Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United beat Leicester City 3-0 at Old Trafford to make it the most prolific season in their history and move Erik ten Hag’s side within three points of a second.
Rashford, who has now surpassed his previous tally of 22 with 24 goals, gave the hosts the lead against the run of play in the first half after a strong start from Leicester before they doubled their advantage after VAR intervention to cancel an offside.
Leicester collapsed somewhat in the second half and substitute Jadon Sancho added United’s third – playing in a new role at No 10 after replacing Alejandro Garnazzo at half-time – as ten Haag’s side took full advantage of Manchester City’s second-half draw at Nottingham Forest on Saturday. .
Marcel Sabitzer was lucky not to be sent off for a high challenge on Leicester defender Wout Faes late in the first half and United had to rely on two huge saves from goalkeeper David De Gea in the opening 20 minutes as they rode their luck early pressure from the Foxes, whose three-game winning streak is coming to an end.
Manchester United: De Gea (8), Dalot (7), Lindelof (7), Martinez (7), Shaw (7), Sabitzer (7), Fred (7), Fernandes (8), Weghorst (7), Garnacho (5) , Rashford (9).
Subs: Sancho (8), McTominay (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Elanga (6), Mainoo (6).
Leicester: Ward (5), Castagne (5), Souttar (5), Faes (4), Kristiansen (6), Dewsbury-Hall (6), Mendy (6), Tete (7), Maddison (7), Barnes (7 ), Iheanach (6).
Subs: Tielemans (6), Soumare (6), Vardy (6), Praet (6).
Player of the Match: Marcus Rashford.
How Rashford broke the scoring record against Leicester
Leicester exposed the holes in United’s defense early on with Tete causing the hosts all sorts of problems down the right. It could have been a different result had De Gea not made two spectacular saves to deny Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho, the latter of which was particularly impressive as he cleared the ball away from goal.
A failure to capitalize on their dominance soon cost Leicester as Rashford found the net for a fifth game in progress with a powerful angled effort. The 25-year-old had plenty of space to run onto Bruno Fernandes’ pass after Wout Faes left his position and took full advantage of Danny Ward.
United’s defensive vulnerability was clear, but they had a golden chance to double their lead before the break only for right-back Diogo Dalot to fire home an awkward effort from close range after Fernandes’ low cross hit the back post .
Bayern Munich loanee Sabitzer avoided any punishment for a bad tackle on Faes in the closing stages of the first period. Sky Sports said expert Graeme Souness Super Sunday: “I don’t care what a referee who has never played the game wants to say. This is a send off. This is a dangerous game.”
United asserted their authority in the second period as they pushed for a second with Ten Haag bringing Sancho into a central position behind the striker. The switch soon paid dividends as Rashford scored a second after VAR intervened to overturn the original offside decision. He now has 16 goals in 17 World Cup games.
Sancho, whose introduction into the middle gave United a new lease of life, then got into the act himself as he completed a neat move, meeting Fernandes’ low cross with his left foot to put the game out of sight for the Leicester, who have to settle for 14th in the table and four points above the drop zone.
Man Utd’s upcoming matches
February 23: Barcelona (A) – The second leg of the Europa League knockout play-offs, kick-off at 20:00
February 26: Newcastle (Wembley) – EFL Cup Final, kick-off 4.30pm, live Sky Sports
March 1st: West Ham (H) – fifth round of the FA Cup, kick-off at 19.45
March 5: Liverpool (A) – Premier League, kick-off 16.30, live broadcast Sky Sports
11 March: Southampton (H) – Premier League, start at 15.00
March 19: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off at 14:00
Manchester United‘small Attention now turns to the second leg of the Europa League play-off against Barcelona, with the Spanish league leaders visiting Old Trafford on Thursday. starting time 8 p.m.
Erik ten Hag’s side then take over Newcastle United at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, live Sky Sports; start 4.30 pm
Sunday 26 February 15:00
of the city of Leicester is next in action on Saturday when he hosts Arsenal; starting time 3pm Brendan Rodgers’ side then face an FA Cup tie at home Blackburn on Tuesday February 28; start 7.30 pm