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Report and Ratings: Rashford scores and Pogba provides in Manchester United’s scrappy victory over Leicester City

Manchester United beat Leicester City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ninth win in the ten matches he has managed, keeping his unbeaten record as United manager. Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game, assisted by Paul Pogba in the ninth minute of the match. United now sit in fifth place in the Premier League, a point ahead of Arsenal.

United played well in the first half of the game and should have been more than one goal to the good. However, in the second half, it seemed like United needed quite a few minutes to get back into the game with some suggestions on social media that United were still in the dressing room a few minutes after the restart. David De Gea was the crucial cog in the United side again, making save after save, even one to deny Jamie Vardy from close-range with a bicycle kick.

Solskjaer will be happy that his side won the match but he will have plenty of thought ahead of the next game, against Fulham next weekend. Romelu Lukaku did not have a good game for United, slowing the attack and looking everything other than the player United thought they had signed. United are now above Arsenal, although they are currently playing City at the Etihad, it could all change again. However, United will still be just two points behind Chelsea, meaning a top four position this season is still possible.

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Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has shown himself as the leading striker at United under Solskjaer. He’s risen to the challenge and has benched Romelu Lukaku, although the Belgian could have done that all by himself. Rashford has gone from strength to strength under the Norwegian, showing his true class at every opportunity. Victor Lindelof was another contender for his calm and composed performance at the back, doing all he could to keep Jamie Vardy in his place, not on the winning team.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Calm and composed on the visit to Leicester. Denied Rachid Ghezzal with a superb save. Created some more fine saves and continually shows that a new contract should be on the table for him ready to sign.

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18 Ashley Young

Defensively, Ashley Young was committed but he gave little support on the attack. His passing was not the best when he ventured into the final third.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Contender for MOTM for me. Victor Lindelof dealt with Jamie Vardy well. Never looked out of place and seemed confident alongside Eric Bailly.

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3 Eric Bailly

Put himself on the line to keep a clean sheet for United. Seemed rusty at times some might say 'unconventional'. He needs to play regularly to build up his form and confidence and form a partnership with Lindelof.

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23 Luke Shaw

Productive on the attack. Could have perhaps got himself an assist today. Battled in defence and was a thorn in the side of James Maddison, especially pulling off a fine block from the Leicester player.

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21 Ander Herrera

Glad to see him back in the team. Committed and capable. Created the connection between the defence and the attack. Needs to be given a new contract too, otherwise his loss could be costly for United.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Booked in the first half and could have been sent off for a foul in the second, if the referee had see it. Seemed to struggle against the pace of Leicester, looking a little vulnerable at times.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The England international was more of a threat off the ball than he was on the ball. Booked in the opening 20 minutes of the match. His pace and the link up with the likes of Pogba and Rashford causes problems for everyone.

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6 Paul Pogba

Provided a fine assist for Marcus Rashford in the ninth minute of the game. His put in a good performance against this Leicester side. He was slightly lacklustre in the second half and picked up a knock from a Jonny Evans challenge.

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Alexis Sanchez

If Anthony Martial was fully fit, he would have started. Alexis Sanchez has not done himself any favours. One goal against Arsenal is not going to whitewash the fact his performances have been poor, at best, as a United player.

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10 Marcus Rashford

MOTM. Scored the only goal of the game, rising United to fifth (all depending on the result between City and Arsenal). He was the stand out attacking player for United today. He should lead the attack all the time. Romelu Lukaku has a lot of work to get ahead of Rashford now.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Sanchez 67'. Got himself involved in the game and tried to work on the left channel, cutting into the centre at times. Unable to find or create a second goal in the game.

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Romelu Lukaku

Replaced Rashford 78'. Not sure why he was brought on, other than to give Rashford a bit of a rest. Poor in attack. Low work rate. Not doing himself many favours to earn his place in this team.

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4 Phil Jones

Replaced Lingard 89'. Came on to help shield the defence as Leicester sought an equaliser. Did well but was only on the pitch five minutes including added time.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 9′

Assists: Paul Pogba 9′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Herrera, Matic; Lingard (Jones 89′), Pogba, Sanchez (Martial 67′); Rashford (Lukaku 78′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Dalot; Mata, Fred

Bookings: Jamie Vardy 32′, Nampalys Mendy 45′, Rachid Ghezzal 82′, Wilfred Ndidi 90+3′; Jesse Lingard 20′, Nemanja Matic 42′, Anthony Martial 90+3′

Confirmed Starting XI: Bailly back in the squad; Rashford, Lingard, Sanchez and Pogba all start against Leicester

Manchester United will be pitted against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side battled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against a resurgent Burnley at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening and the following day, Leicester drew 1-1 with Liverpool. This will ensure that Leicester is not seen as an easy picking for United, they are a capable team and are able to frustrate. Solskjaer will need to have his team working hard to beat them.

United have some great players in their team but when any rotation happens, it leaves the side missing those players who were rested. On Tuesday, United missed both Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera and also Marcus Rashford playing as the main striker, which was a position held by Romelu Lukaku, with Rashford playing in a wide role. United did show their mentality though in battling back from 2-0 down, scoring from the penalty spot and getting a late equaliser.

