Manchester United 1 Leicester City 0

Last updated : 13 April 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Gary Neville goals maybe be collector's items, but the England right-back's first of the season pushed Leicester another step nearer Division One.

Neville's 56th minute effort was only the fifth of his United career and came in a game which will not live long in the memory of those who watched it.

The goal stemmed from one of many exciting contributions made by Cristiano Ronaldo - the one bright spark in a game which seldom lit up the Manchester night.

Leicester failed to clear the Portuguese teenager's crisp shot from the left side of the penalty area and Neville pounced with the zeal of a born-again goalscorer to rifle in a low right-foot shot from six yards out on the far post.

This was far from vintage United, without Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs, but it was more than enough to beat a Foxes side of faultless artisans lacking in artistry.

The relegation-haunted Foxes seldom troubled United goalkeeper Roy Carroll, while, at the other end, Ian Walker made a string of top-class saves.

It could have been a different story if Leicester had capitalised on Carroll's only error the game in the first minute.

The Northern Ireland international collected an innocuous backpass from John O'Shea on the edge of his six-yard box and then hit the ball straight to Muzzy Izzet only feet away.

But the Leicester skipper was taken completely by surprise and hit his weak effort across the box and the danger was cleared.

Walker made the first of three magnificent saves seconds after United's goal.

David Bellion found Paul Scholes 12 yards from the Leicester goal and his superb turn and blistering shot was brilliantly punched away by Walker.

In the 73rd minute, a surging run by Wes Brown saw him feed Scholes in the Leicester box and another terrific shot from 12 yards was acrobatically tipped over by Walker.

Walker again came to his side's rescue five minutes later when he flung himself across goal to tip behind Ronaldo's goalbound shot from the left side of the penalty area.

The result moved United nearer to second spot - a position Leicester cannot seem to rise the other end of the table.