EPL 2020-21: Manchester United denied second spot by relentless Leicester City
First Published Dec 27, 2020, 7:01 AM IST
This was Manchester United’s third draw of the season in 14 games, along with eight wins and three loses, as it drops to the fourth spot. For Leicester City, it was its maiden draw of the season in 15 games, along with nine wins and five loses, as it drops to third.
In what turned out to be a thrilling, yet frustrating encounter, Manchester United was held to a 2-2 draw against Leicester City in Matchday 15 of the 2020-21 English Premier League (EPL), at the King Power Stadium, on Saturday. The draw allowed both the teams to drop a place to fourth and third, respectively.
The match began on an attacking note for United, as it could have been ahead within two minutes, only for Marcus Rahsord to miss an easy header off Bruno Fernandes. Nonetheless, United continued its attacking approach throughout, as it was in the 23rd minute when Rashford made it up for the lost opportunity earlier, with the cheekiest of assist from Fernandes again, only for Rashford to comfortably tap it in.
Anyway, it was eight minutes later, when Leicester came up with the first shot on target of the game, as Harvey Barnes pulled it back for the hosts with a brilliant long-range effort, following an assist from James Maddison. Both the sides went into the half-time break with the deadlock in place.
The second half saw United continue with its attacking approach, while Leicester did the same from its wings, but to tough avail. United came up with promising double chances in the 60th minute, only to be left squandering.
After a couple of frustrating attempts, Fernandes restored the lead for United in the 79th minute. A smart assist from Edinson Cavani saw the former fire past Kasper Schmeichel in a close-range effort.
While it looked to be it, Leicester just did not back down, as six minutes later, Ayoze Perez came up with a smart assist from the right flank, which landed in front of Jamie Vardy, who tapped it in on one touch, as the deadlock was back again. It happened to be the match’s final attack, as both shared the honours at the full-time whistle.
Following the game, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was all praise for Fernandes, as he said, “He is definitely a player that impacts results. He creates goals, scores goals, he takes risks, which every Man United player should be allowed to do, be brave enough to do. He’s definitely a brave boy who sees the pass and takes the moments. Sometimes, I tear my hair out and say there is an easier pass, but you can’t take that away from Bruno. You want that ‘X factor’.
Solskjaer also revealed the reason why Edinson Cavani is not on the starting list, as he said, “He has been out injured for a little while and played a full, physically-demanding game against Everton in midweek. We decided to have him on the bench and he made an impact straight away, with a great pass for the goal. It will have to be that way for a while as he gets used to English football and the demands of this season, but he made a great impact here and he has made a big impact in the squad.”
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