United will need to be on top of their game against Leicester, otherwise, the past nine matches will all have been for nothing. In the history of both clubs, there have been 127 matches between United and Leicester. United winning 65 times, drawing 29 times and losing 33 times. The last defeat was back in 2014, that 5-3 match which saw United lose their lead. In the nine matches since United are undefeated – winning six and drawing three. Getting back to winning ways is the important things for Solskjaer and United.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw;

Herrera, Matic;

Lingard, Pogba, Sanchez;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Jones, Dalot; Mata, Fred; Lukaku, Martial

Solskjaer saw his side slump to a 2-0 deficit against Burnley on Tuesday evening, conceding two goals which should really have been stopped from happening. Despite this, United never gave up and kept attacking, creating chances and just never gave up. Under Jose Mourinho, the side gave up too easily. Solskjaer will have been impressed with what he saw. Over the past nine matches, winning eight of them, United have shown that they are a capable team.

Battling back to earn a point, also stopping the first defeat under the Norwegian showed that United have developed into a team that is capable of anything. In the time Solskjaer has managed the club, United have clawed back so many points and put themselves back in contention for a top four place this season. This weekend, United may need other results to put them back in a powerful position once again. Tottenham Hotspur faces Newcastle United, a side which beat Manchester City during the week.

Chelsea faces Huddersfield Town, a team at rock bottom in the Premier League, needing points to stop the inevitable from happening. With Chelsea slumping to a 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth, it is possible that Huddersfield can find a much-needed result against the London club. Then, after United’s match, Manchester City host Arsenal. The North London club may need a miracle to beat City but you can never say never. Whatever happens here, United will, as long as they beat Leicester, be closer to a rival.

Starting XI Prediction: Rashford to lead the attack against Leicester with Martial and Lingard back in the starting XI?

Manchester United will be pitted against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Fresh from a 2-2 draw with Burnley at Old Trafford with Leicester being fresh from their 1-1 draw with Liverpool, both teams will be seeking a return to winning ways. Leicester is not in the best of form looking at their last six matches, winning once, drawing once and losing four times. United have won five and draw once.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to ensure his team takes advantage of the fixtures played this weekend which could see both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea drop points and then in the match following United’s in which Manchester City and Arsenal go head-to-head, a rival will drop points no matter the result, which United will have already needed to take advantage of. Getting back into the top four this season is what is needed to progress next season.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea will no doubt be back for this game, as he was for the Burnley draw. The Spanish number one is most likely the first name on the teamsheet this season, unless United are playing in a cup competition, in which case, Sergio Romero will likely be given the nod. De Gea should be next in line for a new contract at the club. The club may have added the one-year clause to his contract but he needs to be secured for the long-term.

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Defence: Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw

This is the back four I would like to see featured in this game. Eric Bailly missed out against Burnley with Phil Jones stepping back into the starting XI. Chris Smalling was on the bench in that game and I don’t want to see him back in action at this moment in time. Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly need to be tested as a central defensive partnership. The more times Bailly does not feature makes it look like his career at United could be over. Ashley Young and Luke Shaw should play in the fullback positions.

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Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic

The Spanish midfielder was rested against Burnley during the week and he was missed. Andreas Pereira was chosen ahead of him and he contributed to Burnley’s opening goal by not keeping possession of the ball. I don’t think Pereira has what it takes to break into this United team. He’s not a central midfielder and is too slow to play on the wing. He may be best suited on the continent. Nemanja Matic should keep his place, partnering with Herrera, which releases Pogba, if fit, for a free role in the team.

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Attacking Midfield: Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial

Jesse Lingard did not start against Burnley, with Juan Mata starting ahead of him. The pace of the game was slow and United missed Lingard. He needs to occupy the right-wing role he has played for much of the season. He’s the best option in the squad this season. Having him ensures that the work rate is high and United perform much better. Paul Pogba, if fit, should take the central advanced role, which has shown his best for this season with Anthony Martial on the left, just after signing his new long-term contract.

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Striker: Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford should be leading the line for United. He is the best striker at the club, based on form, at this moment in time. Romelu Lukaku started against Burnley and was lacklustre in attack. Rashford was forced onto the left-side of the flank, which is not the best position for him, but with Martial injured, Solskjaer needed to adapt his team. Rashford’s work rate in the team his high, as is his hunger to achieve. Not starting him in this role, as long as he is fit and ready, will cost United.

Preview: Solskjaer needs to ensure his United side punish Leicester to keep their season on track

Leicester City -v- Manchester United

Premier League

King Power Stadium, Leicester

Sunday 3 February 2019; KO 14:05 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean

Manchester United will be pitted against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side battled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against a resurgent Burnley at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening and the following day, Leicester drew 1-1 with Liverpool. This will ensure that Leicester is not seen as an easy picking for United, they are a capable team and are able to frustrate. Solskjaer will need to have his team working hard to beat them.

United have some great players in their team but when any rotation happens, it leaves the side missing those players who were rested. On Tuesday, United missed both Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera and also Marcus Rashford playing as the main striker, which was a position held by Romelu Lukaku, with Rashford playing in a wide role. United did show their mentality though in battling back from 2-0 down, scoring from the penalty spot and getting a late equaliser.

