Manchester United made it nine wins from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first 10 games in charge against Leicester City on Sunday, with Marcus Rashford’s eighth-minute strike the difference at the King Power Stadium.
United’s Player of the Month for January put a poor miss near the start of the game behind him to confidently stroke home another goal after another routine assist from Paul Pogba.
The Red Devils climbed above Arsenal into fifth after Unai Emery’s side were beaten at Manchester City and are now just two points outside of Chelsea in the final top four spot.
Solskjaer would’ve been hungry to see his players bounce back from Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Burnley, despite rescuing a point from two goals down in the 81st minute, and they did exactly that to fight for another three points.
David de Gea, Luke Shaw and Rashford were the standout performers at the ground where wins have been hard to come by for United in recent years.
Here’s how I’ve rated every player involved.
GK: David de Gea - 8
Denied Rachid Ghezzal in superb fashion late on from a free-kick and looked as reliable as ever to keep a well-earned clean-sheet. United fans will be growing increasingly confident he’ll put pen to paper on a new deal sooner rather than later.
RB: Ashley Young - 6
Far too wasteful in attack but his leadership at the back helped when holding onto the lead. Showed plenty of commitment once again and has acted as a worthy captain during Antonio Valencia’s absence.
CB: Eric Bailly - 6
Wreckless at times – he still needs to cut out that part of his game – but was as eager as ever to win the ball. Put his body on the line on more than one occasion and his pace helped counter the threat that Jamie Vardy posed. Clever decision to start him over Jones.
CB: Victor Lindelof - 8
He’s called the ‘Iceman’ for a reason. Never looked in trouble on the ball despite Leicester’s consistent pressing and dealt with Jamie Vardy admirably. United’s best centre-half by a long shot at the moment.
LB: Luke Shaw - 8
Had highlights at both ends of the pitch. Should’ve notched up an assist early on with a tremendous diagonal cross for Rashford, who headed wide from close range, and blocked heroically from Maddison near the end of the first half.
CM: Ander Herrera - 7
Didn’t really see much of the ball and was left out of most attacks but when he has it at his feet helped the transition from defence into attack very nicely.
CM: Nemanja Matic - 7
Sometimes struggled with the pace of Leicester but was expertly positioned on a number of occasions to cancel out the hosts counter-attacks. He’s really turned his season around under Solskjaer – many predicted it would go the other way following Jose Mourinho’s departure.
RW: Jesse Lingard - 6
As good as ever off the ball but was cautioned early on which left him backing out of challenges wherever he could. Probably should’ve gone off for Lukaku instead of Rashford.
CAM: Paul Pogba - 7
11 goals, nine assists for the season. Pogba picked out Rashford with a pinpoint ball over the Leicester defence to help United to another crucial win under Solskjaer. He’s loving life as a more advanced midfielder.
LW: Alexis Sanchez - 4
Was handed a chance to impress after Martial suffered a knock against Burnley on Tuesday but failed to take it. Lacked cutting edge in the final third before being taken off with over 20 minutes left to play.
ST: Marcus Rashford - 8
United’s Player of the Month for January netted another crucial goal at the King Power, five minutes after fluffing a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after just three minutes. Still plenty of room for improvements in his game but could be the leading man of Solskjaer’s revolution.
SUB: Anthony Martial (67') - 6
Looked lively in his first appearance since signing a new five-year deal. Would’ve started over Alexis if fully fit.
SUB: Romelu Lukaku (78') - 5
Replaced match-winner Rashford with 10 minutes to spare but struggled to get into the game as United held onto their lead.
SUB: Phil Jones (90') - N/A
Came on in stoppage time to help defend the bombardment of Leicester crosses aimed at Harry Maguire late on.