- A Mkhitaryan breakaway opened the scoring
- Ibrahimovic hit two minutes later
- Mata struck three minutes after halftime
Manchester United moved within a point of fifth as they downed a slumping Leicester City at King Power Stadium 3-0 behind three goals within six game minutes across halftime. Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit the first in the 43rd minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagged the second before halftime, and Juan Mata finished it off three minutes out of halftime as United cruised past a Foxes side that appeared to have little fight.
Leicester City had the game’s first half-chance, as Robert Huth nearly got on the end of a cross, but was defended well by Marcus Rojo. Danny Drinkwater was shown a yellow card immediately after, just five minutes in, for fouling Juan Mata on a Manchester United break.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
United had its first good chance on 22 minutes as Marcus Rashford poorly blazed over after a good find by Mkhitaryan. This seemed to light up the Red Devils, as they pushed forward with more intent. They would find the opener on the break just before halftime, as Chris Smalling headed a ball forward, and it caught the Leicester back line pressing too high. Mkhitaryan latched onto it and sprung forward through the Foxes’ half, and he finished one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel who only got a slight touch.
They’d get a second just two minutes later through Ibrahimovic as Antonio Valencia delivered a cross low through the box, and and Zlatan was there to one-time it into the net through the legs of Wes Morgan and past Schmeichel. The double strike, coming just one minute before halftime, was the big blow United needed.
There were three total changes after the break, with Claudio Ranieri bringing on Andy King and Demarai Grey for Ahmed Musa and Shinji Okazaki, while Jose Mourinho chose Daley Blind off the bench to replace Marcus Rojo.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
The Red Devils struck just three minutes after halftime, piling on the goals as Mata played a one-two with Mkhitaryan and got free behind Christian Fuchs, blasting the ball in for United’s third. Bracketing halftime, the three goals came just six minutes apart.
That wrapped up the scoring, but Manchester United wasn’t done. Mata was clean through just past the hour mark, but he looked to chip Schmeichel and didn’t get enough air under the ball, collected by the Leicester goalkeeper. Mkhitaryan also came close with seven minutes remaining. The win for the Red Devils doesn’t see them gain position, still in sixth, but pulling within a point of Liverpool.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Leicester City, meanwhile, looked completely devoid of spirit as the game wound down. Ibrahimovic completely undressed Fuchs on the end line before being stopped by another defender, and moments later Morgan tried to pass square to a teammate and was miles off target with a bad giveaway. With the loss, the Foxes now sit just a single point above the relegation zone, with Hull City and Sunderland below them having won this weekend.