Leicester City vs Manchester United: Three-straight for Ten Hag’s men
Jadon Sancho’s first-half goal was enough to give Manchester United its third-straight win, a 1-0 defeat of struggling Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Thursday.
The Red Devils stretched their clean-sheet run to 189 minutes, as David De Gea was only asked to make two saves and claimed a pair of crosses.
Man United had less than 50% of the ball and took eight of the game’s 15 shots, though The Red Devils move into fifth place on nine points through five games.
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That’s 14 spots and eight more points than Leicester City, who will know it got a little fortunate not to concede more goals late.
What we learned from Leicester vs Manchester United
Ten Hag’s tightened ‘em up: Manchester United started the season 0-2, allowing six goals over two games to two teams who are good but not world beaters (yet!). Erik ten Hag then removed his captain Harry Maguire, trusting new signing Lisandro Martinez to play alongside Raphael Varane. It was a brave move but one he simply had to make at the time (Cristiano Ronaldo and Luke Shaw also lost their places).
There were chances late, with James Justin and James Maddison failing to take half chances, but Ten Hag will be happy with the zeroes. Since the switch, United has allowed one goal over 270 minutes and it was scored by Mohamed Salah. It’s what you get when a manager is given real power and it has United in a much-improved position even before Casemiro or Antony start a match in red.
‘Brendy’ Watch? Well this is just bad. Leicester has one point from five matches, an Opening Day draw at home to Brentford. It’s been a tough run of fixtures, as the Foxes have lost to Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Southampton, but this team is a far cry from good or even fun. The club’s sold Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana and so their back five on Thursday was Danny Ward, Luke Thomas, Jonny Evans, Wilfred Ndidi, and James Justin. That says a lot -- though Evans was mostly solid -- about the state of the team.
Brendan Rodgers has done plenty of good in his time as a boss but he’s got a massive challenge ahead as Jamie Vardy doesn’t look right, Youri Tielemans is going to leave within a year, and Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho are not getting minutes. It’s possible that results could dictate Sept. 10’s game between Leicester and Aston Villa has both Rodgers and former player Steven Gerrard playing for their jobs.
Sancho finding his footing: It took a year and three managers, but Jadon Sancho’s looking more like the Sancho who lit up the Bundesliga. Thursday more about the lone chance and his ability to take it but it hardly could have come at a better time as Anthony Elanga or Sancho will soon lose a job to new signing Antony and both could be on the bench if Rashford keeps playing well and Ronaldo gets a run up top.
Leicester got hold of the game after halftime and Ten Hag sacrificed Anthony Elanga and then Sancho for old Real Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro. It was a bid to try and swing the match back in United’s favor.
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Stars of the Show
Jadon Sancho: Got a chance. Took it. And it made all of the difference.
Marcus Rashford: He’s finding himself again as a motor for the attack. Is a goal run soon to follow?
Raphael Varane: The ex-Real Madrid man continues to ooze class and allow Lisandro Martinez to play with full aggression.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: The reason Leicester would’ve felt alright selling Tielemans continues to run his shorts off.
Jonny Evans: Loads of clearances as Leicester had to open up for an equalizer.
Leicester goes to Brighton at 9am ET Sunday, 2.5 hours before Manchester United hosts unbeaten Arsenal in what’s suddenly looking like a match befitting the two clubs’ reputations.
How to watch Leicester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, ThursdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Leicester City team news, injuries, lineup options
Full backs Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand remain long-term absentees, while James Maddison passes a late fitness test and will start.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options
Brandon Williams, Victor Lindelof and Facundo Pellistri remain out, while Anthony Martial is battling back from an Achilles injury. and could play some part. ETH has delayed Casemiro’s first start and brings Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, and Harry Maguire on the bench.