Harry Maguire is delighted to see his boyhood club Sheffield United flying high in the Premier League and wants them to win every game - unless they are playing Manchester United.

England centre-back Maguire became the world's most expensive defender when he moved to Old Trafford in a reported £80million deal from Leicester City in the previous transfer window.

The 26-year-old came through the Blades' academy and made over 100 senior appearances for the club before leaving to join Hull City in 2014.

Maguire gets the chance to play at Bramall Lane again on Sunday, as the Red Devils - who sit a point behind the Blades - face Chris Wilder's side.

"It means so much, the club that gave me the chance of fulfilling my dream of becoming a professional footballer," Maguire told BBC Sport when asked about his return.

"I owe them a lot, I go back and support them whenever I can. 

"It's the first result I look for when I get off the pitch. I want to see them win every game they play, apart from when we're playing against them. A fantastic club and it's great to see them back in the Premier League where they belong

Maguire acknowledged he is unlikely to get much in the way of support from friends as he visits his old club - but insists his loved ones will be cheering him on.

"Hopefully I'll be the one smiling with my friends and not them," he said.

"I'm sure some of [my friends] will be supporting Sheffield United, but my family will be supporting Man United and hoping we get the three points."

Harry Maguire insists there are "definitely no cliques" in the England squad despite the altercation between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez this week.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley after confronting England team-mate Gomez on Monday.

The two players had clashed the previous day, as Sterling's Manchester City were beaten 3-1 by Gomez and Liverpool, the Premier League leaders and the winger's former club.

Yet Manchester United defender Maguire is confident issues between players from rival clubs will not continue to dog England as they reportedly have in the past.

Asked at a pre-match news conference if there were any club cliques in the squad, Maguire replied: "No, everybody mixes.

"I think you've seen how good the unity in the squad is over the last couple of years. It's been a good two years and the group has grown together. We continue to keep on growing and that's really important.

"No, definitely no cliques. We all share tables and share jokes and laughs together."

England need just a point against Montenegro to qualify for the finals, where they would play a number of matches at their own Wembley home.

Maguire is hopeful, should the Three Lions' secure their progress, the home crowd can be a big factor next year.

"It would be really special to play in a major tournament and walking out at Wembley would be something that you dream of," he said. "People say it would give us a little advantage as well.

"We know that the crowd get right behind us at Wembley and the support over the last few years – especially since I've been playing – has been unbelievable.

"It's a big game [against Montenegro] and one that we're all looking forward to and we feel prepared for."

England's hopes at the Euros would also depend on improved defensive showings, though, with a number of individual mistakes hampering their qualification campaign so far.

Maguire added: "Obviously, we're coming off the back of a clean sheet [in a 6-0 win in Bulgaria], but we've conceded a few sloppy goals recently. I'm not proud of it and we're working hard on the training pitch to make that better.

"We know the firepower we have in our squad. We've got to a stage now where we're scoring near enough in every game, and we're creating problems for other people's defences.

"So my job and I'm sure all the rest of the defenders and the keepers as a group, we'll try to shut the shop up and start keeping clean sheets a lot more regularly."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Harry Maguire to be the club's captain in the long-term after wearing the armband in Sunday's 3-1 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion.

United cruised to a comfortable victory at Old Trafford against Brighton, with the visitors arguably lucky to avoid losing by a crushing scoreline.

Maguire led the team out as captain and put in a generally commanding display at the back, as he continues to look a solid acquisition following his reported £80million switch from Leicester City.

The centre-back was captain in the absence of Ashley Young, though Solskjaer suggested Maguire could potentially get even more familiar with the position in years to come.

"Harry has come in and been excellent in the dressing room and on the pitch," Solskjaer told reporters.

"He can be a long-term captain."

The one dampener on United's win was a late ankle injury suffered by Scott McTominay, as he appeared to roll his foot and was left in agony.

While he was able to hobble off the pitch aided by United's medical staff, after the match he was carried away on a stretcher.

But Solskjaer was unable to offer much of an update on his condition aside from being set for scans on Monday.

"He went over on his ankle," said Solskjaer. "It's a painful one sometimes.

"I've had one, I was out for eight weeks but then again sometimes you have one and you're back in two weeks. I don't know.

"He's in for a scan tomorrow and then we'll have to see, with the ice there. But it looked painful - Scotty's not one for rolling around.

