Kelechi Iheanacho

Man Utd The Victors At Old Trafford

Leicester City fell to a first defeat in five as Manchester United were 3-0 winners at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.
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A brace from in-form Marcus Rashford, either side of half-time, was the platform for the Red Devils, while Jadon Sancho also found the net. The Foxes had several chances, but couldn't find a way past David de Gea.

An unchanged XI for City was Brendan Rodgers' reward for last weekend's 4-1 rout of Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium. That meant Papy Mendy stayed in the middle, with Kelechi Iheanacho up top. James Maddison, the Club's top goalscorer in 2022/23, was also again wearing the captain's armband in Manchester. Both sides took the knee before kick-off to reaffirm the Premier League's message that there is No Room For Racism.  

Although Leicester were beaten by United back in September, that was their first loss to the Red Devils in six encounters. That little unbeaten run included three successive victories for Rodgers' men and a first win at Old Trafford in 23 years. United are a different proposition under Erik ten Hag's management though – Thursday's enthralling 2-2 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou was a testament to that. They're on the fringes of a title race too, ready to pounce if Arsenal or Manchester City falter. The 136th meeting of these sides started scrappily, but it was in fact the Foxes on the front foot.

De Gea would ultimately keep the visitors at bay early on, however, planting the foundations of United's victory. Only a sterling stop from the Spanish goalkeeper prevented Harvey Barnes from netting his ninth goal of the season, after a tidy one-two with Iheanacho. Harry Souttar, a January signing from Stoke City, then headed over, before Iheanacho's scuffed shot was deflected behind by Victor Lindelöf. The Nigerian's curler, from the angle of the area, also flashed wide of the far post. 

Fred then got a crucial block on Tetê's cross towards Maddison in the middle. These were early signs of encouragement for the 3,094 travelling Foxes fans in the corner opposite the Stretford End. A splash of Brazilian magic from Tetê freed City's No.37 up again on the right channel, although he could only rifle wide. Barnes was lurking at the far post too, unable to get a touch on it. Leicester, with a whole week of preparation behind them, were undoubtedly the most vibrant side early on.

On 20 minutes, De Gea made another astonishing stop, scooping Iheanacho's header out of the air after Timothy Castagne's precise cross. For all of Leicester's pressure, it was 1-0 to United soon after. Bruno Fernandes found the gap in the visiting backline and threaded the ball through to Rashford, taking a moment before arrowing it past Danny Ward. Rashford has now struck in his last five games for the 20-time champions – and that was his 23rd of the season.

It was tough on City, who'd had 10 shots at goal by the half-hour point. Another came their way when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall skidded an effort wide, latching onto Maddison's squared ball first time on the edge of the area. At the other end, there was a let-off for Leicester as Diogo Dalot scuffed Fernandes' splendid low cross into the box. Maddison's long-ranger bouncing wide was the final act of a first half which promised plenty but gave Rodgers' men an uphill task in the second.

A free-kick which Leicester felt should never have been awarded handed Luke Shaw the chance to loop the ball onto Lisandro Martínez's head four minutes after the restart. Fortunately for the visitors, it only glanced the crossbar on its way behind. Ward then had to make two quick-fire stops to deny Fernandes, from range, and Rashford, inside the area. Wout Weghorst's audacious attempt at an overhead kick also didn't land as he hoped. The game, though, was about to get away from Leicester.

Rashford, the home side's man of the moment, would soon strike again. It was Fred's ball which cut City open and, although the linesman's flag was raised, a VAR check confirmed the England striker was a fraction the right side of Wout Faes. Two became three on the hour, with Rashford teeing up Fernandes, who slipped in half-time substitute Jadon Sancho to finish. Leicester thought Iheanacho had been fouled by Martínez's in the build-up, although Stuart Attwell and Stockley Park disagreed. 

Only an exceptional block from Faes prevented Sancho from making it four. Castagne then did well to stop Weghorst too. The Dutchman, on loan from Burnley, was also denied impressively by Ward at point-blank range in the latter moments. United's cutting edge, though, won the day for a side who are now only three points from second in the table. 

Major moment – De Gea stops Iheanacho

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Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho was frustrated by David de Gea in the first half.

Twenty minutes in, it was City who were on top, pushing for an early opener. They so nearly got one too when Timothy Castagne's cross was headed towards goal by Kelechi Iheanacho. A marvellous stop from David de Gea kept it out, however, and Manchester United were in front five minutes later. 

Where do we stand? – 14th

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Brendan Rodgers

It was a frustrating afternoon for Brendan Rodgers's men in Manchester.

Leicester are 14th in the Premier League, on 24 points, with a goal difference of -5.

Coming up – The leaders, Arsenal

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James Maddison

James Maddison gets a shot away in the defeat by Man Utd.

Premier League leaders Arsenal are the visitors to King Power Stadium next Saturday for a 3pm kick-off. The Foxes then entertain Sky Bet Championship play-off hopefuls Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup on 28 February (7:30pm kick-off). All times GMT.

The details

Leicester City Crest