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 in United’s favour.
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.