MANCHESTER, England — Marcus Rashford maintained his exceptional run of goal-scoring type as Manchester United cruised previous Leicester City with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford within the Premier League.
Rashford scored twice to make it 16 objectives in 17 video games for the reason that World Cup, earlier than Jadon Sancho got here off the bench to attain a 3rd.
United wanted David de Gea to make spectacular saves from Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho with the sport goalless, however Erik ten Hag’s workforce had been snug as quickly as Rashford bought his first halfway by means of the primary half as they moved to inside 5 factors of leaders Arsenal.
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1. Man United riding a wave of optimism
The video games are coming thick and quick, and there are accidents to key gamers, however United have constructed up momentum at a vital stage of the season. They needed to climate a Leicester storm for 20 minutes — largely due to De Gea — however ultimately it was so snug that Ten Hag was capable of substitute Rashford and Luke Shaw early as he turned his consideration to Barcelona’s go to to Old Trafford on Thursday.
The week will begin with United simply 5 factors behind Arsenal on the prime of the Premier League desk, and it might finish with Europa League progress (at Barca’s expense) and a trophy if they’ll beat Newcastle United within the Carabao Cup remaining at Wembley on Sunday. On prime of all that, it seems to be just like the Glazer household’s possession, hated by many supporters for almost 20 years, is coming to an finish.
The distress of these opening two defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford appears a good distance previously now. There had been moments of hope underneath David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however there has by no means been extra optimism at United within the decade since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
2. Rashford an early contender for PFA Player of the Year
It says the whole lot about Rashford’s sky-high confidence that when he was despatched by means of by Bruno Fernandes with an opportunity to offer United the lead, he took the duty to attain himself. The Rashford of final season would have most likely squared the ball for Alejandro Garnacho to attain a tap-in, however that does not cross a striker’s thoughts when he is within the type of his life.
Rashford now has 16 objectives in 17 video games for the reason that World Cup and 24 for the season. It’s already his finest single-season tally, and it is solely February. With United nonetheless in 4 competitions, he might simply attain 40 earlier than the tip of the marketing campaign. It’s a exceptional turnaround after scoring simply 5 occasions in all competitions final season.
Ten Hag deserves so much of credit score, however so does Rashford for bouncing again so emphatically. If his type continues, he’ll put himself in rivalry for the highest particular person honours.
The PFA Players’ Player of the Year award has been dominated by Manchester City and Liverpool for the previous 5 years, and Rashford can be United’s first winner since Wayne Rooney in 2010.
3. Leicester made to pay for early missed possibilities
Before Rashford’s intervention, Leicester had been effectively on prime and on a unique day might have been 3-0 up inside 20 minutes. United had De Gea to thank for 2 top-quality saves — the primary as he rushed out to disclaim Harvey Barnes after which one other from a Kelechi Iheanacho header that was sneaking contained in the submit — whereas Iheanacho had one other good probability snuffed out by Victor Lindelof when he ought to have at the very least hit the goal.
Goals have not been an issue for Leicester after scoring eight of their earlier two league video games in opposition to Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur, however they had been made to pay for not discovering the web early on at Old Trafford. If any of these possibilities had gone in, it will have been a unique sport in opposition to a United workforce who began like they had been struggling a post-Barcelona hangover.
Rashford’s first objective got here out of nothing after a mistake from Wout Faes after which two fast objectives after half-time ended the competition. Brendan Rodgers will really feel that Marcel Sabitzer was fortunate to remain on the pitch following a nasty-looking problem at 1-0 however Leicester solely have themselves responsible for not getting a end result.
Best and worst performers
Marcus Rashford: The in-form ahead had three possibilities and scored with two to make it a snug afternoon for United.
David de Gea: Made an unbelievable early save with the sport at 0-0 when he got here speeding out to disclaim Harvey Barnes and has now equalled Peter Schmeichel’s membership document of 180 clear sheets.
Bruno Fernandes: Playing on the best of the entrance three reasonably than because the No. 10, he had two assists.
Wout Faes: Leicester had been on prime earlier than he slung an aimless go into midfield which led to United scoring first.
Danny Ward: The Leicester goalkeeper’s positioning was terrible as Rashford raced by means of for his first, giving the England ahead virtually the whole objective to goal at.
Alejandro Garnacho: He had a quiet sport on the left of United’s entrance three and was substituted at half-time.
Highlights and notable moments
Rashford is in such a wealthy vein of type that there’s simply an air of inevitability of the result when Fernandes units him free with passes like this…
Is anybody on the earth in higher type than Marcus Rashford?
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 19, 2023
After the match: What managers, gamers stated
Postmatch quotes will seem right here…
De Gea registered his one hundred and eightieth clear sheet for Manchester United, equalling Peter Schmeichel’s membership document for a goalkeeper.
Rashord equalled Wayne Rooney’s finest run of eight consecutive video games with a objective at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo had 10 straight scoring video games at dwelling as a Manchester United participant spanning two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09).
Manchester United: After their thrilling 2-2 draw at Camp Nou final week, United host Barcelona for the second leg of their Europa League playoff on Thursday. Then they tackle Newcastle United within the first main remaining of the season, the Carabao Cup remaining at Wembley on Sunday (stream LIVE at 11:25 a.m. ET within the U.S.).
Leicester City: The Foxes play the groups at both finish of the desk of their subsequent two league video games, with Arsenal coming to the King Power Stadium subsequent Saturday and a visit to Southampton on March 4. In between, they host Blackburn Rovers within the fifth spherical of the FA cup on Feb. 28 (stream LIVE at 2:25 p.m. ET on ESPN+ within the U.S.).