United will need to be on top of their game against Leicester, otherwise, the past nine matches will all have been for nothing. In the history of both clubs, there have been 127 matches between United and Leicester. United winning 65 times, drawing 29 times and losing 33 times. The last defeat was back in 2014, that 5-3 match which saw United lose their lead. In the nine matches since United are undefeated – winning six and drawing three. Getting back to winning ways is the important things for Solskjaer and United.

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Pre-Match Opinion: The Burnley draw was a loss of two points but also showed that United do not give up

Solskjaer saw his side slump to a 2-0 deficit against Burnley on Tuesday evening, conceding two goals which should really have been stopped from happening. Despite this, United never gave up and kept attacking, creating chances and just never gave up. Under Jose Mourinho, the side gave up too easily. Solskjaer will have been impressed with what he saw. Over the past nine matches, winning eight of them, United have shown that they are a capable team.

Battling back to earn a point, also stopping the first defeat under the Norwegian showed that United have developed into a team that is capable of anything. In the time Solskjaer has managed the club, United have clawed back so many points and put themselves back in contention for a top four place this season. This weekend, United may need other results to put them back in a powerful position once again. Tottenham Hotspur faces Newcastle United, a side which beat Manchester City during the week.

Chelsea faces Huddersfield Town, a team at rock bottom in the Premier League, needing points to stop the inevitable from happening. With Chelsea slumping to a 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth, it is possible that Huddersfield can find a much-needed result against the London club. Then, after United’s match, Manchester City host Arsenal. The North London club may need a miracle to beat City but you can never say never. Whatever happens here, United will, as long as they beat Leicester, be closer to a rival.

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Form: United in much better form than Leicester who has four defeats, one win and a draw in their last six matches

Manchester United: DWWWWW

Burnley 2-2 D, Arsenal 3-1 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 W, Reading 2-0 W, Newcastle United 2-0 W

United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three matches, keeping three clean sheets in the three matches previous. Solskjaer’s side have scored 12 goals in the last six matches, conceding just four goals, so there is some positivity. Against Burnley, both Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard were rested and United missed both. Having both players back in the time would go a long way to this United side heading back to Manchester with another three points in the bag.

Leicester City: DLLLWL

Liverpool 1-1 D, Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3 L, Southampton 2-1 L, Newport County 2-1 L, Everton 1-0 W, Cardiff City 1-0 L

Leicester City do not look to be in great form when you look at their last six results; four defeats, one draw and one win. However, the resurgence of the side against league leaders, Liverpool on Wednesday has shown their character. In the last five visits to the King Power Stadium, United have lost once, draw twice and won twice, meaning anything can happen. The last time the two teams met at Leicester, it was a 2-2 draw but earlier in the season, at Old Trafford, United won 2-1.

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Team News: Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial to be available for Leicester City clash this weekend

Solskjaer has shown optimism in suggesting that both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial could be available for the visit to Leicester on Sunday afternoon. Martial missed the 2-2 draw with Burnley and Pogba received a knock in the Premier League match. Marcos Rojo will remain on the sidelines and Chris Smalling, who was fit enough to be on the bench against Burnley, could play a part in the match. Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard could both be recalled into the side to face Leicester. Solskjaer said:

“We’ve not had a proper session since the game, so hopefully both of them can get through that. I don’t think there’s anything with Paul [Pogba]. Anthony [Martial] has done some rehab work, so he will try a session today, so I would imagine he would be available to be involved. He seemed happy yesterday.”

Claude Puel will be without Daniel Amartey, who has suffered a broken ankle and both Adrien Silva and Andy King moved away from the club, albeit on loan on deadline day. Youri Tielemans, who was signed from AS Monaco on loan could be in with a chance of making his debut against United. Former United player, Jonny Evans, who was paired with Harry Maguire against Liverpool, could face his former club.

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Predicted Starting XI: Rashford to be restored to his leading role against Leicester City after Romelu Lukaku failed to pressure Burnley?

Marcus Rashford should be restored to leading the line for United against Leicester City. Romelu Lukaku, who was preferred over Rashford, failed to pressure the Burnley defence on Tuesday evening. The Belgian needs to start finding form, and fast. I feel that Lukaku slows the attack down with Rashford speeding it up. This is the fluid free-flowing Manchester United that needs to be utilised against the capable teams. Having Lukaku leading the line actually helps the opposition right now.

I would expect both Jesse Lingard, replacing Juan Mata and Ander Herrera, replacing Andreas Pereira, to be back in the team against Leicester. It has been proven that Lingard is better on the right-wing than Mata, who slows attacks down also. Lingard has worked very well with Rashford over the past few weeks and the pair have helped create and score goals, which will be needed against a resurgent Leicester this weekend.

Match Prediction: United have the players to get a result against Leicester, providing they are all fit and ready to battle

United have a great team. The starting players are much better than those in rotation and that is something for the club to sort out this coming summer, but they probably won’t. Keeping players is more cost-effective than getting rid and buying new ones, so we all know this is what will happen in the summer, it has in most of them that have gone by. Glazernomics is the way business is done at the Theatre of Dreams. However, if the right players start, United should have enough to leave the Midlands with three points.

Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba in contention for Man of the Match in Leicester victory

Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1 in the opening Premier League match at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba captained United, scored the opening goal in the third minute from the penalty spot after Daniel Amartey used his arm to control the ball. Luke Shaw scored his first United goal in the 83rd minute. Jamie Vardy scored a late consolation.

