Man Utd 3-0 Leicester: Marcus Rashford sets new individual scoring record in win over Foxes
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Man Utd 3-0 Leicester: Marcus Rashford sets new individual scoring record in win over Foxes

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United beat Leicester City 3-0 at Old Trafford to make this his most-prolific season ever and move Erik ten Hag’s side within three points of second place in the Premier League.

Rashford, who has now surpassed his previous tally of 22 with 24 goals, gave the hosts the lead against the run of play in the first half after a strong start from Leicester before doubling their advantage following a VAR intervention to overrule an offside.

Goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho celebrate at Old Trafford

Image: Goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho celebrate at Old Trafford

Leicester collapsed somewhat in the second half and substitute Jadon Sancho added United’s third – playing in a new No 10 role after replacing Alejandro Garnacho at half-time – as Ten Hag’s side took full advantage of second-placed Man City drawing at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

  • Rashford: I don’t feel like slowing down | Ten Hag: New contract a priority.
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  • Marcus Rashford celebrates with Wout Weghorst after doubling Manchester United's advantage over Leicester

    Image: Marcus Rashford celebrates with Wout Weghorst after doubling Manchester United’s advantage over Leicester

    Marcel Sabitzer was fortunate not to be sent off for a high challenge on Leicester defender Wout Faes at the end of the first half and United had to rely on two huge saves from goalkeeper David de Gea in the opening 20 minutes as they rode their luck under early pressure from the Foxes, whose three-game winning run comes to an end.

    United have made Old Trafford a fortress again under Ten Hag, extending their unbeaten home run to 17 games, ahead of the visit of Barcelona on Thursday for the second leg of their Europa League play-off game with the tie finely poised at 2-2. Manchester United then face Newcastle three days later in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

    Player ratings

    Man Utd: De Gea (8), Dalot (7), Lindelof (7), Martinez (7), Shaw (7), Sabitzer (7), Fred (7), Fernandes (8), Weghorst (7), Garnacho (5), Rashford (9).

    Subs: Sancho (8), McTominay (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Elanga (6), Mainoo (6).

    Leicester: Ward (5), Castagne (5), Souttar (5), Faes (4), Kristiansen (6), Dewsbury-Hall (6), Mendy (6), Tete (7), Maddison (7), Barnes (7), Iheanach (6).

    Subs: Tielemans (6), Soumare (6), Vardy (6), Praet (6).

    Player of the match: Marcus Rashford.

    How Rashford broke scoring record against Leicester

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    Leicester exposed holes in United’s defence early on with Tete causing the hosts all manner of problems down the right-hand side. It could have been a different result had De Gea not produced two spectacular saves to deny Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho, equalling Peter Schmeichel’s record of 180 clean sheets for the club.

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    Failure to capitalise on their dominance soon cost Leicester as Rashford found the back of the net for a fifth game running with a powerful effort at an angle. The 25-year-old had a big pocket of space to run onto Bruno Fernandes’ pass after Faes vacated his position and took full advantage, powering past Danny Ward.

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    United’s vulnerability defensively was plain to see but they had a golden chance to double their lead before the break only for right-back Diogo Dalot to spoon his effort wide with an awkward attempt from close-range after Fernandes’ low cross to the back post.

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    Bayern Munich loanee Sabitzer avoided any punishment for a bad tackle on Faes in the closing stages of the first period. Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said on Super Sunday: “I don’t care what some referee who has never played the game wants to say. That is a sending off. That is dangerous play.”.

    United asserted their authority in the second period as they pushed for a second with Ten Hag bringing on Sancho in a central position behind the striker. The switch soon paid dividends as Rashford scored a second following a VAR intervention to overrule the initial offside decision. He now has 16 goals in 17 games since the World Cup.

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    Sancho, whose introduction into the middle gave United a new lease of life, then got in on the act himself as he finished a slick move, meeting Fernandes’ low cross with his left foot to put the game out of sight for Leicester, who must settle with being 14th in the table and four points above the drop zone.

    Rashford: I don’t feel like slowing down

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    Manchester United forward Rashford told Sky Sports: “I don’t feel like slowing down and always want to improve.

    “It’s still early in the season, we’re fighting for a lot of different things and we have another big game in the week to hopefully go through to the next round of the Europa League and then a massive game for us [with the Carabao Cup final].”.

