Manchester United defeated Leicester City 3-0 at Old Trafford to move within five points of the Premier League’s top spot. Marcus Rashford scored the Reds’ first goal of the game in the first half, then added to his tally with another strike after the break.
His countryman Jadon Sancho, who came on as a half-time substitute, scored shortly after the hour mark.Rashford’s brace brought his season total to 24 goals in all competitions, the most he has ever scored for the club in a single season.
The Reds started brightly, putting the away side under pressure early on, but it was Leicester who created a couple of early chances. Harvey Barnes was denied by David De Gea’s typically excellent one-on-one save after breaking through following a give-and-go with Kelechi Iheanacho.
Minutes later, it was Iheanacho who had a chance in the United box, but his dragged effort was saved by Victor Lindelof. On 20 minutes, De Gea was called upon again, this time clearing the ball off the line when Iheanacho shot from a similar position on the left side of the area.
The balance of possession enjoyed by Erik ten Hag’s side up to this point had not been reflected in efforts on goal, but Rashford dispatched United’s first strike of the afternoon with assassin-like precision in the 25th minute. The no.10 was picked out by an outside-of-the-foot pass from Bruno Fernandes and showed Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward no mercy, finishing into the bottom left corner for 1-0.
Diogo Dalot had a chance to double the lead after 36 minutes, but he dragged his shot wide from close range. The right-back had created the opportunity by bringing the ball from deep and offloading to Fernandes, who was looking to assist once more from the left flank.
United’s first opportunity after the break also came from a Shaw free kick. This one was floated into the area and met by Lisandro Martinez’s head, but the Argentinian nodded the ball over the crossbar.
However, 11 minutes after the restart, Rashford scored his second goal for the Reds. Fred slid the ball through to him on the left, and the forward fired it through Ward’s legs for 2-0. The goal was initially disallowed after the assistant referee raised an offside flag, but a VAR check ensured it was awarded, prompting a second round of review.
Just after the hour mark, substitute Jadon Sancho scored, as he did earlier this season in the reverse fixture against Brendan Rodgers’ side. He was able to side-foot the ball into a mostly empty net after Ward was drawn to his near post after playing a one-two with Fernandes.
+3 Points ⚽ pic.twitter.com/RpOJdlBf58
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) February 19, 2023
Following the third goal, the Reds were looking to put the visitors to the sword, with chances for Sancho and Wout Weghorst after Rashford left the field to a standing ovation after another superb goal-scoring performance.
Kobbie Mainoo was introduced for his Premier League debut in place of Marcel Sabitzer ten minutes from time, adding to the Academy graduate’s cup appearances for the first time.