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Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory

Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory

Manchester United extended their unbeaten sequence to 12 Premier League games at Old Trafford with a 3-0 victory at home to Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.

Marcus Rashford continued his sensational scoring form but Manchester United’s talisman had to rely upon the heroics of his goalkeeper at the other end in a shaky first half for the hosts.

Jadon Sancho came on during the interval, finding the net himself as United ultimately breezed to a comfortable victory, moving three points behind second-placed Manchester City and five off league-leading Arsenal.

Leicester, coming into the match buoyed by eight goals across their last two league outings, spent the opening 25 minutes happily picnicking in the wide-open spaces which emerged amid Manchester United’s purely hypothetical midfield.

Harvey Barnes played a one-two with Kelechi Iheanacho around a muddled set of retreating red shirts but was denied by David de Gea’s outstretched paw. Barely 10 minutes later, the Spaniard outdid himself, clawing Iheanacho’s downward header off the line before the referee’s watch could buzz.

Moments later, Rashford wouldn’t be denied by the considerably less impressive Danny Ward. Harry Souttar tried to play the in-form forward offside but mistimed his lunge out of defence. With time to steady himself, Rashford ripped his 23rd goal of the season into the bottom corner, making this the most prolific campaign of his career.

Clearly unimpressed with a fortuitous first-half performance, Erik ten Hag rejigged his frontline during the break; bringing Sancho into an attacking midfield role which nudged Wout Weghorst to the tip of United’s attack and shifted Rashford onto the left wing.

Proving to be just as deadly from the flank, Rashford streaked clear of Timothy Castagne, latching onto Fred’s through-ball and ruthlessly blasting it past Ward’s holographic attempts at a save. A VAR review revealed that Rashford had just about timed his run correctly, despite the assistant’s initial flag.

Leicester limply folded thereafter, the yawning chasms which plagued United’s first-half cropping up in the visitors’ shape. Sancho merrily skipped between the blue shirts, taking advantage of his central position to exchange a crisp one-two with Fernandes – who remained wide on the right – before sweeping United into a 3-0 lead.

Sancho and the almost comedically wasteful Weghorst squandered numerous chances to extend United’s advantage, but it was Leicester’s first-half profligacy which defined the day.

Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory


Man Utd player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory
Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory
Fred, his Manchester United colleagues and Leicester opponents, took a knee before kick off / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: David de Gea – 9/10 – Singlehandedly, well, he used his boot as well, De Gea kept Manchester United afloat.

RB: Diogo Dalot – 7/10 – Cantered forward freely – if not always effectively.

CB: Victor Lindelof – 4/10 – Desperately struggled to keep tabs on Iheanacho when the ball was repeatedly tossed into the box from Leicester’s right flank.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 7/10 – Denied by the crossbar after thundering a header onto the frame of Ward’s goal shortly after the interval.

LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Largely unfazed by the flood of blue shirts which were funnelled down his flank.

CM: Marcel Sabitzer – 3/10 – Swamped and swarmed in a desperately porous (and generally poor) midfield display.

CM: Fred – 3/10 – Like an eager puppy chasing after the ball, Fred constantly left United’s central slice of the pitch exposed as he scurried around the park.

AM: Wout Weghorst – 6/10 – The goals may not quite be there but Weghorst’s work-rate off the ball was infectious.

RW: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Punctuated his performance with some devilishly delicate passes.

ST: Marcus Rashford – 9/10 – Always alert, Rashford took his goal brilliantly despite waiting more than ten minutes for a touch before battering in the opener.

LW: Alejandro Garnacho – 4/10 – Hooked at half-time after an anonymous first 45 minutes.


Substitutes

Jadon Sancho (46′ for Garnacho) – 8/10 – Shone in a new role through the middle which took advantage of his superb close control in tight spaces.

Scott McTominay (59′ for Fred) – 5/10

Anthony Elanga (69′ for Rashford) – N/A

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (69′ for Shaw) – N/A

Kobbie Mainoo (80′ for Sabitzer) – N/A


Manager

Erik ten Hag – 8/10 – Desperately fortunate to have a 1-0 lead to work with at half-time but certainly warranted the comfortable victory his side cruised to after his tactical reshuffle.


Leicester player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory
Man Utd 3-0 Leicester as Marcus Rashford & Jadon Sancho seal Red Devils victory
Wout Faes has been part of a Leicester City backline which hasn’t kept a Premier League clean sheet since November / Michael Regan/GettyImages

GK: Danny Ward – 5/10 – Unable to replicate the feats of his opposite goalkeeper down the other end.

RB: Timothy Castagne – 7/10 – Enjoyed the freedom of the right flank, peppering United’s box with penetrative crosses which weren’t finished off.

CB: Harry Souttar – 3/10 – Befuddled for United’s opener, Souttar could at least take solace from the fact that he wasn’t Leicester’s worst centre-back.

CB: Wout Faes – 2/10 – Souttar will be blamed for failing to catch Rashford offside, but Faes was just as culpable for an awful pass and reckless charge out of position which immediately preceded the opener. The calamitous centre-back then played Rashford onside for his second.

LB: Victor Kristiansen – 4/10 – Struggled to stifle Fernandes’ creativity throughout.

CM: Nampalys Mendy – 6/10 – Plugged the gaps in midfield efficiently before a harsh yellow card prompted his substitution within the opening hour.

CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – 5/10 – After a dynamic and destructive first half, Dewsbury-Hall increasingly struggled to exert an influence on proceedings.

AM: James Maddison – 6/10 – Leicester’s orchestrator-in-chief in the first half faded sharply after the interval.

RW: Tete – 4/10 – Much like the entire Leicester team, Tete’s productivity dropped off a cliff in the second half.

ST: Kelechi Iheanacho – 5/10 – A persistent nuisance lurking between the lines and United’s box but lacking the required potency.

LW: Harvey Barnes – 4/10 – It may have been a miraculous stop but Barnes simply cannot allow De Gea to make the save which rebuffed the winger in the opening ten minutes.


Substitutes

Boubakary Soumare (59′ for Dewsbury-Hall) – 5/10

Youri Tielemans (59′ for Mendy) – 5/10

Jamie Vardy (75′ for Iheanacho) – N/A

Dennis Praet (75′ for Tete) – N/A


Manager

Brendan Rodgers – 6/10 – After a first half full of promise and profligacy, Rodgers watched on in horror as the hosts showed no such lack of clincial edge.


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