Manchester United drew 1-1 with Leicester City at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Ralf Rangnick’s side look likely to miss out on UEFA Champions League football. Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring with Fred getting a quick equaliser. United are a broken club.
United started their clash with Leicester in fine fettle, seeking to get an early goal but after 17 days of no club football, it was not happening for them. Leicester seemed lively at the sale time, pressuring United in fits and starts. Luke Shaw was booked in the fifth minute.
United seemed to get a lot of attacking done in the initial stages of the match with Jadon Sancho on the left looking to break into the box. He was then fouled by Wesley Fofana, who was also booked with United given a free-kick. Harry Maguire was around their post but the ball was too high.
In the 26th minute of the match, after a period of tough football for both teams, Bruno Fernandes seemed to break through Leicester towards goal to try and put United a goal up but Kasper Schmeichel made the save and there was no United player near the rebound to take advantage.
Youri Tielemans became the third player to be booked in the match after a bad foul. Leicester then had a chance on goal with Kelechi Iheanacho firing towards goal but missing the target completely. It was a shocking play for Leicester, who could have found first blood in the clash.
Luke Shaw seemed to be carrying an injury in the last five minute of the half with Alex Telles ready to replace him. However, he seemed fine to continue, at least until the break. There were three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half but it ended 0-0 with all still to play for in this match.
At the start of the second half Alex Telles replaced Shaw, whose injury would not allow him to continue. In the 49th minute of the match, Scott McTominay took out James Maddison and was booked with Leicester wanting a red card – which was not given.
Marcus Rashford replaced McTominay, who had received his ninth booking of the season in the 55th minute. Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring in the 63rd minute of the match after some good play by both teams. James Maddison played the cross into the Nigerian who headed past David De Gea.
The lead did not last all that long with United on the attack in the run up to the 66th minute. Fernandes was played the ball by Fred but his shot was saved but the ball was still in play. Fred then ran to get the ball and beat Kasper Schmeichel to equalise – it was his fourth goal of the season.
United made their third substitution in the 75th minute with Nemanja Matić replacing Pogba. Leicester managed to get a second goal just five minutes later with Maddison scoring but in the run up, Iheanacho fouled Raphaël Varane and the referee disallowed the goal.
With no major chances on goal in the last ten minutes of the match – with both teams wanting to get all three points, it was game on in added time with five minutes added on. Jadon Sancho had a great chance to score a winner but his shot was well off target.
United’s chances of a top four finish this season are now none existent with Arsenal three points better off also having two matches in hand. Tottenham Hotspur have a match in hand and set just above United with 51 points and a better goal difference at this time. Serves United right.
David De Gea: Seemed strong in the first half although there were not real credible shots on goal for him to deal with. Conceded Iheanacho’s header in the 63rd minute of the match and had to be lively in the second half with Leicester seeking the victory. ★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Did well in the right flank with United getting forward a lot of the time – especially in the second half. He definitely seems be the better right-back when attack is implemented in the match. Should keep his place for the remainder of the season. ★★★★★
Raphaël Varane: The Frenchman was composed and did what he needed to do silently on the pitch. Was fouled in the run up to Maddison’s winner, which was disallowed as Iheanacho fouled him. One of the best defenders in the league but will not be happy with the season as a whole. ★★★★★★★
Harry Maguire: Performed well after a turbulent time which ended with him being booed playing for England. It was a steady performance for the captain but not a good enough result for United, who look set to miss out on Champions League football next season. ★★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Booked in the fifth minute of the match, which was not great. Seemed to play some attacking football and put a few crosses into the box but United could not get anything. Seemed to be injured at the end of the half and he never emerged in the second half, Telles did. ★★★★★
Fred: Played well in the first half despite playing deep in midfield. Scored the equaliser three minutes after Leicester opened the scoring after initially setting up Fernandes for the goal, which was saved and the Brazilian worked hard to beat Schmeichel. ★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Did not show a defeatist attitude. Booked for the ninth time in the league this season for a foul that Leicester wanted a red for. Seemed to be lucky not to get the red card. Replaced by Rashford, who did little in the match. ★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Played brightly in the first half despite the expectation on him, which will always be high. Seemed to rile Rashford up at the end of the match with Rashford fouled in the box and Elanga touching the ball in an offside position. Maybe the pressure got to him? ★★★★★
Paul Pogba: Played in Fernandes’ position with the Portuguese midfielder playing ahead of him. I did not seen anything special from the Frenchman. It seems that he does not need to come out of second gear as his time at the club will be up in a few months. Matić replaced him. ★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Seemed off the boil at times in the match. But that said, he did also seem to be on it at times. However, the consistency was not there. Had the chance to score a winner but he was well off target – should have been better there. ★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Played as the furthest forward against Leicester but creativity was a problem at times. Had a great chance to take the lead in the first half but his effort was saved. Should have scored the equaliser it was saved. Fred eventually scored it. ★★★★
Alex Telles: Replaced Shaw 46′. Was lively from the start of the second half. Got forward a lot and seemed to want United to score. Seemed to do more than Shaw. United conceded and got the equaliser whilst he was on the pitch. Caught out for Leicester’s goal. ★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Replaced McTominay 55′. Did not do much from his introduction to the end of the match. He seems to be a player out of form and out of answers to improve that. A player of his calibre should be doing more that he is to win his place back. ★★★★
Nemanja Matić: Replaced Pogba 75′. Came on to add something in the midfield, which was being overrun at times after McTominay came off. Did what he needed to do and United will be thankful for that. Has the experience but United need to be moving on now. ★★★★★
Goals: Fred 66′; Kelechi Iheanacho 63′
Assists: James Maddison 63′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw (Telles 46′); Fred, McTominay (Rashford 55′); Elanga, Pogba (Matić 75′), Sancho; Fernandes
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Lindelöf, Jones, Wan-Bissaka; Mata, Lingard
Bookings: Luke Shaw 5′, Scott McTominay 49′; Wesley Fofana 16′, Youri Tielemans 30′
Written by John Walker