Manchester United 1 – 1 Leicester City
Manchester United lost more ground in the battle for a Champions League spot as they were held by Leicester at Old Trafford.
The damage could have been even worse for Ralf Rangnick’s men as Leicester were denied a potential winner 10 minutes from the time when referee Andre Marriner was sent to the screen by the video assistant referee, with Marriner overturning James Maddison’s effort for a foul on Raphael Varane in the build-up.
United could count themselves fortunate to get a point.
After a drab opening period, Kelechi Iheanacho scored a superb 63rd-minute opener when he met superb Maddison’s left-wing cross with a fine diving header, which sent the ball back into the far corner.
The Foxes’ advantage lasted just three minutes, with Brazilian midfielder Fred on hand to convert the rebound after Bruno Fernandes’ shot had been pushed into his path by Kasper Schmeichel.
It was a disappointing outcome for the hosts, who are now three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, having played two games more and with a trip to the Gunners, plus encounters with Liverpool and Chelsea, still to come.
It says everything about the kind of season Marcus Rashford has had that even with the ill Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood missing this game completely, the England man was only given a seat on the bench.
Rashford’s future has been debated long and hard over the last few weeks.
With a contract that is due to expire next year, although there is an option to extend to 2024, a decision over Rashford will be one of the new manager’s first tasks when he takes over.
The theory is a proper break, followed by an intense pre-season and a chance to play regularly in his best position, on the left, would correct many of Rashford’s problems.
At the moment though, he just needs to deliver. And, asked to occupy the number nine position when he was introduced for the final 35 minutes, Rashford continued to look ill at ease.
Rangnick provided detailed instructions as Rashford waited to come on and then, together with technical director Darren Fletcher, offered more as the game entered its final 20 minutes.
Fleetingly, it looked like Rashford’s world would turn. Deep into stoppage time, he picked the ball up just outside the box and drove at the Leicester defence. But just as space opened up to shoot, an offside Anthony Elanga got in his way and the chance was gone.
Source – BBC Sport