Solskjaer’s team weak at the back and stumbling in attack
16th October 2021, King Power Stadium
Leicester City 4-2 Manchester United
(Tielemans 31, Soyuncu 78, Vardy 83, Daka 91 – Greenwood 19, Rashford 82)
Manchester United’s inconsistency continues to madden. They were never really at it in this game, yet led early on, and scored late seemingly to salvage a point, before squandering both by collapsing limply in the dying minutes. Meanwhile, Leicester City look like recovering from their own underwhelming start to the season, and fully merited their win, which frankly should have been by more.
United took the lead on nineteen minutes against the early run of play. Credit where it is due, it was a strike of unsurpassed quality from Mason Greenwood, stepping in from the right and driving from outside the box into the top corner of the City net. But as keeps happening this season, an explosive moment from a United attacker failed to inspire or ignite his colleagues. Cristiano Ronaldo was strangely anonymous, struggling to gel with his team-mates. Bruno Fernandes has been a bit off-colour recently for the first time since moving to Old Trafford, and was again ineffective here. And while Paul Pogba’s work-rate has improved this season, his productivity continues to fluctuate.
Leicester continued forcing the pace, and within twelve minutes were level. Kelechi Iheanacho stole the ball from a heavy-footed touch by former Leicester defender, Harry Maguire, setting up Jouri Tielemans for an artful lob from the corner of the box over David de Gea and inside the far post.
If Leicester had had the better of the first half, they were outright dominant after the break, but could not find the finish. The breakthrough came only twelve minutes from time, when Caglar Soyuncu took advantage of United making a slight hash of clearing a corner to steer the ball home.
The shock of trailing gave United the misleading appearance of being shocked into life. Just four minutes later, substitute Marcus Rashford seized on an outstanding long pass from Victor Lindelof to burst into the Leicester area and fire past Kasper Schmeichel.
But Leicester were not in any way crestfallen at being pegged back. From the kick-off, they raided the United area down the left through the twinkle toes of Ayoze Perez. He squared the ball perfectly onto the right foot of Jamie Vardy, allowed a criminal amount of space by the United markers. A deft, away-curling sweep of the ball on the half-volley carried it into the top corner of the net to restore Leicester’s lead. In injury time, the game was put away by Patson Daka, who became the first-ever Zambian to score a goal in the Premier League when he tapped in from just a foot out, after United again proved startlingly weak when trying to clear a basic set-piece.
4-2 did not reflect Leicester’s superiority; Brendan Rodgers was buoyed by his team’s performance.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meanwhile is under growing pressure with this, a fourth defeat for United in seven games. United did have a 29-game unbeaten run away from home in League football to point to, but that is now gone. Their next Premier League game, to add to their worries, is against a Liverpool team scoring almost at will against any defence.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us