"He didn't really roll around, because that's probably the sign he's injured. All the players that keep rolling aren't injured."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Scott McTominay suffered an ankle injury in Manchester United's win over Partizan Belgrade, while he played down concerns over Harry Maguire.

United booked their spot in the Europa League last 32 thanks to Thursday's 3-0 win, which came thanks to goals from Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

McTominay came off during the second half of the victory due to an ankle injury, while Maguire was also a worry.

But while he has fewer worries about Maguire, United manager Solskjaer confirmed some concerns surrounding McTominay.

"I think Harry will be okay. He finished the game anyway," he told MUTV.

"Scott is more of a concern, so let's see how he recovers in the next few days.

"He said he was going to be okay out on the pitch and he said 'I'll be fine'. He's tough, but he had to come off.

"I hope he'll recover for Sunday, but I don't know. Inside of his ankle. I think he went over on his ankle."

Sitting 10th in the Premier League table, United host Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

The win over Partizan gave Solskjaer's men a boost and the performance of his young attack featuring Greenwood, Rashford and Martial was particularly pleasing for the manager.

"The reason we put the three of them together is that we know they are a dangerous trio, with players behind them who can provide chances," he said.

"Well done to Mason for a very, very calm finish. He was composed and waited for the keeper. The second one was from Anthony and was probably the skill of the night.

"Then it was great to see Marcus finishing with his left foot. He will get into those positions quite often in a game. For him to go on the outside, on his left, it is not great for defenders to see.

"It is good for us because he can go inside on his right and then finish with his left."

Manchester United could be without Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof for Saturday's Premier League trip to Bournemouth.

All three players sustained knocks in the 2-1 EFL Cup victory at Chelsea on Wednesday, a result that stretched United's winning run away from home to three games in all competitions.

Rashford, who scored a penalty and then a stunning free-kick to seal the win, was seen with an ice pack on his knee after being substituted at Stamford Bridge, while Lindelof was replaced by Anthony Martial 66 minutes in and Maguire was seen limping in the closing stages.

When asked for an update on the trio on Friday, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told a news conference: "It's still early. Hopefully we can get them back on the pitch tomorrow.

"They had some treatment yesterday, a little more treatment today, a light session. Hopefully, they're ready. I can't tell you exactly now."

United will also be without Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic against Bournemouth, with Solskjaer not expecting them to be available until after the next international break.

"They are not ready for tomorrow. That's the update," he said. "[They will be back] Probably after the international break. That's always the risk, if you push them back too early.

"But if we have the two extra weeks, after the international break, they should be ready for then."

United head into the match in seventh place in the Premier League, ahead of Bournemouth on goal difference.

A win will move them to within four points of the top four before Chelsea's match away to Watford.

Harry Maguire was honoured to captain Manchester United for the first time in their 1-0 Europa League win over Partizan Belgrade.

The £80million defender was given the armband for Thursday's clash in the absence of Ashley Young and back-up skipper David de Gea.

Anthony Martial's penalty just before half-time was enough for United to pick up their first away win in 12 matches in all competitions, moving them top of Group L.

United were once again far from convincing on their travels, but Maguire was pleased to come away with a third successive Europa League clean sheet on what was a personal occasion to remember.

"It's a massive honour to lead the team out, especially such a big club like United," he told BT Sport. "I'm really proud, but more importantly I'm happy we got the clean sheet and the three points. 

"It was really important to get the away win - it's been a long time coming. We weren't at our best and it was scrappy at times, but we always knew our first away win would be one we had to grind out."

A clip of Maguire apparently forgetting his pre-match duties went viral, as the stand-in captain left Vladimir Stojkovic waiting, but he later laughed off the blunder on Twitter.

"Last time I did this, you did the coin toss in the centre circle #LetMeOff," Maguire posted, accompanied by a laughing face emoji.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed a full debut to James Garner and also started with fellow academy product Brandon Williams at left-wing-back.

Centre-back Phil Jones, one of the more experienced players on the field for United at 27 years old, was full of praise for the younger members of United's squad.

"I thought the pair of them were absolutely terrific," he said. 

"It's a hostile environment and the pitch wasn't the best - the pair of them can be really proud of themselves. They were a big reason why we came away with a clean sheet."

