Sunday, 1 May 2016

Match report: United 1-1 Leicester

Leicester's title champagne remained on ice after an enthralling contest ended all square as Wes Morgan cancelled out Anthony Martial's early opener.

In the end, the result did little for either side's respective ambitions but the visitors may not have long to wait to complete the coronation- it will be theirs if Spurs fail to win at Chelsea on Monday.

United started brightly and moved ahead inside the first ten minutes when Antonio Valencia picked out Martial to fire in a low finish under Kasper Schmeichel for his 15th of the season.

The Foxes responded as only champions can, however, and pulled level only nine minutes later when captain Morgan escaped the attentions of Marcos Rojo to nod home former Red Danny Drinkwater's free-kick.

Schmeichel saved well from Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini whilst Jeffrey Schlupp went close at the other end with a deflected effort.

Riyad Mahrez then had strong claims for a penalty turned down after he tangled with Rojo, before former United man Danny Simpson was perhaps fortunate to escape censure having tugged back Lingard.

Martial lashed over the bar and Simpson slammed across goal before Mahrez- Leicester's most potent outlet in the absence of the suspended Jamie Vardy- stung the palms of De Gea with a 20-yarder.

Lingard, Michael Carrick and the industrious Drinkwater were then all booked in quick succession, before Louis van Gaal sent on Juan Mata for his 100th United appearance as the Reds pressed for a vital winner. 

Chris Smalling then rose to meet Wayne Rooney's cross from midfield to head inches wide of Schmeichel's left-hand post with 78 minutes played. 

Drinkwater was sent off for a second bookable offence with three minutes to play having clashed with substitute Memphis, and, from the resultant free-kick, Schmeichel saved well from Rooney.

Seconds later, the son of United legend Peter again frustrated the United captain when he held on to his curling effort in what proved to be the final action of a lively encounter. 

Whilst by no means a poor performance, the result meant further frustrations in United's bid for a top four spot, although this was tempered by City's defeat at Saints. 

That leaves Van Gaal's side four points behind our neighbours with a game in hand but City host Arsenal next week meaning a win over Norwich would keep the Reds in the hunt with two weeks of the campaign to go. 

Overall team performance: 7/10
United Faithful Man of the Match: No one really stood out but Anthony Martial was our best player and gets MOTM this week.

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