Leicester’s defending contributed to the scoreline — three of United’s four goals came from left- wing corners — but United’s attacking play without Rooney was a notch above anything the team has produced this season.
Pogba and Mata ran the midfield in front of the anchorman Ander Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic floated around prompting play, while Rashford was his usual busy, direct self and scored for the third straight game.
Rooney, meanwhile, could only applaud from the bench as the goals flew in. Leicester were so overwhelmed in the first half that their two chief attacking weapons, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, were substituted at halftime with manager Claudio Ranieri in damage control mode and possibly thinking ahead to the Champions League next week. Stopwatch: Manchester United 4 ( Smalling 22, Mata 37, Rashford 40, Pogba 42) bt Leicester City 1 ( Gray 59) Live on Star Sports 4: West Ham vs Southampton ( 8.30pm)