It was a good performance from United in their opening game, despite the late goal conceded in stoppage time. Paul Pogba was back for United, leading the team out, which could see him become the club’s captain this season. Luke Shaw scored his first goal for the club, four years after arriving, which will be a big confidence booster for him.

Jose Mourinho also praised Andreas Pereira, who spent much of last season on the bench at Valencia and most of the time, when he played, he was a right-winger. To come back to United and play in the number six position, in the centre of a three-man midfield, the Portuguese manager said it was a phenomenal performance.

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There seemed to be a lot of doom and gloom over the last 30 hours of so after United did not sign any new players on deadline day. The hints were there from Mourinho that nothing would happen but those fans on social media will believe the ITKs, without knowing much about them or what their end game is. This summer saw many rumours, which were probably started on Twitter, which came to nothing.

United took all three points from their first game of the season. It was not the best performance but it was better than it could have been with no World Cup players involved, other than those who came back early. The return or Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini will be a big boost as United now turn their attentions to Brighton and Hove Albion a week on Sunday, giving Mourinho’s side eight days to prepare.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a great save to deny Leicester in the first half of the game. Seldom had anything to do, which is normal for the Spanish number one against lower end opposition at Old Trafford.

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Matteo Darmian

The Italian is United's weakest link in the defence. This summer could see him leave the club with the European window open until the end of the month. Darmian was easily beaten at times on the right

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish international had a good game for United against Leicester, which will no doubt be boosted by a confident display in the World Cup this summer. Three points in the bag for United. Shame a clean sheet could not be had too.

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3 Eric Bailly

The better of the two defenders for me. bailly was resurgent at times, especially when winning a last-ditch tackle late in the game. No doubt Mourinho will be impressed. Perhaps Bailly and Lindelof will be the centra-back partnership this season.

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23 Luke Shaw

The English left-back has earned the trust of Mourinho based on his performances in pre-season. He did well against Leicester, driving forward at times as he tried to create for his side. Scored his first United goal, securing the win for United on the opening day of the season. Confident display, never gave up. I'm impressed with Shaw tonight. Was named Man of the Match by Sky Sports.

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Andreas Pereira

Had a good game and put in a performance worthy of a United player. His long passes were top notch. The fact he's ready to play now will boost Mourinho, especially with the fact the midfield lacked creativity last season, which season it might not be a problem. Received praise from Mourinho after the game, which was strange as they say Mourinho does not praise his players.

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17 Fred

Had a good debut. Still finding his feet at the club, which will come in the coming weeks. Got stuck into the game and will become a top player in midfield during the course of the season. Gave away possession at times, but that was to be expected.

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6 Paul Pogba

Captained United for the first game of the season. Started in fine fettle with United winning a penalty with the World Cup winner calmly slotting past Schmeichel. Was one of the standout performers in the match after only returning to training on Monday.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder did what he needed to do in the game. His passing was sloppy at times, as was Leicester's and some of his teammates. Got the assist for Shaw's first goal for United. Will be happy with tonights victory, ceasing the doom and gloom for a while, at least.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Rashford had a good game for United, although his end product was lacking. However, it was his second appearance this summer so I am sure he will get better for the coming matches. He was replaced by Lukaku in the 66th minute.

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Alexis Sanchez

Did not have the best of games, based on his passing. He was lively though and well up for the challenge that Leicester brought to the Theatre of Dreams.

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Substitutes

Romelu Lukaku

Replaced Rashford 66'. Had the chance to score for United, but Schmeichel saved it with his leg, sending the ball up and over the crossbar. Looked refreshed and will no doubt be a starter in the next match and beyond.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Fred 77'. Got involved in the game and did what he was told to do with United taking all three points on the opening day of the season.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Pogba 84'. Came on with six minutes to play, with four added on. Got stuck in and did what was asked of him. United welcomed pressure late in the game, which caused them to concede a late goal.

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Goals: Paul Pogba 3′, Luke Shaw 83′

Assists: Juan Mata 83′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Pereira, Fred (McTominay 77′), Pogba (Fellaini 84′); Mata, Rashford (Lukaku 66′), Sanchez

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Smalling, Young; Martial

Bookings: Fred 55′, Andreas Pereira 69′

Report: Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City; Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw win the game for the Red Devils

Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1 in the opening Premier League match at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba captained United, scored the opening goal in the third minute from the penalty spot after Daniel Amartey used his arm to control the ball. Luke Shaw scored his first United goal in the 83rd minute. Jamie Vardy scored a late consolation.

Jose Mourinho may have shocked the media after the summer speculation surrounding him and Paul Pogba with many suggestions that the Frenchman would be leaving the club this summer. However, Pogba started and captained United in their opening match of the season. United started in fine fettle, breaking forward through Luke Shaw on the left flank.

The ball was passed to Alexis Sanchez and his driven effort was smashed into Wes Morgan’s body. Daniel Amartey then tried to control the rebound with his arm and Andre Marriner blew his whistle and awarded United a penalty. Pogba took the penalty, stuttering his run and beating Kasper Schmeichel. A lovely penalty to put United ahead in the opening three minutes of the match.

