AP NEWS

Man United beats struggling champion Leicester 3-0 in EPL

February 5, 2017
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Manchester United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

LEICESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United scored three goals in an eight-minute period either side of halftime to beat Leicester 3-0 Sunday and leave the struggling champions just one point above the Premier League’s relegation zone.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan put United ahead in the 42nd minute before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 88 seconds later, for his 15th league goal of the season.

Juan Mata grabbed the third goal in the 49th minute after a one-two with Mkhitaryan, sealing a win that lifted United to within two points of the Champions League qualification positions.

Five points separates second-placed Tottenham and sixth-placed United.

It was the 13th loss in 24 games of Leicester’s woeful title defense. The champions are 16th in the 20-team league, one point above 18th-placed Hull.

Leicester visits 17th-placed Swansea next weekend.

The last defending champion to be relegated the following season was Manchester City in the 1937-38 season.