Shinji Okazaki

Leaders Man Utd Beat City At Old Trafford

Manchester United scored twice in 12 second-half minutes to defeat Leicester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
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Craig Shakespeare fielded the same side that beat Brighton & Hove Albion in their last Premier League outing, with Harry Maguire, fresh from an England call-up, declared fit for the clash.

Jose Mourinho’s men, aiming to protect their 100 per cent start to the Premier League campaign, flew out of the blocks as Henrikh Mkhitaryan saw a shot blocked by Wes Morgan, before Kasper Schmeichel clawed Juan Mata’s effort out of the top corner.

The Foxes responded well and it was Shinji Okazaki who would draw David De Gea into his first save of the afternoon midway through the first period – the Japan international having his low drive held by the Man Utd stopper.

A flurry of efforts from Paul Pogba followed, with two flying wide before Schmeichel was on hand to deny the Frenchman from a tight angle shortly after. There was still time before the break for Romelu Lukaku to register attempt, but the Belgian nodded wide of the mark.

The hosts began the second period just as they had the first and before long were awarded a penalty after the ball struck Danny Simpson’s hand in the City area. Lukaku stepped up, but Schmeichel produced a save right out of the top drawer to deny the Man Utd frontman.

Riyad Mahrez came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock with 67 minutes gone as the Algerian slipped past Red Devils left back Daley Blind before flashing his strike across the face of goal.

But, from a corner, Mourinho’s outfit took the lead shortly after. Mkhitaryan delivered from the right and substitute Marcus Rashford was on hand to fire home with just 20 minutes to play.

Demarai Gray, who scored a stunning goal in this fixture last term, then saw his low strike saved by De Gea, before Lukaku lifted over at the other end.

For all City’s resilience, they would go on to concede a second on 82 minutes. Jesse Lingard cut in from the left and it was Marouane Fellaini who was on hand to turn the ball past Schmeichel to round off the scoring.

Key moment

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Christian Fuchs
Christian Fuchs

Undone by set-plays late on by Arsenal on the opening day of the season, the Foxes knew that concentration throughout the 90 minutes was key at Old Trafford on Saturday.

But a lapse in focus from a corner in the 70th minute proved to be vital for City, who despite standing strong in Manchester, were breached by Marcus Rashford.

Riyad Mahrez had gone close just before Rashford’s opener, but it just wasn’t to be against the 13-time Premier League champions.

Who impressed?

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

In all competitions, Kasper Schmeichel has saved three of his last five penalties for the Foxes and while his side were eventually beaten in Manchester, the Dane performed magnificently.

Significant stops from Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkitaryan, followed up by his spot-kick save to deny Romelu Lukaku, meant the Dane impressed against Jose Mourinho’s table-toppers.

Where do we stand?

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Following City’s third fixture of the Premier League campaign, they now sit 16th in the table with three points on the board from that win over Brighton last weekend.

Coming up…

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Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray

Gray darts towards the Manchester United defence.

The first international break of the 2017/18 Premier League season follows Leicester’s clash at Old Trafford.

City return to action on Saturday 9 September when defending champions Chelsea visit King Power Stadium in the Premier League (3pm kick-off).

Leicester City Crest

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