United 1 - 0 Leicester City
Valencia Smalling Blind Rojo
Lingard(Mata) Rooney Martial
I haven’t seen many Leicester City games this season but if this game’s performance is anything to go by, then the level of the so called best league in the world has decreased drastically. Not having a dig at Leicester, what they’re doing is nothing short of amazing, but nothing will change my mind that this is a team of average players who have seriously overachieved this year. But well done to Ranieri and his boys for showing the world that anyone can achieve great things when working as a team. Arsenal’s, United’s and City’s inconsistency helped too.
As for the game, we were playing the ‘best’ football team in England so we should be happy we came out of this game with a draw. Well, not really; we could have scored more and the goal we conceded was very very very soft. We started to attack from the first whistle and got ourselves ahead through a Martial goal after some fine work (a dummy and (probably) an over-hit cross) by Valencia. We could have been two nil up if it wasn’t for a great save by Schmeichel. Lingard should have probably hit the ball harder from that position. Despite our pressure, Leicester managed to get themselves level after some terrible defending from Rojo who let Morgan head the ball. Why Fellaini was in the wall rather than in the box I don’t know. What perplexes me most is that Rojo kept marking Morgan in their set-pieces even though he was being outmuscled by Leicester’s captain all the time. I am not a big fan of Rojo, as you may have realised.
I thought Valencia had a very good game. He bombed forward whenever possible, provided an assist and managed to block a Schlupp attempt that could have ended at the back of the net. Smalling and Blind were solid, as usual. Rojo did well when attacking but he should be defending better. Can’t wait to have Shaw back next season. Fellaini worked really hard, that was another good performance from the big Belgian. He’ll probably be handed a 3-match ban though for elbowing Huth. I am sure the FA will act on video evidence. Carrick was tidy but I think I’d have preferred Schneiderlin in today’s game. Rooney was good but started losing his composure during the second half. I also expect better freekicks from him.
Martial gave the ball away far too often for a player of his quality. Rashford was inexistent. Lingard was his usual self; showing a lot of promise only to make a bad decision that ruins all his hard work. Memphis got on for like 10 minutes and managed to win 3 freekicks and should have also had a penalty. That was quite a positive impact from a player who has looked uninterested for most part of the season.
Overall, I can’t say I’m disappointed with the performance BUT I am disappointed with the result. We should have won this game. In fact, I thought we deserved to win it. I am writing this after City got hammered by Southampton. Had we won today, we’d have gone a point away from City with a game in hand. We are now 4 points adrift of City and, I feel, it is highly unlikely we’ll get into the Champions League. Norwich next. They are fighting for survival at the other end of the table so I expect a tough test.