Leicester City 1 - Manchester United 4

Sunday 27th September
Walkers Stadium, Leicester

The papers were all talking about van Nistelrooy again after today's game, but this time it was for the right reasons. Following the brawl that ended Arsenal vs Man Utd, Ruud was keen to get himself some plaudits, having been slaughtered in the press, though mainly by Frenchman Arsene Wenger.

Ruud stole the show with a stunning hatrick, which effectively killed off the game after just 51minutes, and he could have had more!

With Leicester keen for an upset on their home ground, the pace was fast and furious, with the Leicester players charging to each and every ball.

It was Leicester who fashioned the first opportunity on goal, with a well-timed run from Bent ending with him chipping the ball over Howard, but wide of the near post. This may have triggered the United defenders to actually start defending, whilst also inspiring the forward line to try and put some distance between them and the Leicester blues.

The first goal for the Reds came from an unusual source. Fresh from setting up both goals against Newcastle earlier in the season, Keane was found by a Scholes through-ball. A simple piece of control took it out of the grasp of the onrushing keeper, and the ball was slotted coolly home on fifteen minutes.

It wasn't long before the Reds fans were cheering again, with Scholes finding Van Nistelrooy free in the box, and possibly off-side. Thirty seconds after the first goal Manchester had doubled their lead, with Ruud thrashing the ball home with an emphatic finish.

With just sixteen minutes gone, the points were seemingly in the bag.

Despite Leicester's best efforts, United cut through their defence with unerring ease, and there was time for a third before half-time gave the Blues a chance to regroup and re-think.

A long-ball forward from Ro was neatly controlled by Ruud, who turned and beat his man-marker and smashed the ball into the top right of the net. Now it really was Game Over.

With the game won, Fergie was able to take Captain Keane off for a break, allowing the fresh young legs of Djemba-Djemba taking up his place. The substitution did not affect Manchester United's crisp, swift, precise passing, much to Leicester's dismay.

Van Nistelrooy's third was the icing on the cake for the Reds. He held off a challenge from Sinclair before slotting clinically home to much applause. He had obviously recovered from his penalty miss and the torrid time the Arsenal thugs had given him.

Leicester grabbed a consolation from a set-piece, but the day belonged to Manchester, and the ball to Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

Leicester: Walker (Coyne 64), Curtis, Sinclair, Taggart (Stewart 57), Thatcher (Rogers 40), Nalis, Izzet, Scimeca, Scowcroft, Bent, Dickov.

Subs Not Used: Howey, Impey.

Man Utd: Howard; Gary Neville, Ferdinand, O'Shea, Phil Neville; Fletcher, Keane (Djemba-Djemba 45), Scholes (Forlan 56), Fortune; van Nistelrooy, Giggs (Butt 61).

Subs Not Used: Ronaldo, Carroll.

Attendance: 32,044

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).