Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City
Manchester United rediscovered the winning feeling thanks to a gritty performance against Leicester City in a fairly even encounter at Old Trafford.
The winner came as early as the eighth minute in what had been a bright start that promised more goals, with Marcus Rashford making amends for his last penalty miss against Crystal Palace by winning a spot-kick, then sending Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way.
Nemanja Matic was given a start by the home side in place of the injured Paul Pogba, while Leicester started Hamza Choudhury and Demarai Gray in place of Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes, who both dropped to the bench.
Andreas Pereira tested Schmeichel with an early free-kick, destined for the top corner, before James Maddison was thwarted by David de Gea from around 10 yards out after a misjudgement from Victor Lindelof before Rashford’s strike gave the hosts the lead.
That was as good as it got in the first half for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men as the Foxes grew stronger as the opening period went on, Ben Chilwell’s 25-yard volley forcing a finger-tip save from De Gea before Caglar Soyuncu and Choudhury couldn’t convert half-chances.
United looked like they meant business at the start of the second period, with Juan Mata denied by Schmeichel before Pereira and Daniel James, twice, went close from distance.
Maddison fizzed a 25-yard free-kick just the wrong side of the upright with De Gea stood watching for Leicester’s best chance, but in truth a resolute United defence kept the visitors largely quiet for a rare clean sheet, only their second in 16 league matches.
Rashford saw a 30-yard free-kick thunder off the top of the crossbar, while Pereira tested Schmeichel from the edge of the box as United threatened on the counter, but in truth their priority appeared to be keeping Leicester out at the other end, with Harry Maguire superbly marshalling the defence against his old side.
The victory sees United go above their genuine top-six rivals on goal difference in fourth, with Brendan Rodger’s men slipping to fifth after their first defeat of the season.
Rob Eddy is an all-round sports journalist, who has comprehensive knowledge in a range of sports including football, cricket, tennis, rugby union, golf and American Football.