UNITED 2 LEICESTER 0 RASHFORD LIGHTNING BOLT GIVES REDS EDGE
Rashford’s strike might have spared Ed Woodward more grief from Mourinho, too.
The Portuguese still yearns for a wing-back and his full-backs contributed little against a stubborn Leicester.
Daley Blind has demonstrated little over the last six weeks to suggest Mourinho should prolong with him at left-back beyond the international fortnight.
Mourinho reiterated his desire for a left-sided signing again on Friday and Lukaku gave Blind a pep talk, which nearly paid off when Lukaku skimmed the Dutchman’s cross towards the end of the first half. Still, the fullbacks’ erratic efforts should have faded into insignificance after referee Michael Oliver correctly adjudged Danny Simpson had handled inside the Leicester area - but Lukaku saw his spotkick saved.
United ironically performed better in the first 45 minutes than their previous first halves at Swansea and West Ham yet were not rewarded. Lukaku held off Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire with formidable resilience and his steel was complemented with silk by Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, as United’s forwards interchanged effortlessly against their unsettled visitors.
Mourinho clapped United forward and coincidentally sparked a stirring spell as Mata had a goal chalked off from an offside position, Kasper Schmeichel theatrically denied Lukaku’s curler and Paul Pogba diverted Anthony Martial’s cross wide during a first-half flurry.
But Leicester held on and the half was eerily reminiscent of United’s dominant draws at home last season.
Schmeichel’s save extended the parallels until Rashford struck. United remain top of the podium.
Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini celebrate United’s second goal