It was enough to give Solskjaer a ninth win from 10 games in charge as caretaker boss as United maintained their upward trajectory under the Norwegian.
They weren’t always at their most fluent against a Leicester team who had more than enough chances to earn a draw, but United’s resilience showed once again that their improvement under Solskjaer has not just been limited to rediscovering their attacking instinct.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
LEICESTER CITY (4-2-3-1):
Schmeichel 6; Ricardo 5, Maguire 7, Evans 6.5, Chilwell 7; Ndidi 6.5, Mendy 6 (Iheanacho 84); Barnes 7, Maddison 6.5 (Ghezzal 62, 6), Gray 7 (Okazaki 74, 6); Vardy 6.5.
Subs: Morgan, Ward, Fuchs, Choudhury
Manager: Claude Puel 6
Booked: Vardy, Mendy, Ghezzal, Ndidi
MAN UTD (4-3-3):
De Gea 7; Young 7, Bailly 6.5, Lindelof 7, Shaw 6.5; Herrera 7, Matic 6.5, Pogba 7.5; Lingard 6.5 (Jones 89), Rashford 7 (Lukaku 77, 6), Sanchez 4 (Martial 67, 6.5).
Subs: Mata, Fred, Dalot, Romero.
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskaer 7
Scorer: Rashford 9
Booked: Lingard, Matic, Martial
Referee: Mike Dean 6
The United manager restored Rashford to the central role he prefers and left Romelu Lukaku on the bench. At 21 years and 95 days old, Rashford became the youngest United player to reach his century of league games since Ryan Giggs in December 1993.
Eric Bailly also came in at the expense of Phil Jones while Alexis Sanchez started on the left with Anthony Martial returning on the bench after injury.
Leicester boss Claude Puel decided against including new signing Youri Tielemans in his squad even though the Belgian had trained for the last two days.
It didn’t take Rashford long to justify his manager’s decision. The England striker had already headed over from an early Luke Shaw cross when he fired United ahead in the ninth minute.
The goal owed much to an awful error by Ricardo who was under no pressure at all when he played a stray pass into midfield. It fell to Paul Pogba of all people and the Frenchman took one touch before clipping a lovely pass into the path of Rashford.
There was never any real doubt about the outcome and United’s No 10 also only needed one touch to bring the ball under control before burying his shot beyond Kasper Schmeichel.
The Frenchman had been booked seconds earlier for a lunging tackle on Herrera and was clearly reluctant to commit the same offence right in front of Mike Dean.
Team-mate Jamie Vardy picked up a yellow card for an even more robust challenge on Victor Lindelof, while United’s two first half bookings, for Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic, were of a more tactical nature.
Credit to Leicester, they started the second half in even more lively fashion and Maddison touched the ball through for Barnes to force a one-handed save from David de Gea before firing into the side-netting himself after a slaloming run into the box.
Maddison was involved in Leicester’s best chance on the hour mark as his freekick was blocked by the defensive wall and spun invitingly towards Vardy who met it with an overhead kick from 10 yards. It was straight at De Gea but the United keeper still had to make a smart save and needed a second attempt to stop it from trickling over his line.