United should have won a free-kick in the sixth minute after Shaw was fouled by Ricardo Pereira, but Marriner awarded nothing. Leicester did get one of their own moments later though after Fred fouled James Maddison. Ben Chilwell delivered the free-kick but United cleared the threat through Pogba before streaming up field with Marcus Rashford leading the charge.

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In the ninth minute of the match, Sanchez played a poor pass as Fred started an attack for United. The Chilean’s pass was intended for Rashford but it was cut out by Adrien Silva. Sanchez then tried to chase the ball down but Leicester were too quick on the ball and he looked disappointed with himself. Leicester had another free-kick after Demarai Grey was fouled by Matteo Darmian. Maddison took the set-piece, Pogba cleared.

Leicester started to play some good football in the 12th minute of the match with swift passing but Maddison’s final ball through the middle to Gray was too long. In the 15th minute, Gray changed his direction, getting the better of Darmian, fizzed in a cross but Eric Bailly defended well to deny the visitors from gaining any momentum.

By the mid-stages of the first half, both teams were showing hunger to win the ball back when possession had been lost. United then won a free-kick after a foul on Fred. The Brazilian is still finding his feet at the club, playing a few pre-season matches before his Premier League debut. In the 24th minute, Pogba had the chance to shoot after a wayward Sanchez pass found him but the Frenchman decided not to.

Just before the hour, Leicester had a chance to level the game but Maddison’s effort was saved by David De Gea. Ricardo cut the ball into Maddison, who was waiting in the area, it caught United’s defence off-guard with Maddison unmarked. His strike forced De Gea into a superb save. Kelechi Iheanacho tried with the rebound but was not quick enough and the ball was cleared for a corner.

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Leicester had some more set-pieces but could not get anything from them with United proving to be a tough side to beat, in the early stages of this match anyway. United tried to play their way out of trouble in the 34th minute and were not doing as good as they should have been, giving the ball away easily at times. United then got out of their half as Juan Mata attempted to send Rashford through but the cross had too much on it.

In the 36th minute, Iheanacho got in between both Bailly and Victor Lindelof to latch onto a fine ball from Gray. However, the Nigerian former Manchester City striker was being marked by Lindelof, who managed to get the ball from his path. Leicester won another free-kick ammonite later after Fred fouled Gray, but again, it came to nothing for the visitors.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, United still had a lot to do in order to ensure a victory from this game. Pogba had a shot from 25-yards after a knockdown from Sanchez but Schmeichel caught the attempt, thwarting the French World Cup winner from scoring a second goal of the evening. United had another chance after Fred lofted the ball to Sanchez but he was offside.

United looked to be ending the half as the stronger team after Shaw broke forward on the left, cutting into the box after Mata found him before getting a shot away. He did not put enough on the ball to get the better of Schmeichel though. There was a minute of added time at the end of the first half before Marriner ended the half with United still leading from Pogba’s early penalty.

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United started the second half well with Harry Maguire giving the ball away in his own half, which allowed Rashford to break forward on the right flank. The ball he played into Sanchez was cut out of play by Amartey. Leicester win another free-kick three minutes into the second half after Chilwell was fouled before he could find his feet. The free-kick was short and quick and nothing came of it.

United won a free-kick in the 51st minute after Sanchez was fouled by Amartey, who was also the first player to be booked in the game. United then nearly found a second goal but Rashford was ruled offside, with the player fluffing his lines in a chance to double the lead. Three minutes later, Sanchez put in an ambitious cross from the left, looking for Fred but he found Schmeichel instead.

Bailly put in some great last-ditch defending in the 62nd minute of the match with the Ivorian getting the better of Wilfred Ndidi and clearing the danger. Leicester made a double change in the 63rd minute of the match with Rachid Ghezzal replacing Amartey and Jamie Vardy replacing Maddison. Mata had the chance to double United’s lead after being played on by Sanchez, his shot deflected out, no corner though.

Mourinho made his first change in the 66th minute as Romelu Lukaku replaced Rashford. United were not getting the luck late into the game. Sanchez played a poor ball into Lukaku in the 72nd minute but Maguire was there to cut out the pass. Two minutes later, both teams were passing sloppily, which took a lot of interest out of the game, Leicester did manager another shot in the 76th minute though, but De Gea was there.

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Scott McTominay replaced Fred in the 77th minute of the match with Mourinho having one more substitution as his side look to secure their first victory of the season. Lukaku had a great chance to win the game for United, the Belgian being played in by Sanchez, taking his shot with Schmeichel sending the ball over the crossbar for a corner, which came to nothing for United.

Leicester made their third substitution in the 80th minute with Vicente Iborra replacing Silva. Luke Shaw doubled United’s lead in the 83rd minute, scoring his first goal for United, four years after arriving at the club. Marouane Fellaini replaced Pogba in the 84th minute. Mourinho looked happy after he saw Shaw score his first goal. This could be the confidence boost the left-back needs to finally stake his claim in the team.

Leicester saw a lot of the ball in the dying minutes of the match with United welcoming the pressure and dealing with it well. Four minutes were added at the end of the game. Vardy had two chances to put his side back into the game, De Gea thwarting the first and the Leicester striker firing over the crossbar on his second chance.

