Manchester United 2-0 Leicester: Hosts maintain perfect Premier League start
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 27/08/17 2:10am
Manchester United maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season as they beat Leicester 2-0 on Saturday evening.
Jose Mourinho's side have won all three of their opening league matches, keeping three clean sheets in the process, and have already hit double figures for goals scored so far this term (10).
They dominated much of the game and after Romelu Lukaku saw an early second-half penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, Marcus Rashford broke the deadlock on the 70-minute mark just three minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Marouane Fellaini took slightly longer after his introduction to add United's second, with his knee directing home Jesse Lingard's cross in the 82nd minute to seal another win for the hosts.
Manchester United dominated the first half and could have taken the lead in the 19th minute. Lukaku saw a powerful effort pushed away by Schmeichel, but the ball landed at the feet of the waiting Juan Mata who slotted home, only to see the offside flag raised and the goal ruled out.
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Valencia (6), Bailly (7), Jones (7), Blind (6), Pogba (7), Matic (6), Mata (7), Mkhitaryan (7), Martial (7), Lukaku (7).
Subs used: Rashford (6), Fellaini (6), Lingard (6).
Leicester: Schmeichel (8), Simpson (6), Morgan (7), Maguire (7), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (7), Ndidi (6) , James (7), Albrighton (6), Okazaki (6), Vardy (6).
Subs used: King (5), Gray (6), Slimani (5).
Man of the match: Kasper Schmeichel
But the hosts kept coming with Paul Pogba firing just wide from the right-hand side of the box two minutes later before Mata was again denied the opening goal, dancing into space before taking aim but Schmeichel was there to make another important save.
Shots from all over kept peppering the Foxes goal, with Lukaku firing a long range effort just wide of the upright in the 25th minute before Pogba - who had a number of first half chances - twice went close 10 minutes later. The first was again pushed away by Schmeichel before his effort from distance also skimmed past the post.
Seven minutes into the second half, and United were handed a golden chance to take the lead as Danny Simpson was penalised for handling the ball in the box. Lukaku stepped up to take the penalty, but Schmeichel continued his solid first-half display by leaping to his right and saving the spot kick, much to the delight of his team-mates.
Man Utd made the one change with Anthony Martial replacing Marcus Rashford in attack. Leicester were unchanged from last weekend's win against Brighton.
Leicester had their best chances after the break, with David de Gea making his first save of the game in the 57th minute as Riyad Mahrez attempted a low cross into the box but the goalkeeper got down to collect. The Algerian was causing trouble again 10 minutes later, going one-on-one with Daley Blind on the right-hand side before whipping the ball through the area but no one was there to convert.
But United made their pressure count in the 70th minute as Rashford broke the deadlock just three minutes and 18 seconds after replacing Mata. Henrikh Mkhitaryan delivered a corner into the box and it was ultimately a simple slot home from the striker, who was lurking unmarked in the middle of the box to fire past Schmeichel.
Another substitute in Fellaini doubled the lead 12 minutes later after a superb run from Lingard into space on the left-hand side. He fired a cross-shot through the box and it was diverted home by the knee of the Belgian, although there were some queries from the Leicester players about whether he was offside.
Andy King could have spoiled the evening for Mourinho's men as he looked set to tap home from a fizzing Demarai Gray cross at the near post, but some great anticipation from De Gea saw him there to smother the ball and help keep a third successive clean sheet for Man Utd this season.
Man of the match - Kasper Schmeichel
Manchester United could arguably have matched their 4-0 scoreline from their first two games if it wasn't for Schmeichel, who kept out shot after shot from the home side in the first half.
He also produced a stunning save to deny Lukaku from the spot and has now saved more Premier League penalties (1 of 1) at Old Trafford than his dad, Peter Schmeichel (0 of 3).
Although two goals did go past him - the first from Rashford quite literally slipping through his fingers - there's no doubting the huge contribution he made for Leicester on Saturday and continues to on a weekly basis.
Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in their opening three league games of a season for the sixth time in their history and fourth in the Premier League era.
However, the Red Devils failed to win the title in any of those five previous campaigns (1927-28, 1991-92, 1997-98, 2005-06, and 2015-16).
Romelu Lukaku has missed two of his last three penalties taken in the Premier League.
Seven of Marcus Rashford's 11 Premier League goals have come at Old Trafford (64 per cent).
Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho: "We scored from a corner that I didn't even see because I was speaking with Lingard. I saw the ball jumping in the net and other guys jumping. The crowd were very quiet so it would be easy to know that was a goal because it was the first time I really understand that the stadium was full."
Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare: "We knew we would have to frustrate them coming here and for large parts of the game, I thought we did that and did it really well. Of course we needed to do a bit better with the ball at times but I felt for large chucks of the game to 70 or 75 minutes, we did.
"We frustrated and restricted them. We knew they'd have moments. Then they managed to capitalise on the big moments."
The players will now head off for the international break, with Manchester United next in action against Stoke in the Premier League on September 9 with Leicester in action on the same day at 3pm when they welcome Chelsea to the King Power Stadium.