Written By : Bhavdeep Singh
Manchester United hosted league leaders Leicester city with both teams eyeing a win, one to be crowned champions and the other to enter the top 4 and potentially qualify for the champions league. But both didn’t get the result they wanted as the match ended 1-1 much like it did the last time the teams met.
The team had a brilliant first half followed by a terrible second one, constantly moving forward and trying to create chances suddenly changed to fighting in the midfield and passing the ball to the Leicester player (we all want them to win the championship, but giving them the ball isn’t the right way to do that)
David de Gea didn’t see much of the ball and seemed to take care of it whenever called, other than the goal by Morgan, which to be honest, I don’t blame him for, Okazaki was in his face and it was like a wrestling match in the box, not the ideal conditions for a good save.
Antonio Valencia, who replaced Tim Fosu Mensah was quite good on the wing, it was his intelligent cross to Martial which helped with the goal and played pretty well overall. Chris Smalling has been outstanding this season and continues with his top form as the season comes to an end, handled Mahrez well and had a good command over the defence. Daley Blind started out pretty well, defended well throughout but was sloppy as he moved forward in the second half. Finally, Marcos Rojo, the Argentine had a bad game, and that’s an understatement,was not effective moving forward and in my opinion created more problems for Martial and the rest of the forwards with terrible balls, defensively, he was the one marking Morgan who equalised for the foxes, so that should say it all, in fact Morgan won the ball thrice while being marked by Rojo, LVG needs to keep a check on him.
Fans were surprised to see Fellaini in the starting lineup and it was pretty clear why, the man elbowed again and might receive a ban by the FA, although he didn’t seem to be doing much except push, pull and move his feet around a little, he was like Captain America in the first Avengers movie, ineffective (team Iron Man ftw) although, I must highlight that he wasn’t the worst player out there. Michael Carrick was the second holding midfielder and had a predictable game, it was 50-50 for him, good at times and not so good at other times.
Jesse Lingard started over Juan Mata on the right, and that should explain why the hate for him has shot up, but to be honest, to replace Mata, you need to play better than him, and that’s the problem, he had a bad game, especially the second half, he had one attempt on target which was saved by Schmeichel and another one where it was him vs Simpson and Kasper in front of the goal, he was slow, he was reckless and he went down easy. Another bad game for the young player. Anthony Martial continued his top form by scoring another to make it 2 in 2, he might be the reason that united could make it to the top 4, had a good first half, made runs and saw a lot of the ball, however, he disappeared by the second half and never seemed to come back.
Wayne Rooney started in the no 10 spot, and as he has mentioned before, he takes up the role with pride and is inspired by Paul Scholes and it shows, perfect passing and distribution, semi-intelligent play (expanding) but the problem is with his finishing, he tried all shots from outside the box, and that’s not what the team wants, pass the ball or go a little closer, so an okay game for him.
Marcus Rashford led the attack and had an okay game as well, didn’t see much of the ball, though passed it around well, didn’t look all that dangerous with it.
Subs: Memphis Depay, whose recent antics on Instagram have got people thinking that he might be leaving, had a chance at goal with a freekick but nothing too great. Ander Herrera didn’t impact the game as much as he wanted to, however, in his short time, paired up well with fellow Spaniard Juan Mata, who himself had a tough time getting to the ball and moving around with it.
To conclude, good first half but boring, dull and sad second half, could do better, need to do better if they’re serious about top 4, and with a play like this, they didn’t seem to be.
The foxes had an awkward start to the game after conceding an early goal, but were confident they would be coronated after the equaliser, a fair enough game on their part, away games are never easy, especially against a side like Manchester United.
Kasper Schmeicel made a terrible mistake early on to allow the devils to go up, but made an important save to avoid making things worse, overall, made very good saves and played well after the goal.
Wes Morgan was the man of the day for them, he has probably won them the title subject to a the spurs’ match tomorrow, but had a good game, scored a goal, defended well, MOTM for me. Robert Huth was very good defensively as well, strong and intelligent tackles in the second half disallowed any chances to the home side moved forward and passed the ball around quite well. Danny Simpson played a pivotal role in not allowing Lingard to score in a tough situation, kept Martial busy and had a good game as well. Christian Fuchs gave no Fuchs and played tackled Lingard quite well, dealt with Valencia in the second half and had a good match against him, overall, well played.
Jeffery Schlupp could’ve had a better game, made good runs but wasn’t all that effective for them. N’golo Kante was quite the opposite, the tweets about the man keep coming and are proving to be true, the man is going places with the way he plays, and this game was no different, a commendable performance. Danny Drinkwater is the second player to be sent off in two consecutive premier league games, his freekick was good though, as it allowed Morgan to go for goal (thanks to Marcos Rojo as well for defending like bag of rocks) but two bad fouls means that he cracked under the nervous atmosphere and that’s not good, must be checked. Finally, Riyad Mahrez, the player of the year had could’ve had a better game, was handled by Chris Smalling at times and wasn’t as effective as fans or he himself wanted to be.
Leonardo Ulloa started as a result of the suspension of Jamie Vardy, he was quite alright, had a few chances but none ended behind the net so you can imagine what kind of a game he had. Shinji Okazaki was not impressive as well, a little more effort from both of them and they could be celebrating the title right now.
To conclude, the absence of Jamie Vardy is notable in the attack, however, defensively, they were good, need to keep this up and win the next to just seal it up, it has been a great season for the foxes and they continue to show us why.
Manchester City lost to Southampton today to keep the top 4 hopes of United alive, can Arsenal defeat City and United defeat Norwich, West Ham and Bournemouth to return to the champions league?
Picture source(s) : Manchester United Views (Facebook), Manchester United Facebook and Leicester City Facebook