Vardy scored for Leicester two minutes into added time, the ball hitting the post with the England striker ducking to head the ball into the back of the net with De Gea not attempting to make the save. It was 2-1 with Leicester having all to play for with 90 seconds remaining. Squeaky bum time as Sir Alex Ferguson would put it. Leicester had a corner in the dying second, Schmeichel was in the box but the match ended, United winning 2-1.

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Goals: Paul Pogba 3′, Luke Shaw 83′

Assists: Juan Mata 83′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Pereira, Fred (McTominay 77′), Pogba (Fellaini 84′); Mata, Rashford (Lukaku 66′), Sanchez

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Smalling, Young; Martial

Bookings: Fred 55′, Andreas Pereira 69′

Confirmed Starting XI: Manchester United v Leicester City – Premier League 2018/19

Manchester United open the new Premier League season at Old Trafford on Friday evening, welcoming Leicester City to the Theatre of Dreams. After a long summer, which seems to have been thwarted by the FIFA World Cup and a lack of transfer activity, Jose Mourinho will lead a largely unchanged side into the new season. United signed Diogo Dalot, Fred, and Lee Grant this summer.

Mourinho will be seeking a good start from his team this season. Last season, United won their three opening fixtures against West Ham United (4-0), Swansea City (4-0), and Leicester City (2-0). It was the fourth match of the season where the club slipped up, drawing 2-2 against Stoke City, conceding their first two goals of the season and dropping two points.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Darmian, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw;

Pereira, Fred, Pogba;

Mata, Rashford, Sanchez

Substitutes:

Grant; Smalling, Young; Fellaini, McTominay; Lukaku, Martial

United have met Leicester 126 times competitively in the history of both clubs. United have won 64 times, drawn 29 times, losing 33 times. In the Premier League, this will be the 25th match between the two sides, United undefeated since that 5-3 defeat at the King Power Stadium on the 21st September 2014. Since then, a total of eight matches have been played with United winning five times and drawing three times. Leicester were involved in the opening Premier League game on a Friday evening last season, lowing away to Arsenal.

Preview: Manchester United aiming to sweep Leicester City aside in their Premier League opener

Manchester United open the new Premier League season at Old Trafford on Friday evening, welcoming Leicester City to the Theatre of Dreams. After a long summer, which seems to have been thwarted by the FIFA World Cup and a lack of transfer activity, Jose Mourinho will lead a largely unchanged side into the new season. United signed Diogo Dalot, Fred, and Lee Grant this summer.

Mourinho will be seeking a good start from his team this season. Last season, United won their three opening fixtures against West Ham United (4-0), Swansea City (4-0), and Leicester City (2-0). It was the fourth match of the season where the club slipped up, drawing 2-2 against Stoke City, conceding their first two goals of the season and dropping two points.

The summer transfer window showed a lot of promise with many players being linked to the club, none of them coming into fruition, for whatever reason. Mourinho has not been handed the backing from the club’s board but he will need to get on with the job in hand. United have some great players in their squad with plenty of balance. Having that player to secure the defence will need to be found within, though.

United’s pre-season of the United States of America and Germany was no the best either, with 15 players missing from the tour because of the World Cup and injury, which saw many youth players being given important minutes in their development. Pre-season was never about results anyway, just fitness. Alexis Sanchez will be the biggest winner of pre-season, having a restful summer for the first time in years.

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Team News: Mourinho boosted by the return of World Cup start but injuries have also mounted early

Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku all returned to training at the start of the week after an extended break following the FIFA World Cup. Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones, and Victor Lindelof all returned last weekend and played a part in the 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the final pre-season match of the summer.

It is unclear whether Pogba, Fellaini, Young, Lingard, and Lukaku will play any part against Leicester on Friday evening and the availability of Anthony Martial is questionable after he missed the matches against AC Milan, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He did return to training late last week though.

Mourinho will be without Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Diogo Dalot, Ander Herrera, and Nemanja Matic, who are all injured. New summer signings Lee Grant and Fred will be available for the Premier League opener, as will Andreas Pereira, who spent last season on loan with Valencia, and will, in effect, be like a new signing at the club.

Leicester City could have problems to contend with also with injury causing many players to be doubts for the match. Matty James, Nampalys Mendy are both injured, whilst James Maddison could overcome a knock. Harry Maguire, Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans and Demarai Gray could all have late decisions made on them by Claude Puel.

Filip Benkovic, who signed for Leicester on deadline day will be available, as with other new recruits Ricardo Pereira and Rachid Ghezzal. Both teams will be sure to put out the strongest team they can as both will be seeking an opening day victory, putting early pressure on champions Manchester City, who open their season in the final match of the weekend on Sunday at Arsenal.

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Match Statistics: Manchester United v Leicester City – Premier League

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League matches against Leicester City, winning four times and drawing three times. Of the 18 matches played in the top flight, United have lost once, winning 13 and drawing four.
  • Playing at Old Trafford, Leicester have lost seven of their eight visits, drawing once. They have scored a total of three goals in those matches.
  • United have won their opening Premier League match more times than any other team in this history of the league, winning 17 opening matches in the 26 seasons played. This will be the start of the 27th season of the Premier League.
  • United and Leicester met on the opening day of the Premier League at the start of the treble-winning 1998/99 season. United came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at the Theatre of Dreams.
  • This is only the second time in Premier League history that the league has opened in a Friday evening. Leicester have been involved in both openers. Last season, Leicester were defeated 4-3 at Arsenal.
  • Against Leicester, United’s Juan Mata has scored the most goals in the Premier League, scoring four goals in the last four appearances against the Foxes. Only one of the four goals was scored at Old Trafford though.

