Jamie Vardy’s late equaliser for Leicester City costs Manchester United the opportunity to rise into second place and apply pressure on league leaders Liverpool.
How Did Manchester United Set Up?
Prior to the game there was some confusion as to how United would set up. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka an injury doubt for the trip to Leicester and Brandon Williams out due to illness, a make shift right back was always a possibility.
Wednesday nights Carabao Cup victory saw Axel Tuanzebe step in at right-back in a flat back four. Paul Pogba, Nemanjaa Matic and Donny van de Beek all cme into the midfield. Against Leicester however, none of the four players previously mentioned started the match. Fred, Scott Mctominay and Victor Lindelof returned to the side.Embed from Getty Images
De Gea(GK); Lindelof(RB), Bailly(CB), Maguire(CB), Shaw(LB); Fred(CM), McTominay(CM); James(RW), Fernandes(CAM), Rashford(LW); Martial(ST).
Leicester City vs Manchester United: How It Went Down
The first half was the kind of half of football you’d expect on a early kick-off the the morning after Christmas. Not to discredit the clear preparation that both sides had to do on the 25th but it was poor. United edged proceedings early on, having the more quality possession. The Red’s early efforts were almost rewarded as Bruno Fernandes played a brilliant early ball to find Rashford who had the freedom of Leicester in the opposition box and Rashford inexplicably put his header over the bar.Embed from Getty Images
United’s number 10 quickly redeemed himself as a Red throw-in was followed up by some good play on the edge of the box where Fernandes poked it through to the winger and he slotted the ball away nicely. Solskjaer’s men continued to pile the pressure to no additional award. Leicester City equalised soon after as Harvey Barnes let fly from the edge of the box following Bruno Fernandes losing possesion in United’s third.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was probably scratching his head as to how United weren’tt ahead at half time. It didnt take him long after the break to make a change though, Daniel James was replaced by Paul Pogba. The Frenchman took up a role advanced on the left hand side. Pogba’s introduction opened up the game for United. Suddenly there was more chances for the forwards to get in behind. Anthony Martial went in through one-on-one and was unlucky that his finish was deemed offside by VAR. However, getting in behind were early signs as to how United were going to get anything out of the game.Embed from Getty Images
Another break soon followed and Marcus Rashford went through and was denied a second goal by a sensaional save from Kasper Schemiechel. United ultimately went up 2-1 via the main man Fernandes getting the goal. Fernandes’ goal wouldn’t have been made possible if Edinson Cavani wasn’t introduced. Replacing MArtial, the Uruguayan’s impact was instant. He found himself free and played the ball into Fernandes who put the ball past Schmeichel.Embed from Getty Images
United’s Lead lasted less than 10 minutes as Ayoze Perez’s cross alluded the back four and Jamie Vardy equalised. Vard’ys goal came off Axel Tuanzebe who came on for the injured Victor Lindelof who was poor at right back.
Final Score: 2-2
Goal Scorer(s): Marcus Rashford, Harvey Barnes, Bruno Fernandes, Jamie Vardy
Manchester United still find themselves behind Leicester in the League. Should Liverpool beat West Brom, United will find themselves seven off the top. United still have a game in hand though