Harry Maguire is hopeful Manchester United will not have to experience a repeat of the "sickening" racist abuse that marred England's trip to Bulgaria when they visit Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.

United face Savo Milosevic's side in the Europa League after the Serbian outfit were forced to play their previous two UEFA home matches behind closed doors following "racist behaviour of supporters" when they hosted Yeni Malatyaspor in the third qualifying round.

The Group L game also follows Serbia's national team being hit with a two-game stadium ban – one suspended for 12 months – after a similar incident against Portugal in September.

Maguire played in England's 6-0 win over Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying earlier this month, which was twice stopped during the first half after visiting players were subjected to racist chants.

Those stoppages formed part of UEFA's three-step protocol – whereby a match is first paused, then suspended for a period, before ultimately being abandoned on the third instance of racist abuse – but Maguire is confident the match in Belgrade will pass without any major incidents.

"We will trust UEFA to follow their protocol," he told a media conference. "Sofia was sickening and something I don't want to be part of again.

"We are confident tomorrow will be a positive atmosphere. If something does go off, we will follow the three-step protocol."

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer echoed Maguire's sentiments and has faith that UEFA will implement their protocol should racist abuse be heard.

"In the aftermath of what happened in Bulgaria, we had a meeting with the boys and we have gone through the protocol," he said.

"I believe in the good of people and the atmosphere will be fantastic. We trust UEFA and hopefully it will be a celebration of good football."

Solskjaer also reiterated United's stance on clamping down on racist incidents involving their own supporters after one was alleged to have engaged in abuse during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

"I'm happy the club have identified whatever you want to call him and it's something we feel strongly about," he added. "We will stamp down as much as we can."

When Manchester United forked out a reported £80million to sign Harry Maguire, the comparisons to Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk started almost immediately.

Van Dijk has been credited as one of the best signings of Jurgen Klopp's tenure, with the Reds becoming Champions League winners and genuine Premier League title contenders with the towering centre-back at the heart of their defence.

The arrival of Maguire, whose breakout performances for Leicester City in the 2017-18 campaign coincided with Van Dijk's switch to Anfield, was supposed to have a similar effect on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils.

United have struggled badly for form this season, though, and the pressure is on the team and Solskjaer to deliver a performance against the table-topping Reds, who have won eight from eight in the Premier League this term.

Ahead of Sunday's clash at Old Trafford, Omnisport has crunched the Opta numbers behind Van Dijk and Maguire's statistics dating back to the former's move to Liverpool in January 2018.


VIRGIL'S A WINNING MACHINE

Prior to Van Dijk's arrival, pundits and fans alike were calling for Klopp to sign a commanding centre-back. Many baulked at the reported £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for his signature, but that fee looks a snip when you look at the impact Van Dijk's arrival has had. He has played in 60 Premier League games since signing, winning 45 of those and losing just four – giving him an astounding win percentage of 75. In the same time period, Maguire has played fewer matches – 56 – winning 19 and losing 25, with a win percentage of 34.


NONE SHALL PASS!

Earlier in the season, much was made of Van Dijk's astonishing run of Premier League games without being dribbled past. Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe eventually ended a stretch of 50 dating back to March 2018 and incredibly it has happened just three times to Van Dijk since January of the same year. Maguire has been caught on his heels nine times in the same period, but both players are remarkably consistent when it comes to errors leading to goals – each committing just one gaffe that resulted in the ball rattling the back of the net.


CLEAN SHEETS AND A CLEANER DISCLIPINARY RECORD FOR VAN DIJK

One statistic that really does leap out is Van Dijk's exemplary record when it comes to receiving yellow cards. Incredibly for a centre-back, he has been cautioned just twice since January 2018 and is yet to see red in the Premier League for Liverpool. Conversely, Maguire has 10 yellows and one red in the same period. Van Dijk is just shy of clean sheets in half of his games, keeping shut outs in 29 of 60 matches – with Maguire having 13 in 56. Teams Maguire has played in have also conceded double the amount those including Van Dijk have, 76 to 38. At the other end, each player has contributed but Van Dijk also holds the advantage in that regard with five goals and two assists to Maguire's respective three and zero.


HOW'S THIS SEASON SHAPING UP?