Predicted Starting XI: Fred to make his Premier League debut

Match Prediction: Manchester United to cruise to victory in the Premier League season opener

This has all the ingredients to be a good match. Both United and Leicester will be seeking an opening day victory. The pressure will be on Mourinho’s United and I don’t think the Portuguese manager would have it any other way. Leicester will throw everything they can at United. Mourinho’s side can be caught on the counter, which could expose them. Mourinho will be aiming to keep his defence tight.

Leicester will no doubt be weakened by the departure of Riyad Mahrez, who left for Manchester City earlier in the summer. Claude Puel will be seeking to put pressure on Mourinho by leaving the Theatre of Dreams with three points, heaping more pressure on Mourinho, who is the bookies choice as the first manager to be sacked this season.

However, Mourinho will love to be seen as the underdog. The treatment he has received from the media this summer, after a strong season with United, where they finished second and kept that position for the majority of the season, seemingly with some journalists and pundits talking as if United had been relegated, not cruised into second for the first time post-Sir Alex Ferguson.

I feel that Mourinho has the know how to get a result in this sort of match. Last season, United failed to finish teams off, which cost them a lot last season. This season, Mourinho and his players will need to dig deep and show inspiration in overcoming these teams, starting with Leicester. United lost twice at Old Trafford in the league last season, 2-1 to Manchester City and 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion.

Manchester United 2-0 Leicester City

Ratings: Inability to finish chances and beat Leicester City cost Manchester United

Manchester United were denied three points and a victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening. Jamie Vardy put the Foxes ahead in the 27th minute of the match, which went against the game a little with United starting on the front foot. After more chances for United, they levelled the game through Juan Mata with Jesse Lingard getting the assist. The first half ended 1-1.

It took United 15 minutes to get something from the game in the second half after Anthony Martial was fouled and United won a free-kick – taken by Juan Mata, beating the ball and the Kasper Schmeichel putting United 2-1 ahead in the match. United then failed to kill off the game, failing to take chances which were created.

Lingard, after being played through by Romelu Lukaku, missed an open goal after rounding the keeper, hitting the post then regaining possession and aiming a shot over the crossbar. United needed to dig deep and finish their chances. Marcus Rashford could have won a penalty after a slight touch by Schmeichel felled him in the box but nothing was given.

United could have been on the wrong end of a penalty at the other end of the pitch with Chris Smalling rising above Harry Maguire, both hands on his shoulders, but nothing was given. Smalling then had treatment for an injury after United had used all three substitutes, coming off the pitch only for Maguire to be used as a makeshift forward in the last minute of the match, scoring the equaliser.

It was another tough match at the King Power Stadium for United. Another result the side deserved. No matter what Jose Mourinho or the players say, there are some at the club who are just not good enough which is holding the club back. Manchester United is now a fully fledged business, not a football club.

Goals: Juan Mata 40′, 60′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 40′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, Young; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Mkhitaryan 83′), Lingard (Herrera 76′), Martial (Rashford 71′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Shaw; Ibrahimovic

Bookings: Victor Lindelof 34′, Nemanja Matic 47′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Unlucky not to keep a clean sheet. It was United's game to lose and it feels like they did. Had no chance against Maguire.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Played out of position. Seemed uncomfortable at times. Outclassed for the first goal - may not have been his fault. United need to bring back Fosu-Mensah to fortify the right-back role.

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Chris Smalling

Poor game. Could have given away a penalty then paid the price with an injury and United conceding a late equaliser from the guy he impeded.

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4 Phil Jones

Caught out for Leicester's opener. Put in a good performance for much of the match. Needs a better partner.

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18 Ashley Young

Put in a shift going forward throughout the game. Would rather see Shaw at left-back though.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played a tidy game and did what he needed to go. Got involved when he needed to do.

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6 Paul Pogba

Still does not seem the player who was sent off at Arsenal. Some poor long-range shots and poor passing at times. May be rusty from his suspension but he needs to get into form again.

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8 Juan Mata

Man of the Match. Scored the equaliser after being supplied by Lingard. His free-kick to take the lead was sublime. United's current top scorer based on players still at the club.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Ulucky to miss an open goal after being played through the defence. Tried to recover but send his shot over the bar. Some good play from Lingard, but he needs to be scoring the chance(s) he had.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman had the spark to get stuck in and won the free0kick which Mata scored. Faded in the second half and was replaced by Rashford.

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Romelu Lukaku

Had a great game and should have got at least a goal or an assist for his work. Only him and Mata can truely hold their heads high this evening.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Martial 71'. Missed a one-on-one with Schmeichel. Should have done better.

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21 Ander Herrera

Replaced Lingard 76'. Not impressed that he did not follow a request from Phil Jones to move to right-back when Smalling was off the pitch. Not sure he has a purpose anymore.

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22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Replaced Mata 83'. Came on late. Too little time to make an impact.

