Manchester United continued their unbeaten run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, beating Leicester City 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Marcus Rashford, and some poor finishing from the hosts on the other end. It was by far the least impressive performance so far under the new manager, but the result took the Reds up to fifth in the Premier League table.
Rashford is Manchester United’s man of the moment, and for good reason. January’s player of the month is in the form of his young career at the moment, and on his 100th league appearance, he put United ahead in the 9th minute. After a back-and-forth opening to the match, Leicester’s eagerness to counterattack lead to a giveaway in their own half. Pogba intercepted a wayward pass and immediately clipped a brilliant ball over the top into the path of Rashford. The striker latched on to the ball with an excellent first touch and buried his low shot into the far corner of the goal.
Falling behind did little to discourage the hosts. Leicester continued to pour forward and create chances of their own. With both sides committed to pressing high up the pitch to win the ball back, the result was a sometimes frenetic first half hour. Sloppiness had crept into United’s game towards the end of the half, and they were a little fortunate that the Foxes couldn’t make them pay for their complacency.
Instead, it was the visitors who closed the half with the best chance - another giveaway in a dangerous area led to a Rashford shot that this time was comfortably saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
United did not get the reset that they needed at half-time, though, and after the break they were under siege yet again. Only’s Leicester’s lack of a cutting edge was preserving United’s lead, while the Reds had lost the attacking tempo and fluency with which they started the match.
Solskjaer made his first adjustment in the 67th minute, sending on Anthony Martial in a straight swap for Alexis Sánchez in an attempt to spark some life back into the team.
United just could not find their groove, and Leicester continued to pile on the pressure. In the 77th minute, David de Gea had to be at his brilliant best to keep out a Rachid Ghezzal free kick at full stretch. Right after that, Solskjaer tried to give the Leicester defenders a different problem by sending on Romelu Lukaku for the goalscorer Rashford.
The game had settled into a grind by that point, punctuated by niggling fouls - and a hatful of bookings - and poor giveaways in possession. Phil Jones came on for Lingard just before the end to shore up United’s creaking backline, and the Reds just about managed to hold on for all three points. It wasn’t pretty, but United’s unbeaten run continues.