Premier League
Leicester0Man Utd3

Leicester City 0-3 Manchester United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
At 35 years and 125 days, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the oldest player to reach 15 Premier League goals in a single season

Premier League champions Leicester are just one point above the relegation zone after defeat at home by Manchester United left them still searching for a first league win in 2017.

A dour opening half came to life just before the break when the visitors scored twice in two minutes.

First, Henrikh Mkhitaryan latched onto Chris Smalling's flick-on and raced through on goal before beating Kasper Schmeichel with a clinical finish.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic then took advantage of terrible Leicester marking to side-foot home his 15th Premier League goal of the season.

Juan Mata ensured there was no way back for the hosts when he finished off a one-two with Mkhitaryan early in the second half.

Leicester never looked like scoring, with their only shot on target a tame Wilfred Ndidi strike just before half-time.

Manchester United remain in the hunt for a top-four finish. They are sixth, one point behind Liverpool and two behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

Could the champions really go down?

Claudio Ranieri
Leicester have won five league games all season

Jose Mourinho was in charge of Chelsea the last time he visited the King Power Stadium. That was in December 2015 and he was sacked the day after a defeat that strengthened Leicester's title charge.

This time it is Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri who is under pressure. Far from defending their title, they are very much in a relegation dogfight and went into Sunday's game looking to record their first league win since New Year's Eve.

A pacy attack of Ahmed Musa and Jamie Vardy promised much but ultimately offered little, the latter in particular a shadow of the striker who scored in 11 consecutive Premier League games last season.

The Foxes have now failed to score a league goal in five games this year, but of equal concern for Ranieri will have been his side's defending. Ibrahimovic was left unmarked to poke home Manchester United's second and then Wes Morgan played two players onside for the third.

Leicester have not won away all season in the league, so it is their home form that has kept them out of the drop zone so far - 18 of their 21 points have been collected at the King Power Stadium.

This defeat, though, was their third in six home games and Ranieri will need to get things back on track quickly if the Foxes are to avoid being the first reigning top-flight champions to be relegated since Manchester City in 1938.

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Leicester City 0-3 Manchester United: Ranieri admits Leicester lacking confidence

Red Devils resolve goalscoring concerns?

Manchester United have been far too reliant on Ibrahimovic this season. The evergreen Swedish striker is the club's leading scorer with 10 more league goals than any other Manchester United player.

In an effort to relieve the Swede's burden, Mourinho started Marcus Rashford alongside him in a 4-4-2 formation.

It quickly became evident that Ibrahimovic was far more effective in a central role and after 20 minutes Mourinho reverted to 4-2-3-1 with Rashford, Mkhitaryan and Mata behind the former Paris St-Germain striker.

The change immediately improved the visitors' attacking strength as the pace of Mkhitaryan and Rashford, coupled with Mata's creativity, stretched Leicester's defence and left gaps for Manchester United to exploit, which they did to full effect.

In the end Leicester could not cope and although United will arguably face tougher defences this season, three different goalscorers and a convincing win will give Mourinho confidence his side can challenge for the top four, particularly with Liverpool and Arsenal's own challenge faltering.

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Mourinho 'very happy' with clinical Man Utd

Man of the match - Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was instrumental in a dominant win for Manchester United, scoring one goal and setting up another

What they said

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "When we conceded the first goal we got down. I don't understand why. It's important to be strong until the end and never give up. But the confidence is not so high.

"Last season was terrific but we are Leicester and every time we have to fight.

"We are together. I am fully confident in my players and the players are confident in me."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "It was really important for us. We lost two points in the last match at home and had three consecutive draws so we needed the points.

"I am happy. We don't have a league defeat since October and if we tried to transform the unlucky draws to victories, we would be in an amazing position."

Foxes collecting unwanted records - the stats

  • Leicester City are the first Premier League team to fail to score in the first five matches of a calendar year and the first top-flight side since Spurs in 1986.
  • They are the only side in the top-four English tiers to have failed to score in the league in 2017.
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their past 15 Premier League games; their longest run since March 2013 (18 games unbeaten).
  • The Foxes are the second reigning Premier League champions to lose successive home league games by a three-goal margin (also Man Utd in 2013-14).
  • There were just 88 seconds between Henrikh Mkhitaryan's and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goals for Man Utd.
  • Ibrahimovic has reached 15 Premier League goals for Man Utd in the fourth fastest number of games (23), following Van Nistelrooy (19) Yorke (20) and van Persie (21).
  • Juan Mata has been involved in 86 Premier League goals since his debut (44 goals, 42 assists) - the highest goal involvement rate of any Premier League midfielder in that time.

Leicester's cup final?

After an FA Cup fourth-round replay against Derby at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday, Leicester have a potentially massive game in the Premier League on Sunday [kick-off 16:00 GMT]. They travel to Swansea, who are one place below the Foxes in 18th.

Manchester United, meanwhile, host Watford on Saturday [15:00] knowing three points could lift them into the top four.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 6Huth
  • 28FuchsBooked at 40mins
  • 4DrinkwaterBooked at 5mins
  • 25Ndidi
  • 26Mahrez
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forGrayat 45'minutes
  • 7MusaSubstituted forKingat 45'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 3Chilwell
  • 10King
  • 11Albrighton
  • 14Kapustka
  • 21Zieler
  • 22Gray
  • 29Benalouane

Man Utd

  • 1de GeaBooked at 88mins
  • 25A Valencia
  • 3Bailly
  • 12Smalling
  • 5RojoSubstituted forBlindat 45'minutes
  • 8MataBooked at 28minsSubstituted forFellainiat 77'minutes
  • 21HerreraBooked at 55mins
  • 6PogbaBooked at 56mins
  • 22Mkhitaryan
  • 19RashfordSubstituted forYoungat 83'minutes
  • 9Ibrahimovic

Substitutes

  • 11Martial
  • 14Lingard
  • 16Carrick
  • 17Blind
  • 18Young
  • 20Romero
  • 27Fellaini
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
32,072

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home11
Away16
Shots on Target
Home1
Away9
Corners
Home10
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 0, Manchester United 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Manchester United 3.

Attempt blocked. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Attempt saved. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ashley Young.

Booking

David de Gea (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.

David de Gea (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ander Herrera.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Ashley Young replaces Marcus Rashford.

Attempt missed. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Antonio Valencia.

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Attempt blocked. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ander Herrera.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Juan Mata.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Eric Bailly.

Attempt missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Daley Blind.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Foul by Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Leicester City. Kasper Schmeichel tries a through ball, but Wes Morgan is caught offside.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Paul Pogba.

Offside, Manchester United. Juan Mata tries a through ball, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Demarai Gray.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daley Blind.

Attempt missed. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Demarai Gray following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ander Herrera.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 5th February 2017

View all Premier League results

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chelsea2419233459
2Tottenham2414823050
3Man City2415452049
4Arsenal2414552447
5Liverpool2413742246
6Man Utd2412931545
7Everton2411761340
8West Brom241068336
9West Ham249411-931
10Watford248610-1130
11Stoke24789-729
12Burnley249213-929
13Southampton247611-727
14Bournemouth247512-1226
15Middlesbrough244911-821
16Leicester245613-1721
17Swansea246315-2521
18Hull245514-2520
19Crystal Palace245415-1319
20Sunderland245415-1819
View full Premier League table

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