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BBC Sport's John Murray
"United were below their best"
 real 14k

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"Leicester defended well, but we deserved it."
 real 56k

Man Utd's Dennis Irwin
"It wasn't a great performance, but we persevered."
 real 56k

Saturday, 17 March, 2001, 17:10 GMT
Man Utd leave it late against Leicester
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer gets in a strike at Old Trafford
Manchester United 2-0 Leicester

United struck twice late on as more than 67,000 fans at Old Trafford breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Substitutes Dwight Yorke and Mikael Silvestre struck in the dying minutes to send United 17 points clear at the top of the Premiership, just as it seemed Peter Taylor's side were going to hold out for a draw.

Yorke made the breakthrough with a freak goal on 88 minutes and Silvestre applied a classy finishing touch with the second in injury time.

  Key moments
30 mins: Solskjaer's shot is blocked by Rowett
32 mins: Akinbiyi heads over from Leicester's best chance
86 mins: Scholes' header hits outside of a post
88 mins: Solskjaer's shot deflects off Yorke and in for the opener
90 mins: Silvestre seals win with clinical finish
Yorke's goal came courtesy of a huge deflection to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's shot fly past the helpless Simon Royce.

And, as the pressure around the ground finally lifted, United claimed a second in stoppage time.

This time there was little Royce could do as Silvestre's shot from the left flew past him and into the far corner of the net.

Anyone not watching the game could be forgiven for believing United were lucky.

Nothing could be further from the truth as Ferguson's side dominated from start to finish.

Dennis Irwin
Dennis Irwin was captain on St Patrick's Day

United handed a league debut to teenage goalkeeper Paul Rachubka after regular keeper Fabien Barthez was injured during the pre-match warm-up.

The 19-year-old's only previous appearances for United had been as substitute in the Worthington Cup and the World Club Championship, but Barthez's misfortune finally handed him the chance of a first start.


Fabien pulled his thigh muscle in the warm-up and obviously with the Bayern game coming up we didn't want to take any chances
  Sir Alex Ferguson
Man Utd manager
But the youngster was a virtual spectator for most of the match as United dictated the game.

While Rachubka was playing his first match, veteran defender Dennis Irwin was officially playing his 500th.

Piled on the pressure

The Irishman's St Patrick's Day reward was the captain's armband and his side created the better of the chances, even without the rested David Beckham.

Roy Keane chipped an effort just wide after a neat exchange of passes with Paul Scholes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw a shot deflected wide by Gary Rowett as the home side piled on the pressure.


I'm not very happy with the result today, the 2-0, but I'm very happy with their performance
  Peter Taylor
Leicester manager
But, for all United's pressure, Leicester should have snatched the lead when Ade Akinbiyi headed over the bar when well-played from a Darren Eadie cross.

United were missing the cutting edge of Beckham and Ryan Giggs and made little impression down either flank, despite all their posession.

Beckham was never more conspicuous by his absence than when United were presented with a free kickon the edge of the area, only for Scholes and then Gary Neville to blaze the free kick into the wall from a prime Beckham position.

Paul Scholes and Ade Akinbiyi
Scholes clashes with Akinbiyi

Sir Alex Ferguson tried to add some sparkle to his side's possessive dominance with the half-time introduction of Dwight Yorke, but their frustrations continued after the break.

Solskjaer saw a blistering volley fly straight into the arms of Simon Royce and, minutes later, the Norwegian striker volleyed over from a Scholes knock-down.

But as United's dominance continued, so did their frustration and when a string of second-half corners failed to produce a goal, United began to believe it was not going to be their day.

But Yorke's late stroke of luck finally saw them break through to end Leicester's defiant rearguard action.


Man Utd: Rachubka, Gary Neville, Irwin, Stam, Phil Neville, Greening, Scholes, Keane, Butt, Sheringham, Solskjaer. Subs: Yorke, Wilson, Silvestre, Brown, Barthez.

Leicester: Royce, Rowett, Elliott, Gilchrist, Impey, Eadie, Lewis, Jones, Delaney, Akinbiyi, Sturridge. Subs: Flowers, Guppy, Ellison, Benjamin, Oakes.

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)

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