LEICESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester United collected a third straight win in the Premier League with a first-half Jadon Sancho goal giving them a 1-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power stadium on Thursday.
Sancho provided a cool finish, rounding keeper Danny Ward and slipping the ball home in the 23rd minute after being set up by Marcus Rashford from a Bruno Fernandes break down the right.
James Maddison went close for Leicester with a superb free-kick which brought an excellent save from United’s David De Gea but the home side struggled to create chances.
After the break United took few risks and lacked a cutting edge with manager Erik ten Hag deciding to bring on Cristiano Ronaldo in the 68th minute.
Ronaldo, who had been linked with a move away from the club during the transfer window, went close with a bicycle kick and added some life to United’s attack.
Leicester had a late chance to level but full-back James Justin blasted high and wide from a promising position on the right as United collected back-to-back away victories.
The win moves United up to fifth with nine points from five matches, six adrift of leaders Arsenal and four behind second-placed Manchester City. Leicester stay bottom on one point.
“It is another step forward so I am happy with that,” said Ten Hag.
“We showed good team spirit. We had 11 players the on pitch who fought for each other and scored a lovely team goal. Still, there are improvements to make but that is normal at this stage of the season,” he added.
The transfer deadline leaves United with Ronaldo still on board and Brazilians Casemiro and Antony added to the squad and the Dutchman sounded positive about the club’s signings which also included defenders Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.
“We need a good squad and we needed numbers. There are a lot of games to cover. Once we have Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro getting fitter it will get better still – we need not only a team we need a squad,” Ten Hag added.
Leicester lost their key defender Wesley Fofana to Chelsea but manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased to have replaced him with Belgian Wout Faes from Reims and to have kept Harvey Barnes and James Maddison, despite reports of interest in them.
“There were enquiries for Barnes and Maddison early in the window. We couldn’t lose too many. We were low in terms of depth and quality. Thankfully, they are still here,” he said.
“We needed two centre-halves ideally. With Wesley (Fofana) going we needed a replacement for him. Wout (Faes) is an experienced player, a leader. He will come in and give us that personality. We are delighted he has joined us.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Ken Ferris)