As you would expect, Van Dijk's numbers in the early stages of the Premier League campaign are pretty impressive. He has a flawless win percentage through eight games, although he has conceded in six of those. Encouragingly for Maguire and United, while the team are struggling his statistics compare pretty well to Van Dijk's with as many clean sheets and just two more goals conceded. Maguire has also only been dribbled past once compared to Van Dijk's two, while neither player has yet committed an error leading to a goal or even a shot.

Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling were among the England players to react on Twitter after racist chanting marred their 6-0 win over Bulgaria in Sofia.

Play was temporarily halted twice during the first half of Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier at the Vasil Levski National Stadium after visiting players were subjected to racist abuse.

An announcement over the public address system was made during the first stoppage, while the second saw a section of home fans ejected from the venue.

Gareth Southgate's side opted to return to the field following discussions in their changing room at half-time, while Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov seen talking with some Bulgaria supporters during the break.

"Not an easy situation to play in and not one which should be happening in 2019. Proud we rose above it to take three points but this needs stamping out," Rashford wrote on social media, along with a picture of him celebrating scoring the opening goal.

The Manchester United forward also thanked the travelling support as well as Popov, insisting his actions should not go unnoticed.

"Thankful to the brilliant England support. You got behind us in the most meaningful way possible tonight and we are all very grateful. Have a safe journey home and take care," Rashford tweeted, to which he replied: "Also been told what the Bulgaria captain did at half-time. To stand alone and do the right thing takes courage and acts like that shouldn’t go unnoticed. #NoToRacism"

Club colleague Harry Maguire described the fan behaviour as "disgraceful" - and insisted action must be taken to make sure it does not happen again.

"The best way to bounce back. Proud of the team. There's no place in football for that - disgraceful behaviour. Something must be done," the defender tweeted.

Sterling quote-tweeted a story about Bulgaria head coach Krasimir Balakov declaring prior to the match how England had a bigger racism problem than his own country, replying: "Mmmmh ... Not sure about this one chief".

The Manchester City forward added in another post: "Feeling sorry for Bulgaria to be represented by such idiots in their stadium. Anyway.. 6-0 and we go back home, at least we did our job. Safe travel to our fans, u guys did well."

Captain Harry Kane praised the way the England team remained united, as well as congratulating debutant Tyrone Mings.

"Great performance and I’m proud of the togetherness we showed in some disgraceful circumstances," Kane wrote. "Racism has no place in society or football. It needs stamping out for good. Also a massive congrats to @OfficialTM_3 on a great debut."

Former England international Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, called on UEFA to take action. He wrote: "Let's see punishment...", which was followed by the governing body's official Twitter handle.

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire suggested England's backline has been affected by poor form at club level.

England crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat away to the Czech Republic in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday, leading to questions about the country's defence.

The Three Lions have conceded five goals in their past two qualifiers in Group A and Maguire – the world's most expensive defender who has endured a difficult season with United languishing in 12th position in the Premier League – addressed the situation.

"Yes, maybe," Maguire said when asked if England's defence is lacking confidence ahead of Monday's trip to Bulgaria.

"We bring our club football into international level. It was a difficult game. Don't get me wrong, we started sloppy. We took the lead in the game but we didn't deserve to.

"The second half we controlled the game a lot more than the first half but we gave them a sloppy goal to win the game. We do need to improve on that.

"Obviously you are wanting to develop partnerships. Sometimes in international level you can't really do that.

"You have players who aren't playing for their clubs so they don't get selected, and you have players that pick up injuries.

"You've got to adapt. That's one of the tricky parts of playing international football, every camp you're normally playing alongside different players - you don't want to be - and need to develop new partnerships.

"But listen, there's no excuses. We need to be better than Friday night. We need to be better going forward. We need to be better on the ball. And we certainly need to be better at keeping the ball out of the net."

 

Harry Maguire is working on becoming more vocal but is not concentrating on the prospect of becoming Manchester United captain.

United agreed a reported £80million deal with Leicester City last month to make Maguire the most expensive centre-back of all time.

The England international has already been talked up as a future skipper by boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after making a steady start to life at Old Trafford, even if results have been disappointing.

However, Maguire is aware that he needs to improve on certain aspects of his game if he is to be considered for the role further down the line.

"It's something I still want to improve on, my leadership qualities on the pitch and, especially, my talking," he told United's official website.

"I want to demand more from the players, demand standards, but I'm obviously not concentrating on that at the moment.

"I am fully focused on improving the team and getting this club back to where it should be."

