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Manchester United vs Leicester City. Premier League.

Old TraffordAttendance75,256.

Manchester United 4

  • C Smalling (22nd minute)
  • J Mata (37th minute)
  • M Rashford (40th minute)
  • P Pogba (42nd minute)

Leicester City 1

  • D Gray (59th minute)

Man Utd 4-1 Leicester City: Four first-half goals give Jose Mourinho's side emphatic win

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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.

Paul Pogba was named man-of-the-match as Manchester United beat Leicester 4-1 at Old Trafford

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.

Wayne Rooney warms up prior to kick-off at Old Trafford
Image: Wayne Rooney was dropped for the clash at Old Trafford

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.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba (left) and Jesse Lingard celebrate
Image: Manchester United midfielder Pogba and Jesse Lingard celebrate

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.

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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.

Chris Smalling heads the ball towards goal
Image: Chris Smalling opens the scoring for Manchester United

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.

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho claimed he was pleased with the result and performance

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.

Jose Mourinho (L) and Claudio Ranieri look on at Old Trafford
Image: Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri look on at Old Trafford

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.

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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.

Claudio Ranieri was disappointed by his Leicester team's lack of concentration while defending set-pieces

Player ratings

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

Paul Walsh reflects on Manchester United's 4-1 win over Leicester

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