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Premier League

  • January 31, 2015
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 75329

Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City: Falcao and Van Persie on target

Louis van Gaal & Co. banished memories of September's shock 5-3 loss to the newly promoted side with an efficient first-half display at Old Trafford

Manchester United moved up to third in the Premier League table following a routine 3-1 win over Leicester City.

Louis van Gaal's side was beaten 5-3 at the King Power Stadium in September, but it never looked in danger of suffering a similar fate at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Robin van Persie scored his first goal in over a month to break the deadlock, sprinting onto a long ball over the top to volley past Mark Schwarzer amid suspicions of offside before Radamel Falcao bundled in a second five minutes later.

The game was as good as over just before halftime when Leicester defender Wes Morgan lost his footing and diverted Daley Blind's header past Schwarzer.

Marcin Wasilewski added a late consolation when he headed home Marc Albrighton's cross just over 10 minutes from time.

Victory lifts United above Southampton, which plays Swansea on Sunday, into third, while Leicester remains rooted to the foot of the table.

United, which wore black armbands to mark the 57th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, made three changes from its goalless FA Cup draw at Cambridge United, while goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was handed a first Premier League start for Leicester.

Despite United's best efforts to probe the Leicester defense, the veteran stopper went largely untested in the early stages, with Falcao flagged offside when he appeared to have found an opening.

United broke the deadlock in the 27th minute as the architects of one of the most memorable goals of 2014 combined again.

Blind, who provided the assist for Van Persie's spectacular diving header against Spain at the World Cup, found his Netherlands teammate with a ball over the top before the striker expertly hooked a shot beyond Schwarzer, despite appeals for offside.

Falcao then pounced to force the ball over the line from close range after the goalkeeper had failed to hold an Angel Di Maria strike.

Having provided the assist for United's opener, Blind was again involved in United’s third as his header from a corner led to Morgan inadvertently diverting past Schwarzer a minute before the break.

Leonardo Ulloa went down in the box under the challenge of Marcos Rojo just after the hour mark, but referee Martin Atkinson waved away the visitors' optimistic claims for a penalty.

While United may not have looked as dangerous during the second period, Leicester offered little going forward and looked destined to end the match without registering a single shot on target.

However, Wasilewski nodded home his first goal for more than three years from a Marc Albrighton cross with 10 minutes to go, although that proved little more than consolation for the well-beaten visitors.