Maguire has been used regularly since joining in the close season, playing alongside Victor Lindelof in every minute of United's Premier League campaign to date.

Solskjaer's men lost 2-0 at West Ham last weekend to make it six goals conceded in those six matches, but Maguire is confident he will build up a better understanding with his new team-mates.

"My game will improve the more I know them and the more experience I have of playing with them - the position they take up, the way they want to receive the ball and the areas in which I receive the ball," he said.

"So I know where my team-mates will be, without having to look and try to find them.

"It will improve and I'm sure I'll improve throughout the season, playing with my team-mates more and improving my relationship with Vic. We will improve as a team as well and we've got to improve."

United are 11th in the Premier League ahead of their meeting with Arsenal on Monday.

Juan Mata believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can turn Manchester United around despite their poor start to the 2019-20 season.

United lost their last Premier League game 2-0 at West Ham and needed a penalty shoot-out to beat League One side Rochdale in the EFL Cup at Old Trafford this week.

Ahead of Monday's visit of Arsenal, United are eighth in the Premier League table, level on points with clubs including Burnley and Sheffield United.

United have lost three of their last six Premier League home games and have not won a competitive away game since March, when they shocked Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Mata, however, has faith Solskjaer is the man to get United back on the right path and played down the importance of the figure in the dugout.

"I believe in him. I believe in how he really puts his life into the project that he's got in front of him.." Mata told The Times. "He knew it was difficult when he came. He knows how our rivals are doing, but he wanted to take it anyway.

"The manager's position is sometimes exaggerated, for good and bad. Carlo Ancelotti won the Champions League with Real Madrid [in 2014], when they equalised in the 90th minute with the Sergio Ramos goal.

"If Luka Modric doesn't take the corner quick, and they lose? Is Ancelotti a worse manager? For me, no. I feel sorry for managers when I miss a chance, we lose and they get criticised and they did 'a bad plan'. It’s the same plan except I missed. It's me, not them.

"Of course, there are certain individuals that change a team: Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp, Pep [Guardiola]. Sir Alex [Ferguson] changed the history of this club. But sometimes we try to justify everything with the manager.

"Managers are very important but I like when I've heard Zinedine Zidane or Pep say, 'I'm good only because my players do the things I tell them to but I'm not the last connection with the ball'."

United midfielder Paul Pogba remained at Old Trafford despite telling reporters he was ready for a new challenge, with Mata glad the World Cup winner was retained.

"Paul is a very important player for us. He has fantastic qualities: physically, his vision's very good, his passing's very good," Mata added. 

"He's a complete midfielder. He's got many things around him, social media life, but when you're face to face with him, he's very humble, a very nice guy, he has a good heart. I like him."

Pogba was overlooked in midweek when instead Axel Tuanzebe wore the armband in the EFL Cup win over Rochdale, but Mata feels Harry Maguire could be the club's permanent captain in the future.

"Why not?," Mata said. "He has experience, his physical presence is important, centre-back is a good position to be a commanding personality in the team and he has international experience.

"He's come to a big club, really having a chance to make that next step towards to even more."

Jose Mourinho blasted Manchester United's performance in their 2-0 defeat at West Ham and said he sees no improvement in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side since last season.

Goals in either half from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell condemned United to their second Premier League defeat in six matches and it was the lacklustre performance at London Stadium that drew criticism from Mourinho.

While admitting that the side he managed in the early part of 2018-19 before Solskjaer replaced him were "bad", Mourinho said they looked no better than the one that recorded a disappointing sixth-place Premier League finish last team, despite Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James all arriving at Old Trafford in the close season.

Asked on Sky Sports whether he could find any positives in United's performance, Mourinho said: "No… I can't find.

"We were bad last season but I don't see any improvement this season, even with three new players – and I have to say players with a positive impact. I like these three and I think they are bringing some good quality to the team.

"But the team as a team, I don't like at all. I am not surprised by the result and I don't think Ole can take any positives from the game."

Former United midfielder Roy Keane weighed in with similarly damning comments, pointing to a lack of leadership as one of United's problems.

Solskjaer ended the game with Jesse Lingard as a lone striker after Marcus Rashford went off with a groin problem and, with the club facing something of an injury crisis, Keane underlined the scale of the challenge ahead for the manager.

