Leicester City 0:1 Manchester United
City got off to their usual poor start and then failed to take their chances against Manchester United at the KPS on Sunday…
Claude Puel made one change to the side that drew at Anfield, with Barnes in for the injured Albrighton, while new signing Youri Tielemans didn’t make the squad.
City had conceded within the first eleven minutes for four games running and they got an early warning shot across the boughs. A good cross from Shaw found Rashford unmarked at the far post but his header missed the target from close range.
But this was only a temporary reprieve. In the 9th minute Ricardo played a ball infield from the right back position that went past Mendy, allowing Pogba to send a superb ball over the defence to Rashford. He cushioned it down into his path before crashing a shot past Schmeichel.
This left City chasing the game again, and United were fairly content to sit back.
In the 15th minute Maddison found a bit of room after some pinball on the edge of the area, but Shaw flew in to block his shot.
Maddison then set off on a run through the middle but had his heels clipped by Lingard who was yellow carded by Mike Dean.
City were doing all the attacking at this stage as proved by a pigeon that wandered round undisturbed in City’s half for a good 15 minutes. Maddison shot straight at De Gea, and Bailly stuck his head in the way of a fierce Gray shot.
A couple of City corners then saw Maguire penalised for a foul and Evans heading wide when he looked well placed to score against his former club.
As City pressed forward again Ricardo was hauled down by Matic, earning a yellow card. Although Maddision’s free kick went wrong, the ball ended up with Barnes who sent a curling effort a yard wide.
City were almost caught out in first half injury time after a poor touch from Mendy, but Rashford’s shot didn’t test Schmeichel.
City came racing out of the blocks at the start of the second half.
Barnes combined well with Maddison in a crowded area but sent his shot flying across the face of goal from a tight angle. Then Maddison swerved his way past two challenges in the area before finding the side-netting with a low shot.
But United managed to calm things down and Rashford sent a shot wide. Mendy on a yellow card, was lucky that Mike Dean didn’t see him wrestling Pogba to the ground in the build up to this chance.
City went close in the 61st minute after Matic brought Vardy down 25 yards out.
Maddison’s free-kick looped up off the wall but Vardy’s overhead volley was saved by De Gea, who manged to grab the ball before Barnes could nip in.
Claude Puel then made his first change, replacing Maddison with Ghezzal, and it wasn’t popular. Loud booing and chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing!” rang out.
United looked comfortable at the back at this stage, with City reduced to a couple of wildly off-target shots from Ndidi and Barnes, Puel made another change with Okazaki on for Gray.
In the 77th minute Shaw fouled Ghezzal 25 yards out. Ricardo stepped over the ball and Ghezzal fired an excellent shot towards the top right hand corner, but De Gea reacted superbly to tip it over.
Three minutes later Ghezzal delivered another free-kick, , nodded back by Maguire, for Evans who missed the ball completely with the goal at his mercy.
Puel then replaced Mendy – who looked a likely contender for Mike Dean’s 100th red card with a series of fouls – with Iheanacho.
With two minutes remaining United broke upfield and Pogba set up Lukaku for a drive that forced a good save from Schmeichel.
Play then switched to the other end with a storming 60 yard run down the right from Barnes. He found Vardy in the area, but his hurried first time effort went tamely straight into De Gea’s arms.
In the 90th minute Ghezzal crossed for Iheanacho who produced a bizarre headed clearance that sent United racing forward, but Schmeichel managed to save Martial’s effort.
City final change came in the fourth minute of time-added-on when a Ghezzal cross bounced through to Maguire, but it reached him at an awkward height and his half-volley flew wide of the far post.
United had now won nine and drawn one of their ten games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they hadn’t really had to get out of third gear to claim the points.
Another poor start and some wasted chances saw another home defeat for City, who had been better than United for much of the game but also managed to look strangely disjointed at times.
Claude Puel wasn’t happy: “When you see all the chances and half-chances we had, we deserve a minimum of a draw. I think it’s not a fair result but I’m angry about our poor performance at the beginning of the game. To concede another goal early, to have to chase the game is always difficult. I don’t understand sometimes, it’s crazy. At the beginning we don’t believe enough in our quality because after when we play, we play forward with good intention and can hurt a team like United.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy (Iheanacho 84), Ndidi, Gray (Okazaki 74), Maddison (Ghezzal 62), Barnes, Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Ward, Fuchs, Choudhury.
Man Utd: De Gea, Young, Bailly, Lindelöf, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard (Jones 90), Sánchez (Martial 67), Rashford (Lukaku 78).
Substitutes: Mata, Fred, Dalot, Romero.
Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 32,148.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
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