Man Utd 4-1 Leicester City: Four first-half goals give Jose Mourinho's side emphatic win
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 25/09/16 12:14am
A rampant first-half display gave Manchester United a 4-1 win over champions Leicester at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United captain Wayne Rooney was dropped for the lunchtime kick-off, but it didn't seem to impact United as they raced into a 4-0 lead before half-time.
Chris Smalling's header from a corner put them ahead halfway through the first period, before Rooney's replacement Juan Mata finished off a superb team-move for 2-0.
Marcus Rashford's simple finish from another corner made it 3-0, and Paul Pogba scored his first goal for United with a fine header to make it four as the hosts dominated proceedings.
Substitute Demarai Gray scored a stunning consolation for the champions from 25 yards on the hour mark, but it wasn't enough to start a comeback as Leicester suffered their third defeat in six games this season.
Rooney was dropped for Mata in one of four changes by Jose Mourinho, but both sides got off to a conservative start in the lunchtime kick-off.
With the first clear chance of the game after 22 minutes, United were ahead. Daley Blind's deep corner found the head of Smalling eight yards out, and he made no mistake despite Ron-Robert Zieler getting a hand on his effort.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic should have made it two moments later, but his volley on the turn went over the bar following Pogba's sublime lob over the Leicester defence.
But it was 2-0 on 37 minutes, Mata sweeping the ball into the corner of the net after a fine team move involving Pogba and Jesse Lingard, who flicked the ball into the Spaniard's path 18 yards out.
United got their third three minutes later as Leicester fell asleep at a corner, Blind playing the ball low into the area for Mata, who pushed the ball on for Rashford to finish into the empty net from close range.
And it was three goals in six minutes moments later, Pogba glancing a header into the right corner from Blind's corner for his first in a United shirt.
Claudio Ranieri brought off Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at half-time as they look forward to their Champions League home clash against Porto on Tuesday, and it was Gray, one of the replacements, who gave Leicester fans something to cheer about.
Cutting inside from the left on 60 minutes, the winger hit an unstoppable effort past David de Gea into the top corner from 25 yards.
Ibrahimovic then saw his low shot from 18 yards tipped wide by Zieler, while at the other end Andy King's weak effort from a good position was gathered by De Gea.
Gray nearly scored an identical second from outside the area, tipped wide by De Gea, before Rooney was introduced with just seven minutes remaining by Mourinho.
It stayed 4-1, meaning United emphatically avoided a third straight Premier League defeat, while Leicester have now lost as many league games as they did in the entire 2015/16 season.
Manchester United: De Gea (6), Valencia (6), Smalling (7), Bailly (6), Blind (7), Pogba (8), Herrera (7), Rashford (6), Mata (7), Lingard (7), Ibrahimovic (6)
Subs: Carrick (5), Young (5), Rooney (5)
Leicester City: Zieler (4), Simpson (4), Huth (4), Morgan (5), Fuchs (4), Mahrez (4), Drinkwater (6), Amartey (4), Albrighton (4), Slimani (3), Vardy (4)
Subs: King (5), Schlupp (5), Gray (7)
Man of the match: Paul Pogba