A double from Thanawat Suengchitthawon and further goals from Callum Wright and Jake Wakeling secured three points and kicked off 2021 in style in Premier League 2 Division 1.
Initially shaping up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Suengchitthawon and Wakeling operated from wide, with Wright in behind lone forward Ali Reghba.
Playing their first league fixture of the calendar year, the Foxes made a lightning start, scoring inside the first 60 seconds.
Wakeling pounced on Matej Kovar's error, finding Wright, whose composed finish was the first competitive goal to be scored at LCFC Training Ground.
Apart from Joe Hugill hitting the side netting, United were blown away by Leicester's start and the hosts were two to the good after 14 minutes.
Sunegchitthawon did well to get past Harvey Neville down the left and slide the ball towards goal, with the final touch appearing to come off the visitors' 'keeper.
However, the game was far from done and when Hannibal Mejbri played Anthony Elanga in, he found the net via the far post with a cool finish.
The Foxes continued to create opportunities, meanwhile, as Wright saw an effort blocked before Shane Flynn's cross found Vontae Daley-Campbell, who skied his half-volley over.
Soon after, Leshabela's first-time strike had to be blocked and Wright pulled another attempt wide.
Those misses soon proved costly for City's Under-23s. Neville crossed for the lively Elanga to send the ball past Jakub Stolarczyk for the second time, this time from close range, equalising on the stroke of half-time.
Despite being pegged back, City came out for the second half with renewed vigour and would once again strike early on as Wakeling produced a superb finish, lobbing the ball over the outrushing United 'keeper and into the far corner.
Wakeling was hungry for more and Kovar had to produce a save from his shot on the turn minutes later.
Callum Hulme then broke away and fed Wakeling again, who opened up his body and slotted a left-footed attempt into the arms of the visiting shot-stopper.
The hosts kept the pressure on when Wright fired over the bar, while no one was able to get on the end of Daley-Campbell's centre, which flashed across the face of goal.
The ever-willing Wakeling finally had the ball in the net for a second time, only to be flagged offside after turning Wright's cross home with his head.
United's forays forward, on the other hand, were few and far between but when Stolarczyk was called into action, he produced two saves, denying both Hugill and Mark Helm in quick succession.
City were soon back down the other end, making it four, with a composed touch and finish from Suengchitthawon re-establishing a two-goal cushion with his second of the evening.
A second goal for Wakeling proved elusive, however, as he hit the post following a neat one-two with Flynn, but City were more than happy to settle for the four goals and three points.
The goal of the night was also a significant one from Jake Wakeling, turning the game back in Leicester's favour.
Although the Foxes came out of the blocks quickly, it was their start to the second half which ultimately won the game. They showed great character to turn the game back in their favour after United's first-half fightback and once Jake Wakeling had made the breakthrough with a superb lobbed finish, it was all Leicester.
Jake Wakeling was Gerry Taggart's pick for Man of the Match after a goal and an assist for the forward.
Speaking on LCFC TV's live coverage, Gerry Taggart said: "Jake Wakeling had the most effect on the game, for me. He’s made the first goal with his pass, he scored one and should have had another. He had a hand, with his pressure, for Thanawat [Suengchitthawon’s] goal, so I think young Wakeling’s been my Man of the Man this evening."
Where does it leave us?
Thanawat Suengchitthawon was amongst the goals, scoring twice, including a well taken finish in the second half.
The Foxes move up to ninth in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table after 12 fixtures, with 15 points on the board, jumping above their visitors, Manchester United, on goal difference, in the process.
Darnell Johnson played for the first time since returning from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic.
City's Development Squad return to league action at LCFC Training Ground on Monday 25 January, facing Everton Under-23s (7pm GMT kick-off).
City: Stolarczyk; Daley-Campbell, Johnson, O'Connor, Flynn; Hulme, Leshabela; Wakeling (T. Pennant 84'), Wright (c), Suengchitthawon; Reghba (McAteer 45').
Subs not used: Doherty, Arlott-John, Godsmark-Ford.
Goals: Wright 1', Suengchitthawon 14', 71', Wakeling 47'.
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