Manchester United’s impressive run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued with a 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game inside 10 minutes with both sides fairly wasteful in front of goal.

The win sees United move up to fifth in the Premier League, just two points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League spot.

But who were the winners and losers from the match?

Winner: Marcus Rashford

What a magical effect Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is having on Marcus Rashford.

The player who burst onto the scene when given his first-team debut as an 18-year-old by Louis van Gaal in 2016 looked in danger of failing to reach his immense potential under Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese’s poor record of dealing with younger stars.

But since Solskjaer’s arrival in December, the Englishman has found his form once more in a central role, as opposed to the wider position he was played in by Mourinho. And United are reaping the rewards.

Against Leicester, Rashford made his 100th Premier League appearance for Manchester United and capped it off with yet another goal. The Englishman has now scored 10 goals for United in all competitions, and his ninth in the Premier League.

Of those nine, six have been scored under the tutelage of Solskjaer, the second-most of any player in the Premier League during that time – with only Son Heung-min (seven) managing more.

Having missed a big chance to give United the lead moments early with a free header, nerves could have set in for Rashford, but the 21-year-old showed maturity to calmly take down Pogba’s pass before beating Kasper Schmeichel.

Loser: Alexis Sanchez

Given the intense fixture list Manchester United, among with many others, endured during January, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the Leicester game as a chance for some minor changes.

One of those saw Alexis Sanchez handed his first start league start under the Norwegian, having missed the start of his reign due to injury problems.

But, having scored in his last start in the FA Cup win over Arsenal, Sanchez failed to have a similar impact, struggling at the King Power Stadium.

Playing on his favoured left, Sanchez looked slightly lost, not fully part of United’s attacks with the Red Devils working more through the middle or on the right.

And he was taken off after 66 minutes, having made little impact with no shots and no chances created, replaced by Anthony Martial.

A year on from signing, things are yet to look positive for Sanchez and United, with more doubting his fit for the club.

Winner: Paul Pogba

For Paul Pogba, see Marcus Rashford.

The Frenchman is another player to be shining under new management having looked limited during Mourinho’s reign.

Since Solskjaer took charge, Pogba has scored six goals and recorded a further five assists in 10 games across all competitions – including one for Rashford’s opener on Sunday – having managed just five goals and four assists in 18 matches under Mourinho this season.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes put it down to Pogba’s lack of respect for Mourinho causing him to play for himself, saying: “He lost total respect for the manager, which I don’t agree with totally.

“Now he’s playing with his brain and he’s using the quality he has. You’ve seen the last eight to ten games what a player he is and what a player he can be.”

And it’s clear to see that is the case. The Frenchman is now playing with attacking freedom to roam in a more advanced position, not being held back by Mourinho’s defensive requirements.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel:

Loser: Claude Puel

Time might just be running out for Claude Puel at Leicester.

The Foxes may have earned a draw against Liverpool in midweek but they returned to losing ways at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

It brings Leicester’s run without a league win to four, since they beat Everton on New Year’s Day, having lost three and drawn one since then.

Puel has never really been winning any popularity contests at the King Power for his negative style of football and poor results, but the Frenchman did himself no favours with his substitutions against United.

With an hour gone and Leicester looking slightly threatening, Puel made the decision to take off key attacker James Maddison – a decision which was booed by those in attendance.

And it was just as poorly received on Twitter.

Winner: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Another game, another case for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be named permanent Manchester United manager.


The Norwegian has now taken charge of 10 games as United’s caretaker manager, with the victory over Leicester bringing his run to nine wins and one draw.

Despite wins over Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur during that run, the past two matches have done the most to stake Solskjaer’s claim for the permanent job.

In midweek, the Norwegian had to lead his men to come from two goals down to earn a last-gasp draw against Burnley, while the Red Devils were pushed hard for their win over Leicester on Sunday.

In the past, caretaker managers have struggled when given the permanent role, such as Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea, but for now things are looking positive for Solskjaer.

Loser: Arsenal

If things weren’t bad enough for Arsenal, having to play a Manchester City side wounded after a shock defeat, the Gunners now do so chasing Manchester United.

After results went their way in midweek, Arsenal entered the weekend in fourth place, albeit only on goals scored. Though it would not last.

First, Chelsea’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield saw them both move three points clear of the Gunners and building up a goal difference hurt by their defeat to Bournemouth.

Then, Manchester United leapfrogged Arsenal with a well-fought win of their own against Leicester, pushing Solskjaer’s men into fifth.

Arsenal must now take at least a point against Manchester City or stay in sixth, with Manchester United growing in confidence.

Source link –