Early Goal From Rashford Seals Win For Man Utd
An early goal from Marcus Rashford helped Manchester United defeat Leicester City at the King Power Stadium and maintain their unbeaten record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Rashford brilliantly finished a superb ball over the top of the Leicester defence from Paul Pogba to make it nine wins out of 10 under Solskjaer.
The win sees Man Utd close the gap on Chelsea in fourth place to just two points.
Meanwhile, the defeat for Leicester means they have lost their last three home Premier League games for the first time since December 2014.
Rashford Strikes Again
Manchester United got off to a bright start and should have taken the lead after just five minutes.
A brilliant cross into the box from Luke Shaw saw Marcus Rashford get on the end of it, but he directed his header wide from just six-yards out.
Four minutes later, Rashford made amends. A poor pass from Leicester defender Ricardo Pereira went straight at Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder then played a brilliant ball over the top of the Leicester defence. It found its way to Marcus Rashford who finished clinically to give United the lead.
Leicester started to get back into the game after a whirlwind start by Manchester United. However, the Foxes were struggling to create any clear cut chances.
On 38 minutes, Leicester almost equalised. A corner swung in by James Maddison picked out Jonny Evans inside the penalty area. The Northern Irish defender got a head on the ball but couldn’t direct goalwards.
The Foxes finished the half strongly and a powerful shot by Ricardo Pereira from 20-yards out stinged the palms of David de Gea in the United goal.
Leicester On The Front Foot
It was a positive start to the second half by Leicester. A neat one two between James Maddison and Harvey Barnes allowed Barnes to get a strike on goal.
However, the angle was always against him and he dragged his shot way wide.
On the hour mark, a free kick from James Maddison was deflected off the Manchester United wall. The ball fell to Jamie Vardy who volleyed the ball towards goal but it went straight at David de Gea who almost fumbled the ball into his own net but managed to gather the loose ball at the second attempt.
With 14 minutes to go, David de Gea was forced into a brilliant save to keep Man Utd in front.
A curling free kick from 30-yards-out from Rachid Ghezzal saw De Gea scrambling across his goal to keep the ball out of his net. The Spaniard managed just to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The game was beginning to become increasingly stretched as Leicester chased an equaliser and United looking to hit on the counter.
Manchester United almost did just that, but Anthony Martial’s shot from inside the box went straight at Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.
United held on despite the best efforts of Leicester to make it nine wins out of 10 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Does Lukaku Have A Future At United Under Solskjaer?
One of the biggest calls that Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made since taking over is dropping Romelu Lukaku from the starting line-up.
Under Solskjaer, Lukaku has made just one Premier League start. That was in midweek against Burnley.
The Belgian’s performance was disappointing on Wednesday and it was no surprise that Solskjaer picked Marcus Rashford over Lukaku once again.
Rashford has been in great form of late and gives you more pace and movement up top than Lukaku does.
The movement of a front three of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial has caused defences all sorts of problems and made Manchester United more threatening going forward in recent weeks.
Lukaku is a great goalscorer but the biggest criticism at times under Mourinho has been how static his movement is.
In particular, when playing against teams who sit in and make themselves hard to break down.
As each week passes, it is hard to imagine Romelu Lukaku becoming a starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Would the Belgian be happy to play second fiddle to Marcus Rashford? Probably not. However, on the current form he can have no complaints.
Leicester Push The Big Guns Once Again
Leicester have been impressive this season against teams in the top six. Already they have beaten Manchester City and Chelsea and drew in midweek away to Liverpool.
Once again, they pushed one of the Premier League’s top six clubs. They were the better side in the second half and had their chances to get something from the game.
A brilliant free kick from Rachid Ghezzal and Jamie Vardy were their best opportunities.
However, they couldn’t find an equaliser that their second half display deserved.
Claude Puel knows his sides biggest challenge now is to try and replicate the intensity and level of performances against the sides below them.
This has been something that has eluded them so far this season.
If they can improve this, there is no doubt that Leicester have the players and quality to finish the best of the rest in the Premier League.
Next up for Leicester is a trip to Wembley to face Tottenham next Sunday.
Meanwhile, Manchester United face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Photo credit to Manchester United via Twitter