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  • Asked about the Premier League title race, he added: “We’re close but both teams in front of us are good teams and playing good football. We have to just focus on ourselves, do as well as we can and keep picking up points.”.

    Ten Hag: We started rubbish | On ownership: We’re focused on football

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    Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag told Sky Sports: “We’re happy with the result, it’s a great result. When you play every third day you can’t always get to your same performance. Today was really tough.

    “First half Leicester played brilliant, we were rubbish, the way we were really undisciplined. We had problems and it was only because of David de Gea that we had a clean sheet at half-time.

    “Luckily we had half-time, we could repair some things and the second half was brilliant. There was a lot of pleasure, it was enjoyable to watch how we created so many chances and scored great goals.”.

    He added: “Rashford is getting in the positions but don’t forget the team. I want to highlight Bruno again. Two great assists. There are so many players that can pass [Rashford] the ball in the right moment like Bruno, Jadon, Fred.

    “Sancho is in the right direction. He does not know his limits and there’s a lot of space for improvement, though already he is at a high level.”.

    Asked about the title race: “We don’t think about the title race. We think about the next game, Thursday is going to be a big game for us. We have to fight, our fans to make Old Trafford a fortress and the game plan has to be right.”.

    The talk of club ownership dominated the pre-match talk before Sunday’s match, with United receiving several offers for the Glazer family’s stake in the club on Friday evening.

    Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS company confirmed they had submitted bids to buy the club.

    “We are committed with this club,” Ten Hag said. “It’s our club, it’s in our heart. But it’s not our job.

    “We’re focusing on football and performing. That is what the players have to do and what the staff around have to do.”.

    Rodgers: Disappointing result, we were excellent first half

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    Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports: “Disappointing result in the end. I thought first half we were excellent. We created the best opportunities, and we looked a real threat. De Gea makes a great save.

    “We make the mistake for the first goal and that was probably the best chance they had. Marcus Rashford is in a great form and is very clinical [with his finish].

    “We had to come out and gain control and we didn’t quite do that. We gave away a disappointing second goal and the third goal quickly after and that saw the game go away from us.

    “It was a disappointing second half, lots to look at in the first half and take into our next game.”.

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    Asked about De Gea’s performance, Rodgers added: “The first save [against Harvey Barnes], I was talking to our goalkeeper coach, who was saying just how good a save it is from a goalkeeper’s perspective. Harvey makes a great run and takes it quickly, but De Gea’s reaction was superb.”.

    Man Utd make Old Trafford a fortress once more

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    The Theatre of Dreams had become a haunted house of horrors for Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson retired nearly 10 years ago, but under Erik ten Hag Old Trafford is a fortress once again.

    United have not lost at their own stadium in the Premier League since the opening day defeat to Brighton, with Newcastle the only other visiting side to stop them from winning domestically at home.

    It wouldn’t have been possible without United’s new talisman, Marcus Rashford. He has made Old Trafford his playground this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions on home soil. The last player to do that? Wayne Rooney, the club’s record goal scorer, in 2011/12.

    Ten Hag’s brought a resilience back to United which allows them to stay in games, even when they aren’t at their best, especially at home, just as was the case against Leicester on Sunday. That spirit will be vital as they continue fighting on four fronts and contend with an arduous schedule.

    The only other time United have lost at home this season came in the Europa League against Spanish opposition when Real Sociedad came to town. They will be hoping that was an anomaly ahead of Thursday’s visit of Barcelona.

    United will need every advantage for what promises to be another European thriller against Spain’s top side with the tie all square at 2-2 on aggregate after a pulsating first leg at the Nou Camp.

    Man Utd’s upcoming fixtures

    February 23: Barcelona (A) – Europa League knockout round play-off second leg, kick-off 8pm.

    February 26: Newcastle (Wembley) – EFL Cup final, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports.

    March 1: West Ham (H) – FA Cup fifth round, kick-off 7.45pm.

    March 5: Liverpool (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports.

    March 11: Southampton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm.

    March 19: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm.

    What’s next?

    Manchester United’s attention now turns to their Europa League play-off second leg against Barcelona, with the Spanish league leaders visiting Old Trafford on Thursday; kick-off 8pm.

    Erik ten Hag’s side then take on Newcastle United at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 4.30pm.

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    Leicester City are next in action on Saturday when they host Arsenal; kick-off 3pm. Brendan Rodgers’ side then face an FA Cup tie at home to Blackburn on Tuesday February 28; kick-off 7.30pm.