his second goal, albeit after VAR intervened, which was also his 24th of the season. He was then replaced by Anthony Elanga – so no chance of another hat-trick. ★★★★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: The Portuguese midfielder got two assists against Leicester, assisting for Marcus Rashford’s opener and Jadon Sancho’s second half goal. He is such a positive player for United and worked his socks off against Leicester. He will be up for the challenge of Barcelona and Newcastle United this coming week – which is the biggest week for United so far this season. They have done their business in the Premier League – until they play again. ★★★★★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: The teenager did well against Leicester. But there will be those ‘fans’ who criticise him for not scoring. But he’s 18. He’s not the end product and has a way to go to reach his potential. But these ‘people’ continue talking as if they are 100% knowledgeable in this sport despite lacking everyday knowledge. Garnacho did well but he was replaced at the start of the second half by Jadon Sancho. It was a good performance from him. ★★★★★★
Wout Weghorst: The Dutchman played in the number ten position in the first half and worked hard, as he has done since he arrived at the club in January. He did return to the number nine role in the team in the second half, which saw him get many chances on goal. His work rate is a massive positive and despite the criticism he gets for not scoring, he has helped United find more goals with the space he creates. He’s a major benefit to United. ★★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Replaced Garnacho 46′. He immediately improved United from the start of the second half. He had his fifth goal of the season within a quarter of an hour. His finish was a strikers finish, straight through the middle and beating the keeper. He will be full of confidence now as United get ready for Barcelona’s visit of the Theatre of Dreams on Thursday evening. This was his best performance this season and he will get better. ★★★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Replaced Fred 58′. Returned from injury to boost United’s midfield at a good time for the club. It was a steady return for him and he will need time to get back up to speed with his teammates. He is a good head to have on the bench and can put in the effort, even if he does not come across as a superstar player. Teams do not need to be filled with superstars – just players who can do what is asked by the manager and their teammates. ★★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Replaced Rashford 69′. Came on to offer more speed on the attack and continue to push this Leicester team when they were 3-0 down with United’s work done. He pushed Leicester’s back line but I still feel he does not have what is required for United to keep picking him when better players are already in the team. However, he will be crucial this season as United look to rest players once the job has been done. ★★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Replaced Shaw 69′. Came on at right-back with Diogo Dalot shifted to the left-back role. He was eager on the right and did both defensive and attacking duties. He’s probably going to start against Barcelona at Old Trafford on Wednesday with Dalot likely to start the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United. It is good that United have two positive right-backs this season – something Ten Hag did not think he has six months ago. ★★★★★★
Kobbie Mainoo: Replaced Sabitzer 80′. The 17-year-old made his Premier League debut against Leicester, getting ten minutes on the pitch with United’s job done and three points already in the bag. It was a good feeling for him, to make his debut in the English top flight and there will be more to come from him in the not too distant future as Ten Hag clearly sees something in him. He did what was needed from him and did not do anything wrong. ★★★★★★
Goals: Marcus Rashford 25′, 56′, Jadon Sancho 61′
Assists: Bruno Fernandes 25′, 61′, Fred 56′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw (Wan-Bissaka 69′); Fred (McTominay 58′), Sabitzer (Mainoo 80′); Rashford (Elanga 69′), Fernandes, Garnacho (Sancho 46′); Weghorst
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Malacia, Varane; Pellistri
Bookings: Wout Faes 45+3′, Nampalys Mendy 48′
Written by John Walker