"I don't know where to start," said Keane. "I knew they weren't in a great place but I'm shocked and saddened by how bad they were today.

"I know you can lose a game of football but everything about United [was] lacklustre, low quality, a lack of desire, lack of leaders, lack of characters.

"It's a long way back for United. It's scary how far they've fallen."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Scott McTominay as one of Manchester United's leaders after his performance in the 1-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday.

United ended a three-game winless Premier League run thanks to Marcus Rashford's eighth-minute penalty at Old Trafford.

McTominay produced a standout display in midfield in the absence of the injured Paul Pogba, shackling James Maddison while triggering United's counter-attacks as they kept Leicester comfortably at bay.

"He's improving, isn't he?" Solskjaer said of the 22-year-old. "Today, I thought he was excellent. He lost the ball a couple of times, which you'd expect because he's learning his new role as a sitting midfielder.

"He goes into tackles, challenges, fights... if there are teams trying to intimidate us, he's there, he's a leader. I wouldn't want to go into a 50-50 with him, put it that way."

While McTominay impressed in midfield, United centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, playing against his former club, also performed well to keep Leicester striker Jamie Vardy on the fringes of the action.

"I thought they did excellent," said Solskjaer. "They read the game well. I've got loads of admiration for Vardy, he's my type of centre-forward: runs in behind, harasses and you've got to be spot on with your decision-making.

"Both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well against him."

While Solskjaer acknowledged the overall performance was not of the highest quality, he was happy for his players to be given a boost after three matches without a victory.

"When you play, when you coach, you don't get carried away when you win a game that we maybe don't deserve to win but we don't get down in the dumps when we don't win games we should win," he said.

"The performances have been miles better than this. We just have to wake up with a smile and have the day off and relax a bit."

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers felt Rashford's penalty was harsh, although probably correct, but he believes Caglar Soyuncu will learn from the incident after a careless shove on the United forward.

"It was a soft penalty, harsh, but I think it was [correct]," he said. "For young Caglar, he'll learn to have that wee bit of patience. Marcus is cute, he's bright, waiting for the contact, and he gets the penalty. We reacted well to it in the end, it's just a little frustrating we didn't take something from it.

"[Soyuncu] has been fantastic, stepping in since Harry went, and I thought he was dominant in the game today. There's a lot of young players in the squad and they'll make mistakes.

"In the game as a whole, there weren't so many chances. We're a bit frustrated: we didn't start the game well, we put ourselves on the back foot and conceded a penalty early on."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United "didn't play a great game" as they battled to a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford's eighth-minute penalty settled a contest that was not always high on quality, as Leicester's unbeaten start to the season came to an end.

The visitors enjoyed 58 per cent of the possession but did not create much by way of meaningful opportunities, although David de Gea did make good first-half saves from James Maddison and Ben Chilwell.

Rashford, who missed a penalty in the loss to Crystal Palace last month, took his spot-kick well before United opted to sit deeper and threaten on the counter-attack.

Solskjaer was not overly impressed with the performance in the final hour, but he was delighted with a clean sheet and the way in which his players worked.

"Three points, clean sheet, the camaraderie and togetherness, the work rate," he said when asked what pleased him most about the win.

"Let's not kid ourselves - we didn't play a great game. The first 20, 25 minutes were fantastic but then we gradually lost control of it. Towards the end, I felt we were in control again.

"It was probably the first time this season apart from spells against Chelsea that we've had to defend as a team for longer periods. I was pleased to get a clean sheet; David got a couple of good saves.

"This stadium, they love effort and attitude and energy. For the penalty, Andreas [Pereira] wins a tackle inside the box, Marcus sprints and just gets in front of him [Caglar Soyuncu] - the fans love that.

"People are talking about our lack of clean sheets. We've had Chelsea and Leicester here, two good teams who are going for the top four, and we've kept clean sheets against them."

Harry Maguire was booed by the travelling support even before kick-off but produced a fine display at the heart of the defence to keep his old team-mates at bay.

"It didn't look like he missed them too much!" Solskjaer said. "He did really well. He stuck his head in and he was so calm on the ball for us and we needed that in the second half."

On Rashford's penalty, Solskjaer added: "He's been practicing. Everyone can miss a penalty - I've seen [Diego] Maradona, I've seen [Lionel] Messi, all the best ones miss penalties. He was calm and just wanted it to come his way."

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