Monday 25 March 2019

Ruthless Rashford continues Manchester United revival under Solskjaer

Rashford has scored eight times in his last 13 Manchester United games.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford scored the winner at Leicester. (Mike Egerton/PA)
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford scored the winner at Leicester. (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, Press Association Sport

Marcus Rashford marked his 100th Manchester United appearance with the winner at Leicester as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer maintained his unbeaten record.

England international Rashford scored his eighth goal in 13 outings to earn a 1-0 victory at the King Power Stadium.

Solskjaer’s 10th game in charge brought a ninth win, with revived United not needing to leave third gear.

Paul Pogba and Rashford combined to seal another victory and the pair now have 12 goals under Solskjaer having struggled so badly under Jose Mourinho.

United are now just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Leicester, who remain 11th, paid the price for another slow start and they have won just four home games in the league this term.

Despite a promising point at Liverpool, the Foxes struggled to make an impact and boss Claude Puel was jeered after taking off talisman James Maddison in the second half.

Leicester had beaten United just once in their previous 21 meetings and Rashford sent an early warning after just four minutes.

ipanews_1b75d68d-96d4-4079-b334-944c59ffe318_embedded240992044
United inflicted more home misery on Claude Puel (Mike Egerton/PA)

Patient build-up ended with Luke Shaw’s teasing cross but the onrushing Rashford planted a header woefully over from four yards.

But the England hitman, who became the youngest player to reach a century of top-flight appearances for United since Ryan Giggs in 1993, redeemed himself five minutes later with a clinical finish.

It came from Ricardo Pereira gifting Pogba possession and the midfielder executed a glorious lofted pass to find Rashford, who buried a low shot past Kasper Schmeichel from 12 yards.

Leicester had been punished by another mistake in another slow start but it still needed Pogba’s excellence and Rashford’s efficiency.

YEEEESSS MARCUS! What a finish from Marcus Rashford on his 100h Premier League appearance! Minute-by-minute updates: http://bit.ly/2TupohY

Posted by Manchester United on Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Foxes tried to hit back instantly but Shaw thwarted Maddison.

Leicester gradually grabbed a foothold as Alexis Sanchez, making his first league start in three months for United, struggled to make any inroads.

Maddison found space but was unable to conjure the telling pass while Jonny Evans glanced a corner off-target.

Harvey Barnes curled wide just before the break and Rashford tested Schmeichel from distance but United’s fast start had faded.

The Foxes emerged stronger after the break as Barnes flashed a ball across goal and Maddison hit the side-netting.

United goalkeeper David De Gea had to make his first serious save after an hour when he gathered Jamie Vardy’s overhead kick at the second attempt after Maddison’s free-kick hit the wall.

Maddison was then replaced by Rachid Ghezzal to cries of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ directed at Puel by the home fans.

ipanews_1b75d68d-96d4-4079-b334-944c59ffe318_embedded240396705
The substitution of James Maddison did not go down well with Foxes supporters (Nick Potts/PA)

Despite improving, the Foxes were still flat, struggling to take the handbrake off and create clear openings against a United side who kept them at arm’s length.

A set-piece looked Leicester’s best bet for an equaliser and De Gea was at full stretch to turn over Ghezzal’s 25-yard free kick with 14 minutes left.

It roused the hosts and Evans mis-kicked six yards out but United chased a second and Romelu Lukaku forced Schmeichel into a low save.

The Foxes remained in the hunt until the end, though, and Vardy’s tame effort was straight at De Gea before Schmeichel denied Anthony Martial.

Press Association

The Left Wing: Why Irish fans shouldn't lose faith and how Joe Schmidt can turn things around for the World Cup

In association with Aldi

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport