Manchester United saw off Leicester City 3-1 with all of the Reds’ strikes coming inside the first half through Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and an own goal by Wes Morgan.
Louis van Gaal’s side were less expansive after the break and Marcin Wasilewski pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining to raise hopes in the away end of another unbelievable comeback akin to the one that yielded a 5-3 victory at the King Power Stadium. However, there was never too much doubt about the outcome.
Angel Di Maria signalled the hosts’ intentions from the outset, almost charging down 42-year-old Foxes debutant Mark Schwarzer inside the first minute, and he was heavily involved as his team probed for an opening.
The Argentinian robbed Jeffrey Schlupp on the touchline but his cross was headed away and he then tried a speculative volley that flew over the bar. Van Persie sliced a Luke Shaw centre high and wide but the Dutchman was more accurate with his next attempt.
Daley Blind pounced on City’s hesitation in midfield and launched the loose ball into the path of his fellow countryman, who slid to execute a difficult half-volley that left Schwarzer with no chance. Four minutes later, van Persie was allowed to dribble and release Di Maria and, when the record buy’s shot across Schwarzer forced the keeper to parry, Falcao slid in ahead of Ritchie De Laet and Wasilewski to extend the lead.
United were totally dominant, passing the ball around in style, and added a third before the interval. Wayne Rooney’s corner was helped on by Blind and Morgan could only head the ball into his own net from inside the six-yard box.
Leicester introduced Esteban Cambiasso to the fold at half-time and stemmed the tide. Andrej Kramaric tried an ambitious bicycle kick and Leonardo Ulloa threw himself to the ground in a desperate bid to win a penalty after running into Marcos Rojo. Schwarzer was untroubled at the other end, seeing Rooney pass up a golden opportunity to shoot and Adnan Januzaj firing over.
A short back-pass by Phil Jones let in substitute David Nugent, only for David De Gea to stick out a left hand to block brilliantly but the warning to cut out any complacency was not heeded. With the game meandering along, Marc Albrighton collected a Cambiasso pass and crossed for Wasilewski to head past De Gea, who was unable to keep it out.
Albrighton blasted off target as Leicester sensed a remarkable finale was on the cards but Di Maria could have wrapped things up when neatly controlling Rooney’s lofted through ball, only to blaze wastefully wide. The closing stages passed without incident as the Reds move back up to third place in the table.