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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 September, 2003, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Red-hot United stun Foxes
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Leicester 1-4 Man Utd

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored a hat-trick as Manchester United ran out comfortable winners against Leicester at the Walkers Stadium.

United handed the Foxes a lesson in finishing as they went two goals up within 16 minutes through Roy Keane's first of the season and a Van Nistelrooy strike.

The Dutchman got his second just before half-time and completed his fifth hat-trick for the club early in the second period.

Leicester battled to the end and got a deserved consolation courtesy of a Frank Sinclair header.

Manchester United had won their last eight matches against Leicester.

But from the off Leicester's players appeared confident of causing an upset.

Their harrying style led to some nervous moments at the back for United.

KEY MOMENTS
15 mins: Keane gets United off the mark
16 mins: Van Nistelrooy scores his first
45 mins: Van Nistelrooy puts United three up
51 mins: Van Nistelrooy gets his hat-trick
73 mins: Sinclair heads in for Leicester
Marcus Bent was allowed the first goalscoring opportunity by some carelessness at the back from United, but after beating keeper Tim Howard to the ball he put his shot the wrong side of the post.

In the space of a minute United went two goals ahead and it was all but over for Micky Adams' side.

Keane, who had spent much of the opening quarter of an hour trying to keep United's defence together, was set up by the returning Paul Scholes and he beat Ian Walker to slot home.

The second followed soon after and again it was Scholes the provider as he fired in a speculative effort that found its way to Van Nistelrooy who drilled high into the roof of the net.

United began to stroke the ball around with the sort of confidence of a side who knew the three points were already in the bag.

Leicester battled hard to remain in the game, but they had little answer to United's crisp passing and movement off the ball.

Any hope of Leicester getting back into the game seeped away on the stroke of half-time when Van Nistelrooy delightfully controlled a Rio Ferdinand pass before lashing it past Walker.

The striker got his hat-trick six minutes after the break when the Leicester defence left him unmarked on the right and he held off Frank Sinclair's desperate challenge before calmly slotting past Walker.

Sinclair grabbed a back with a header from a set-piece but any hope of getting something out of the game had long gone.

A few angry words were exchanged between players from both sides after the goal, but unlike last week it will be Van Nistelrooy's goals that grab the headlines.


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).





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