Jadon Sancho's 23rd minute goal was the difference in City's fifth top-flight outing of the 2022/23 season.
Manager Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the XI which fell to defeat at Chelsea last weekend, with James Maddison, Luke Thomas and Wilfred Ndidi coming into the starting line-up. Deadline day signing Wout Faes, on the other hand, watched on after joining the Club earlier in the day.
It was a tight start on Filbert Way, with the capacity crowd having to wait 10 minutes for the first opening, as Christian Eriksen drilled wide for the visitors. City, though, had made decent inroads, not shirking a 50-50 and making Man Utd well aware of their presence in the press.
On 20 minutes, Maddison invited a foul from Eriksen, before teeing Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall up from the resulting free-kick. David de Gea, though, was equal to the 25-yard strike. The early promise fizzled away, however, when 20-time English champions United took the lead two minutes later.
Bruno Fernandes commuted the ball forward to Marcus Rashford, who then slipped in Sancho to slot past Danny Ward. A simple but effective opener in LE2. The Foxes shot-stopper faired better shortly afterwards, getting two hands to Eriksen's low hit from outside the 18-hard box.
In truth, it was an uneventful half for the most part, defined by only a few flash points. One such moment came when Rashford hurried towards the byline and crossed for Sancho, whose deflected effort tested Ward. Harvey Barnes then curled wide after ambitiously electing to try his luck from 25 yards.
Into the second half, Dewsbury-Hall took the ball and charged, all on his own, towards goal. The Shepshed dynamo had six Man Utd players around him and he eventually forced Argentine centre-back Lisandro Martínez to surrender a free-kick. It may have looked too far out for most, but not Maddison.
The England midfielder took aim, curling it around the wall and towards the top corner. Only De Gea's left palm stopped it bulging the net. Dewsbury-Hall's trickery then evaded Eriksen on the right, but his cross was just too high for fellow Academy graduate Barnes to do anything of any real note with it.
Erik ten Hag's United were sitting deeper and deeper as the second half wore on. By the 65th minute, Leicester were having to battle through and that's what Maddison did, riding two challenges before Scott McTominay dragged him off the ball. It was another free-kick in a good area, but the wall did its job.
The visitors' quality told in their substitutions. First, new signing Casemiro came on, before Cristiano Ronaldo took to the field later on. Ten UEFA Champions League titles between them. Ronaldo almost registered an assist, but for a last-ditch sliding intervention from Jonny Evans to stop him locating Eriksen.
An acrobatic, attempted scissor-kick from the Portuguese superstar then drifted wide of Ward's far post. City had Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka on for the latter stages. There was then a scare for Ndidi on 90 minutes when the Nigerian's touch on Eriksen's cross fizzed over his own crossbar.
Seconds later, Maddison whipped an 18-yard strike over United's bar at the other end. When Boubakary Soumaré's long ball was cushioned into James Justin's path, there was hope for a dramatic late equaliser. The newly-capped England international, however, blazed over. Defeat for the Foxes.
Major moment – Sancho's opener
Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers provides instructions from the sidelines on Filbert Way.
One goal ultimately settled this Premier League encounter, with Man Utd taking advantage of open space on the flanks to cut through, threading the ball into the feet of England forward Jadon Sancho. The former Borussia Dortmund man then skipped into the area to finish well and settle the match.
Where do we stand? – 20th
James Maddison was a threat from free-kicks in particular on Thursday evening.
City remain 20th in the Premier League after five matches of the 2022/23 campaign.
Coming up – Brighton (A)
Youri Tielemans tries to find a pocket of space in the middle for City.
AMEX Stadium is City's next Premier League destination for Sunday's clash with Brighton & Hove Albion (2pm kick-off). Then, next Saturday, Aston Villa visit King Power Stadium (3pm kick-off).
All times BST.
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