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Saturday, January 31, 1998 Published at 18:53 GMT

Sport: Football

Leicester outfox United
image: [ The United faithful watched their side's first home defeat of the season ]
The United faithful watched their side's first home defeat of the season

Forgotten striker Tony Cottee stepped out of the shadows to stun Premiership favourites Manchester United.

Leicester City manager Martin O'Neill (2'43")
Cottee struck the decisive first half goal for Leicester City in just his third start of the season.

It was United's first defeat at Old Trafford this season but they are still four points clear at the top after Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers fought out a draw.

Leicester were well worth their lead as the champions, who have dropped just two points at home this season, looked distinctly off colour.

The BBC's Ron Jones reports (55")
United tried to claw their way back into the match and Andy Cole was inches away from getting his head to a Ryan Giggs right-wing cross.

He also came close to grabbing an equaliser on 38 minutes when he collected Giggs' pass and cut back inside substitute Spencer Prior only to shoot narrowly past Kasey Keller's far post.

As United moved up a gear Leicester needed all men back in defence. Right on half-time Emile Heskey had a chance to make it 2-0 but shot over the bar.

In the second half United pushed Denis Irwin forward but Leicester still looked dangerous on the break.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left holding his head in his hands on 67 minutes when he blasted over from close range from David Beckham's cross.

Despite United's pressure they could not break through Leicester's rock solid defence.

Leicester's 1-0 win is their first victory in 17 visits to Old Trafford and they saluted their travelling fans after the match as they savoured a feat that even Juventus could not manage this season.

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