Manchester United 1-1 Leicester City: Hosts’ Champions League hopes dented by Foxes

Espnmyid
Fred celebrates
Fred has scored four goals this season, his best return for Manchester United

Manchester United suffered another blow in the battle for a Champions League spot as they were held by Leicester at Old Trafford.

The damage could have been even worse for Ralf Rangnick’s men as Leicester were denied a potential winner 10 minutes from time when referee Andre Marriner was sent to the screen by the video assistant referee, with Marriner overturning James Maddison’s effort for a foul on Raphael Varane in the build-up.

United could count themselves fortunate to get a point.

After a drab opening period, Kelechi Iheanacho scored a superb 63rd-minute opener when he met superb Maddison’s left-wing cross with a fine diving header, which sent the ball back into the far corner.

The Foxes’ advantage lasted just three minutes, with Brazilian midfielder Fred on hand to convert the rebound after Bruno Fernandes’ shot had been pushed into his path by Kasper Schmeichel.

It was a disappointing outcome for the hosts, who are now three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, having played two games more and with a trip to the Gunners, plus encounters with Liverpool and Chelsea, still to come.

Rashford’s torment

It says everything about the kind of season Marcus Rashford has had that even with the ill Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood missing this game completely, the England man was only given a seat on the bench.

Rashford’s future has been debated long and hard over the last few weeks.

With a contract that is due to expire next year, although there is an option to extend to 2024, a decision over Rashford will be one of the new manager’s first tasks when he takes over.

The theory is a proper break, followed by an intense pre-season and a chance to play regularly in his best position, on the left, would correct many of Rashford’s problems.

At the moment though, he just needs to deliver. And, asked to occupy the number nine position when he was introduced for the final 35 minutes, Rashford continued to look ill at ease.

Rangnick provided detailed instructions as Rashford waited to come on and then, together with technical director Darren Fletcher, offered more as the game entered its final 20 minutes.

Fleetingly, it looked like Rashford’s world would turn. Deep into stoppage time, he picked the ball up just outside the box and drove at the Leicester defence. But just as space opened up to shoot, an offside Anthony Elanga got in his way and the chance was gone.

Leicester come close to landmark win

Given Leicester’s only hope of salvaging something tangible out of this injury-ravaged campaign comes through the Europa Conference League, starting with Thursday’s quarter-final first leg with PSV Eindhoven, they could be forgiven their listless start.

Brendan Rodgers was buoyed by the return of Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana, who started together in defence for the first time since last May’s FA Cup final.

Given the paucity of what the home side presented them with, Leicester grew in confidence and Iheanacho should really have put them in front before the break when he screwed a shot from the edge of the area wide after the Nigerian had been left totally unmarked.

Victory would have been the first time Leicester had won successive away games at Old Trafford and the disappointment from Rodgers’ perspective would be that his team did not hold on to their lead long enough.

Yet, even after United’s equaliser, they carried the greater threat. Iheanacho chipped over from an acute angle after Jadon Sancho’s stray backpass had sent him through before Fofana brought a superb save out of David de Gea with a header that was bound for the top corner.

Rodgers thought Maddison had won it and questioned fourth official Martin Atkinson when the goal was ruled out. He was still unconvinced even after the decision had been explained.

Player of the match

MaddisonJames Maddison

Leicester City

  1. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  2. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  3. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  4. Squad number7Player nameBarnes

  5. Squad number22Player nameDewsbury-Hall

  6. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  7. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  8. Squad number3Player nameFofana

  9. Squad number2Player nameJustin

  10. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

  11. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  12. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  13. Squad number29Player nameDaka

  14. Squad number20Player nameChoudhury

Line-ups

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 20Dalot
  • 5Maguire
  • 19Varane
  • 23ShawBooked at 5minsSubstituted forTellesat 45′minutes
  • 39McTominayBooked at 49minsSubstituted forRashfordat 55′minutes
  • 17Fred
  • 36Elanga
  • 6PogbaSubstituted forMaticat 75′minutes
  • 25Sancho
  • 18Bruno Fernandes

Substitutes

  • 2Lindelöf
  • 4Jones
  • 8Mata
  • 10Rashford
  • 14Lingard
  • 26Henderson
  • 27Telles
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 31Matic

Leicester

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2Justin
  • 3FofanaBooked at 16mins
  • 6EvansSubstituted forAmarteyat 64′minutes
  • 27Castagne
  • 8TielemansBooked at 30mins
  • 24MendySubstituted forChoudhuryat 90+1′minutes
  • 10Maddison
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 7Barnes
  • 14IheanachoSubstituted forDakaat 90+2′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Söyüncü
  • 11Albrighton
  • 17Pérez
  • 18Amartey
  • 20Choudhury
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 29Daka
  • 35Jakupovic
  • 37Lookman

Referee:
Andre Marriner

Attendance:
73,444

Live Text

Everything you need to know about your Premier League team banner

  • Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before – here’s everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Juventus 0-1 Inter Milan: Inter boost title hopes and all but end Juve's chances

Hakan Calhanoglu scored his retaken penalty to settle the game Hakan Calhanoglu’s disputed penalty gave Inter Milan victory at Juventus and boosted their Serie A title hopes, while all but ending Juve’s chances. Inter are three points behind Napoli, who won 3-1 at Atalanta on Sunday, and AC Milan, who […]