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Ratings: Greenwood and Diallo combine against Leicester, despite United losing 2-1

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Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City in the Premier League. Luke Thomas opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match with Mason Greenwood equalising five minutes later, assisted by Amad Diallo, who made his Premier League debut alongside Anthony Elanga this evening. Leicester managed to find another goal through Caglar Soyuncu in the 66th minute of the match, which was enough to get them the win, which funnily enough put pressure one Liverpool’s hopes of achieving UEFA Champions League football this season, so it is not all bad.

Despite the ten changes made to the team from the victory over Villa, United started well and many of the younger players were showing good signs of technical ability in the game. That said, Leicester broke forward and opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match with 19-year-old Luke Thomas scoring his first Premier League goal of the season, assisted by Youri Tielemans. United looked to get straight back into the swing of things though with Mason Greenwood scoring his seventh Premier League goal of the season, assisted by Amad Diallo, which was a good start for the Ivorian. Leicester should not write United off.

It was a pretty fair result that both teams got a goal in the early stages of the match but there was not really many great moments that came after the goals. United, obviously, looked like a team that had not played together before, which was the case for many of the players on the pitch but Leicester did not really show an advantage, which much have been a worry for Brendan Rodgers. Surely a team like Leicester should have been pressuring United a lot more than they did. United had the most possession in the match, having one shot on goal, which was on target and was turned into a goal. Leicester has three shots, one on target – their goal.

At the end of the half, it was 1-1 all between the two sides with Leicester needing to do a lot more to get something from this match. There was still a chance that they could drop out of the UEFA Champions League places in the league, playing 36 matches this season with Liverpool having two games in hand, which would add more pressure, especially if United won this match. The draw would be acceptable for United, who sit seven points clear of Leicester – with a game in hand, in their bid to secure second place in the league this season. Edinson Cavani was warming up at the end of the first half, which was not a good sign for the Foxes.

There were no changes by either side at the start of the second half. Kelechi Iheanacho had a shot on goal, assisted by Marc Albrighton in the first minute of the match but the shot was blocked. Wilfred Ndidi also had a shot but David De Gea made the save. In the 54th minute of the match, Greenwood had a shot after the ball was played in by Alex Telles. However, the shot was blocked. Ndidi had another shot two minutes later, but Leicester would need to try a lot harder to breach the United defence. Axel Tuanzebe was pretty clued up against Iheanacho, which was great to see from the fringe player.

Solskjaer was seeking to change things up after the hour mark of the match with Cavani and Marcus Rashford getting ready to come on. Leicester had tried to pepper the United goal with chances from Iheanacho and Ndidi before any changes were made by Leicester did not seemingly have an advantage. Cavani and Rashford replaced Greenwood and Anthony Elanga in the 66th minute of the match. As soon as the change was made, Leicester took the lead through Caglar Soyuncu, which was a shame. United now needed to get back up to speed in the match, coming from behind for the second time in the game.

It was a shame United were behind again in this match but looking at the players on the pitch, Leicester should really be taking more advantage. This will be something that many journalists will not talk about as United are losing, therefore that is the bigger story. Solskjaer made his final substitution in the 79th minute of the match with Bruno Fernandes replaced Diallo. United had just over ten minutes, plus added time, to find another equaliser and possibly a winner in this match. The fact Leicester were winning was a blow to Liverpool, who could now face a blow in breaking into the Champions League placed this season.

United were trying to get back into the match but the chances they had were not able to change the match. There were three minutes added on at the end of the match and it would seem that Leicester will win this match and Manchester City will be the Premier League champions, needing United to lose to secure that as they could not beat Chelsea at the weekend. I guess that is how the small teams win titles now. United have done well in this match. There was nothing to lose as they have already achieved a top four finish this season. Obviously they would like to finish second, which is still likely.

United will be back in action at 20:15 BST on Thursday 13 May 2021 at Old Trafford as they welcome Liverpool to the Theatre of Dreams following their postponed meeting almost a fortnight ago. United will have three matches left in the Premier League this season and a weekend’s break before they face their penultimate match, again at Old Trafford, this time against already relegated Fulham on Tuesday 18 May 2021 at 18:00 BST. United will hope to be in a position to field weaker teams in the last few matches so they can rest the majority of the players for the UEFA Europa League final which will be played in Gdansk on Wednesday 26 May 2020.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Unable to stop Thomas' effort on goal in the tenth minute. Made a save to deny Iheanacho. The defence were at fault for much of the match, as was expected.

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33 Brandon Williams

Lacked match fitness, but he has not been playing regularly, like he was last season. Seems to play better on the left. Perhaps needs a season on loan.

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3 Eric Bailly

Did well against Vardy, who was largely quiet against United. Bailly needs to do more to become a starter at the club.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Finished a lot better than he started. Dealt with Vardy at times. He was the better defender in this defence. Needs to play more. Has the ability - which will get better the more he plays.

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27 Alex Telles

Was unable to provide the same play as Shaw on the left. Targeted by Leicester at times. United rely on the left-back attacking, which did not happen tonight.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Helped to shield the back four as much as he could. He played an effective game. Soyuncu beat him to the ball to head in the winner though. Good to see him play a full game.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Did not get stuck into the game which indicated he needs to play more. He needs to find his form. It has been a tough season for him. He will get there, eventually.

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16 Amad Diallo

Had a good Premier League debut. Saw Thomas' mistake and jumped on the ball to assist for Greenwood to bet the equaliser. It was good to see him play. He was replaced by Fernandes in the 79th minute.

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8 Juan Mata

Played his part in the match and kept the attacking players together at times. United rarely threatened though, even when Cavani and Rashford were on the pitch - they did improve United though.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Offered pace and energy on his Premier League debut. It perhaps came too early for him. He will build on this performance. It was his first time against a full first team. He was replaced by Rashford in the 66th minute of the match.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Scored his 12th goal of the season, which was great to see. He had some moments on the ball but United were short of ability to push Leicester - who should have scored more against this team. Cavani replaced him in the 66th minute.

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Substitutes

21 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Greenwood 66'. Had presence on the pitch and got forward in the right positions. Sadly could not get another goal this season.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Elanga 66'. Came on as Soyuncu scored the winner. Got forward at times but United were not really threatening the Foxes.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Replaced Diallo 79'. Came on for eleven minutes plus added time. Tried to change the game. It was not meant to be for United.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 15′; Luke Thomas 10′, Caglar Soyuncu 66′

Assists: Amad Diallo 15′, Youri Tielemans 10′, Marc Albrighton 66′

Manchester United: De Gea; Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles; Matic, Van de Beek; Diallo (Fernandes 79′), Mata, Elanga (Rashford 66′); Greenwood (Cavani 66′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Lindelof, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka; Pogba, McTominay

Bookings: 

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW