Saturday, December 4, 2021

Leicester City 4-2 Manchester United: Red Devils collapse to pile pressure on Solskjaer

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Oct 2021

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Leicester City came from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 in a thriller on Saturday and end the Red Devils’ long unbeaten away run in the Premier League.

It looked as though United’s English league record of 29 games without defeat on the road would continue when Mason Greenwood opened the scoring with a stunning strike.

However, Leicester levelled through Youri Tielemans following an error from the returning Harry Maguire, and Caglar Soyuncu prodded home to put the hosts ahead with 12 minutes to go.

In a frantic finale, Marcus Rashford marked his first appearance of the season with an equaliser before Leicester restored their lead from kick-off, Jamie Vardy blasting home from Ayoze Perez’s cut-back.

Patson Daka added a fourth in injury time as United lost for the fourth time in seven matches.

Greenwood’s first attempt of the match was a placed effort from 25 yards out that was comfortably saved by Kasper Schmeichel. In the 19th minute, he went for power from the same position, blasting an unstoppable effort in off the left-hand post.

United threatened a second, Maguire heading over the bar from a corner and Schmeichel denying Cristiano Ronaldo from inside the box, although VAR would likely have intervened for a Jadon Sancho offside had the Portugal star scored.

The teams were level at the break, though, as United handed Leicester their equaliser. From a free-kick on the edge of their own box, some slack passing ended in Maguire being robbed by Kelechi Iheanacho, who laid the ball off to Tielemans to curl a finish over David de Gea from the edge of the area.

Leicester carried the greater threat after the restart, although Greenwood could not convert an excellent chance to restore United’s lead from six yards out.

The Foxes continued to cause problems winning the ball back high up the pitch, and Tielemans would have curled home a fine second goal had it not been for the fingertips of De Gea.

Soyuncu poked the ball in after a scramble at a Leicester corner, but Rashford’s timely return from a shoulder problem looked to have rescued United as he raced onto VIctor Lindelof’s pass and slotted high past Schmeichel.

Yet a minute later, Perez found space down the United right and found Vardy, who lashed a shot past De Gea, and Daka made certain of Leicester’s third win of the season when he bundled the ball in after Wan-Bissaka conceded a free-kick that United could not clear.

What does it mean? United’s tough run off to a terrible start

Given Leicester’s recent form in their four-game winless league run, this was arguably United’s best chance of a victory in a sequence of matches that will see them face Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal before the start of December.

The manner of the visitors’ defeat evoked memories of their 5-3 loss here under Louis van Gaal back in 2014-15 and certainly offered little to suggest they will come through the coming weeks with more good results than bad.

They are four points behind league leaders Liverpool, while that record unbeaten away run – a screen for much of their shortcomings – has now been comprehensively dismantled.

Youri-n luck, Leicester

Tielemans was the heartbeat of Leicester’s play, having more touches (92) and completed passes (63) than anyone else on the pitch and creating three goalscoring chances.

If he did not quite mean his first-half finish, the quality of his display meant he deserved a slice of luck.

Harried Maguire

Back in the side following a calf injury that saw him miss four United games and the international break, Maguire looked like a man short of match practice against his old club.

With the home fans’ jeers in his ears, it was his dawdling that allowed Leicester the chance to equalise and he never looked comfortable when put under pressure. He also missed a good chance with a header when United were 1-0 up.

What’s next?

United are in Champions League action at home to Atalanta on Wednesday, when Leicester are at Spartak Moscow in the Europa League.

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