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Report: Mata struck twice to lead Leicester City but last-minute equaliser stuns Manchester United

Manchester United drew 2-2 Leicester City at the King Power Stadium after conceding the first goal in the 27th minute with Jamie Vardy the scored. Juan Mata equalised 13 minutes later to restore the parity in the game before scoring a sublime free-kick on the 60th minute to put United in the lead. A red card for Daniel Amartey left Leicester with a lot of thinking to do. United seemed to have the win by in the final minute of added time Harry Maguire scored the equaliser.

Jose Mourinho made ten changes to the side which crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of Bristol City on Wednesday evening. United made a good start to the match, pressing for the opening goal. Juan Mata saw his deflected cross fall for Chris Smalling, the England defender unable to hit the target as his header rose over the crossbar.

A few minutes later, United were on the attack again, unlucky not to open the scoring after Jesse Lingard’s deflected effort was denied by Kasper Schmeichel who made an impressive save. Both teams were creating chances, none of them opened the scoring. United seemed determined to get something from the game early and again went close in the eleventh minute after Lingard released Romelu Lukaku, Schmeichel getting off his line to deny the Belgian.

United looked dangerous every time they were on the ball and Lingard was one of the players causing that. United broke through many times with Lingard seemed to find himself in space on the attack. In the 19th minute, United were again pushing Leicester with Anthony Martial getting the better of Danny Simpson just before he put a good ball in at the far post for Lukaku who tried an acrobatic shot, only to put the ball into the stands.

United were starting to dominate Leicester by their attacking play with Juan Mata getting himself involved in the attacking, spraying the ball out to Martial but a last-gasp challenge from Simpson denied the Frenchman from taking the lead for his club. Martial seemed to be injured from the challenge, but he was fine to continue. Leicester took the lead in the 27th minute through Jamie Vardy, getting the better of Smalling to then beat David De Gea.

As United were looking to restore the parity in the game, Victor Lindelof was booked for a foul on Vicente Iborra. United did not stay behind long as Mata equalised in the 40th minute of the match. Nemanja Matic broke forward, passing out to Martial who then fired to the feet of Lingard, setting up Mata’s shot which was low and close to the post. United were back in the game. There were two minutes of added time at the end of the first half, neither side able to get anything else out of the half.

Leicester started on the front foot at the start of the second half with Wilfred Ndidi, Demarai Grey and Vardy all combining to break into United’s area. Two minutes into the half, Matic was booked for a challenge on Riyadh Mahrez, United’s second player to be booked in the match. In the 51st minute, Paul Pogba floated a great ball up field releasing Lukaku, who was adjudged to be offside.

A minute later, United had a shot through, started by Martial putting in the ball to Pogba, who shot 25-yards from goal – straight into the palms of Schmeichel. A minute after that, Mahrez left Ashley Young wondering what happened, firing a low ball into the area, falling to Christian Fuchs with the goal gaping. Lindelof recovered and cleared the line for United.

In the 57th minute, Leicester had to take Simpson off after he injured himself, bringing Daniel Amartey on, just after Marc Albrighton was booked for fouling Lingard. United were starting to look lively again with Martial driving up the left, playing a one-two with Pogba, returning the pass which did not find Martial, who was fouled with United winning a free-kick.

United took the lead in the 60th minute of the match with Mata on a hat-trick, firing the free-kick over the wall, curling into the back of the net. What a goal from the player who has scored the most goals out of United’s current players. Leicester made their second change of the game in the 67th minute with Shinji Okazaki replacing Iborra.

In the 70th minute, Amartey – who had been on the pitch for 13 minutes was booked for a foul on Young. United then made their first change with Marcus Rashford replacing Martial in the 71st minute. In the next minute, United were on the attack again with Lukaku holding up the ball, threaded his pass to Lingard, who split the defence, rounded the keeper and saw his effort come back off the post. Lingard then regained the ball and shot again, which was over the crossbar.

In the 73rd minute, it was a red card for Leicester after Amartey recklessly brought down Rashford and gave Jonathan Moss no other option as he was booked three minutes before. Leicester were down to ten men. In the 76th minute, United made their second substitution with Lingard being replaced by Ander Herrera.

There was a penalty shout after Schmeichel seemed to take Rashford down in the box, but a goal kick was given. With the replay, there was a slight touch on Rashford. United made their third change with Henrikh Mkhitaryan replacing Mata in the 83rd minute of the match. Leicester then had a penalty shout after Smalling had both hands on Maguire’s shoulders trying to defend from a Leicester attack.

There were four minutes of added time at the end of the match with Leicester pushing to get something from the match, United also trying to retain their lead and win the game. Leicester had chances to equalise and United had the chance to advance further, failing to take their chances earlier on in the match. Smalling seemed to pick up an injury with United having used all their substitutes.

Smalling was off for treatment, coming back on to continue. In the last minute of added time, Harry Maguire scored the equaliser, United getting just deserts after failing to finish Leicester when they had the chance. United have gone from three points to one point from this game, seeing Manchester City’s lead reduced to 13 points, which I feel is too much for this United side to break into. Only themselves to blame for the inability to hold the lead over ten-man Leicester City.

Goals: Juan Mata 40′, 60′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 40′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, Young; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Mkhitaryan 83′), Lingard (Herrera 76′), Martial (Rashford 71′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Shaw; Ibrahimovic

Bookings: Victor Lindelof 34′, Nemanja Matic 47′

copyright: JW