Premier League 2018/19, Leicester 0-1 Manchester United: 5 Talking Points

Rashford's strike in the ninth minute separated the two sides
Rashford's strike in the ninth minute separated the two sides
Arvind Krishnan

Manchester United secure a hard fought win over Leicester City with Rashford's goal being the difference between both sides. The win takes United to two points within fourth placed Chelsea.

The Red Devils started in fine fashion and nearly opened the scoring in the third minute, only for Rashford to head over the bar from close range. Six minutes later, Rashford gave United the lead after slotting past Schmeichel from a Paul Pogba assist. United were organised and went into the interval with a narrow one goal cushion.

Leicester started the second half with great intent and nearly pulled one back through Harvey Barnes. Moments later, the home side another opportunity that fell to James Maddison who's shot hit the side netting. United defended well and a couple of good saves from De Gea from the likes of Vardy and Ghezzal guided the visitors to victory against Leicester.

Without wasting further time, let us take a look at the talking points from Sunday's clash at the King Power Stadium.

#5 United successfully deal with a barrage of Leicester attacks in the second half

United successfully dealt with a flurry of Leicester attacks
United successfully dealt with a flurry of Leicester attacks

Manchester United scored early in the first half through Marcus Rashford and defended resolutely for the entire 90 minutes to secure an important win against Leicester. United were given a run for their money in the second half after Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's side took a slim advantage at the interval.

Leicester attacked with purpose from the restart and had a chance in as early as the 46th minute when Harvey Barnes linked up well with Vardy and Maddison only to see his attempted cross unable to find the telling touch from his teammate. A few minutes later, James Maddison saw his attempt hit the side netting as Leicester looked to find a route back in the game.

United held their nerves and were solid at the back with Lindelof and Bailly making numerous interceptions and blocks to deny their opponents. David De Gea was called into action in the 77th minute and saved Rachid Ghezzal's well struck free kick that was heading to the top corner.

The Red Devils looked pressurised Leicester into committing mistakes in the final third and around the penalty box which saw Leicester's forwards making errors in judgement and finish poorly.

Throughout the game, United were confident while defending and held their shape for the entire game as they successfully tackled a barrage of Leicester attacks and secured three points against an upbeat Leicester City.

#4 Harvey Barnes shows glimpses of potential against United

Barnes impressed against Manchester United
Barnes impressed against Manchester United

Leicester City manager, Claude Puel made a solitary change from his side's 1-1 draw against Liverpool with young Harvey Barnes replacing Marc Albrighton. The youngster took his chance and was one of Leicester's best performers against Manchester United.

Operating from the left flank, Barnes exhibited some brilliant footwork and great interplay with Maddison, Grey and Vardy. His sudden change of pace was a cause of concern for Ashley Young stationed at right back. Despite some instances where he was let down by his decision making, Barnes showed glimpses of his potential against the Red Devils.

The youngster had a chance to make an immediate impact after the restart after a neat link up with Maddison saw his break through on goal, only for his effort to be tipped away by David De Gea.

Barnes was lively during the game and during the course of the 90 minutes, created two chances, made two key passes, successfully completed 2/3 dribbles and made three recoveries. Overall, Barnes would have gained valuable experience from a game of this magnitude as the youngster looks to cement a place in the first team.

#3 United seize upon early error made by Leicester

Rashford scored the deciding goal against Leicester
Rashford scored the deciding goal against Leicester

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side looked to bounce back after suffering a minor blip during mid week as they drew 2-2 to Burnley at Old Trafford. United returned to winning ways after securing a 1-0 victory away from home against Leicester City, who came away with a valuable point from Anfield.

United started the game brightly and had their first real chance in the third minute, when Marcus Rashford headed over Schmeichel's post from close range. Minutes later, United's sustained pressure near Leicester's penalty area led Ricardo Perreira to scuff his clearance which fell straight to Pogba, who put in a delightful ball over the Leicester rearguard which was calmly slotted in by Marcus Rashford.

The early error saw Leicester chase for the equaliser for the remainder of the game. United were composed both on and off the ball, forcing Leicester to commit numerous mistakes in the final third. United's midfield cut off all passing lanes and defended well in the half spaces which prevented the likes of Ndidi, Maddison and Grey from dictating the game's tempo.

A disciplined approach helped United emerge with all three points. United have started finding their ruthlessness under Solskjaer, which is evident by the way in which they punished Leicester for making the error while trying to play out from the back.

United need to put in such performances on a regular basis as they look to secure fourth spot after having made a poor start to the 2018/19 Premier League season.

#2 Slow starts becoming a real concern for Leicester City

Leicester were left chasing the game after yet another slow start
Leicester were left chasing the game after yet another slow start

Leicester City have a real cause for concern as their slow starts to games lead to them losing valuable points. Over the course of the season, Leicester have dropped points against weaker opposition by making slow starts and this is one error which needs to be rectified by Claude Puel.

During their 1-1 draw against Liverpool, Leicester City conceded a goal early on, only for Harry Maguire to rescue them with a goal on the stroke of half time. Even in their win against Manchester City, Leicester conceded in the first twenty minutes only for The Foxes to come back from behind.

The narrative was different in Sunday's clash against Manchester United in which Leicester conceded in the ninth minute. Leicester looked to get back into the game after conceding an early goal, but were consistently thwarted by a resolute Manchester United defence and let down by some poor finishing throughout the game.

Their inability to provide Vardy with the requisite service was also responsible in the Foxes dropping points against a resurgent Manchester United. Leicester need to find a way to prevent conceding early on in the game and play in a phased manner against their opponents.

Leicester can't solely rely on making comebacks after conceding early on. A phased approach will not only allow Leicester to express themselves during their fixtures, but also prevent them from losing valuable points in games where they could come out with all three points.

Puel would certainly need to work on this aspect of Leicester's game management as they have tricky fixtures coming up against the likes of Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Brighton.

#1 Matic and Herrera get the job done for United

Herrera and Matic were superb in midfield for Manchester United
Herrera and Matic were superb in midfield for Manchester United

In football, most games are won and lost in the middle of the park. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer set his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera forming a double pivot, and Pogba taking up the more advanced role. Both Matic and Herrera played really important roles in United's 1-0 triumph over Leicester.

Matic was stationed as the holding midfielder who was tasked with breaking up Leicester's play while the home side were in possession. The Serbian International put in an excellent shift against Leicester and made some important blocks and interceptions in vital areas of the pitch. Matic also made some smart fouls and broke up play, preventing Leicester from initiating some counter attacking moves.

The Serb ended the game with a pass accuracy rate of 75%, won 4 duels, made an interception and recovered possession on eight occassions.

On the other hand, Ander Herrera worked in tandem with his midfield partner Nemanja Matic, ensuring that things were kept solid in midfield. The Spaniard functioned as the cog in United midfield and cut out all passing lanes, which left Leicester's midfielders with no joy in the middle of the park. He made things tick and acted as the perfect link between attack and defence.

In a solid display against Leicester, Herrera ended the game with a pass accuracy rate of 85%, created two chances, won 9 duels and completed 3/4 dribbles. In addition to this, Herrera made four interceptions and recovered possession on seven occasions.

Edited by Kingshuk Kusari


Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...