Marcus Rashford scores a penalty for Manchester United against Leicester City.

Manchester United 1 Leicester City 0

Saturday 14 September 2019 17:14

Ice-cool Marcus Rashford scored from the spot to earn a 1-0 win for Manchester United against Leicester City at Old Trafford.

It was a nervous nail-biter as United finally came through a tough assignment to get back to winning ways in the Premier League, with Rashford’s eighth-minute spot-kick giving the Reds their first win since the opening day of the season against Chelsea.

It was a breathless start to the match with both sides in attack mode.

The first chance fell to United, after just three minutes, when City’s Ricardo Pereira brought down in-form threat Daniel James. The free-kick by Andreas Pereira was thundered to Kasper Schmeichel’s near post and United legend Peter’s son needed to be quick-witted and brave and get across to beat the ball away, as he fell and collided with the post.

Leicester’s response was instant with David De Gea needing to show he, too, was in a stubborn mood.

After James Maddison evaded Victor Lindelof, the midfielder let rip with a low shot that De Gea got a leg to and, fortunately for the Reds, it rebounded wide.

United switched the pressure to the other end and forced Foxes defender Caglar Soyuncu into a rash challenge that sent Rashford sprawling. Referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot and VAR had no quibble with his decision.

After missing from the spot in United’s last home match defeat against Crystal Palace, Rashford still fancied the job again. He beat Schmeichel easily after his stuttering run-up.

Harry Maguire congratulates Marcus Rashford on his spot-kick success.

It was just what the Reds needed against a side in third spot prior to the game, who hadn’t lost in their opening four games.

United, meanwhile, needed to get back to winning ways, having not grabbed all three points since the opening match 4-0 hammering of Chelsea.

Leicester began to show their ability as they didn’t let United’s penalty lead affect them and, after a scrappy period, the visitors almost levelled in the 30th minute.

Harry Maguire got good distance on a clearance from a corner but Ben Chilwell took the ball down neatly and fired in a dipping half volley that De Gea tipped over with an acrobatic leap and save in front of the Stretford End.

United went into the break ahead but the danger from Brendan Rodgers's side had been mounting and it wasn’t the most convincing of leads.

Daniel James hadn’t really been able to get on the ball and go at Leicester in the first half but he was first to show after the interval with a trademark cut inside, and he came close to adding to his three goals this season with a rising shot that just wouldn’t dip late enough to enter Schmeichel's net.

Maguire’s every touch had been loudly booed by his former Leicester fan club but it was the United support who were roaring their acclaim of the defender when he chased down Demarai Gray, then forcibly held off the forward’s efforts to get back at him.

Maguire then had an an effort saved by Schmeichel soon after as he powered in a header from a corner.

Sandwiched in between the Maguire show was a Maddison free-kick that whistled just over the bar and came as a real reminder to the Reds that this match was balanced on a knife edge.

The energetic Andreas Pereira holds off Ben Chilwell.

Solskjaer introduced Fred and Tahith Chong for Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata in quick succession as he looked to inject some new life into a United side that had started to lack ideas and threat.

Chances for the Reds were few and far between with James smashing a chance well over the bar but Rashford almost got his second of the game when he crashed a free-kick onto the upright in the 83rd minute.

After that possible turning point, it was a nervous finale generally for United as Leicester sought to avoid their first loss of the campaign.

Hearts were in United's mouths when City piled bodies, including goalkeeper Schmeichel (where have we seen that before?), into United's area but the Reds survived as Wilfred Ndidi drilled a low drive just past the post in time added on.

Harry Maguire was in commanding form against his former club.

United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young (c); Matic (Fred 67) McTominay; Andreas, Mata (Chong 69), James (Tuanzebe 90); Rashford.

Subs not used: Romero, Jones, Gomes, Greenwood.

Goals: Rashford 8 (pen)

Bookings: James

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Gray (Barnes 67), Tielemans, Choudhury (Perez 57), Maddison, Vardy.

Subs not used: Ward, Justin, Morgan, Albrighton, Praet.

Bookings: Maddison, Chilwell.

Attendance: 73,689.


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