Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho impressed as Leicester City beat Manchester United 3-1 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
Leicester City were the more dominant of the two sides, pretty much all through the game and they invariably created the better of the chances. And, after fluffing their lines on a couple of occasions, the Foxes broke the deadlock midway through the first half thanks to some sloppy work by Manchester United, as Kelechi Iheanacho pounced on an error by Fred to hand the hosts the lead.
Manchester United did hit back after going down and some fine work by Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek preceded a composed finish by Mason Greenwood, who made it 1-1 in the 38th minute. Thereafter, though, Leicester were in the ascendancy again and just seven minutes into the second half, the Foxes were ahead once again, through Youri Tielemans.
Then, in the 78th minute, the job was done, as Iheanacho headed home from Marc Albrighton’s free-kick to reach the FA Cup semi-finals, with Manchester United bowing out of the tournament. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
A straightforward outing for the Leicester City skipper, who mostly made regulation saves and could have done very little to deny Mason Greenwood.
Wesley Fofana: 8/10
The most impressive young player in the Premier League this season delivered the goods in the FA Cup on Sunday. A big reason why Anthony Martial was never in the game, he won 6 duels while also making 3 clearances and 3 tackles.
Jonny Evans: 8/10
A top effort by the former Manchester United defender, who organised the defensive line smartly and helped build play from the back with efficient passing. Made 5 clearances as well.
Caglar Soyuncu: 8/10
A solid display by Soyuncu, who was almost immovable at times, with his haul of 6 duels won, 5 clearances, 4 tackles and 1 interception helping negate any threat that Manchester United looked to create.
Marc Albrighton: 7/10
Albrighton drifted in and out of the game, but when it mattered, he made the difference, delivering the indirect free-kick that was converted by Kelechi Iheanacho for the goal that made it 3-1 and took the game away from Manchester United.
Youri Tielemans: 8/10
Combining delightfully with Wilfred Ndidi in the middle of the park, Tielemans helped Leicester dominate the midfield battle and pulled the strings effortlessly. Also popped up in the final third to score a superb goal that handed Leicester the lead again.
The Creator and The Destroyer.
Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans are one of the best Midfield Duos in World Football.
🇧🇪 x 🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/phuwHIvfZ8
— Jack (@JackWhitman_7) March 21, 2021
Wilfred Ndidi: 9/10
On song and it was, hence, hardly surprising that Leicester won quite comfortably. Ndidi shut off the threat posed by Manchester United almost entirely, winning 5 duels while completing 3 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 clearances. Masterful.
Timothy Castagne: 6/10
Not as influential in the final third as he usually is when he is playing as right wing-back. As a result, he ended up losing possession as many as 13 times. Defended well, though.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 9/10
A player who just cannot do any wrong at the moment. Iheanacho once again had a role to play in Leicester’s win, scoring twice and assisting the goal that Youri Tielemans scored. Played 3 key passes in all. Is banking on his good run of form and how.
15 – Kelechi Ịheanachọ has now had a direct hand in 15 goals in his 15 starts across all competitions this season (11 goals, 4 assists), eight of which have come in his last four matches (7 goals, 1 assists). Eagle. pic.twitter.com/jXxMJAywwx
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 21, 2021
Jamie Vardy: 7/10
Not the best of displays by Vardy, but not the worst either. The veteran striker had the Manchester United defence on the ropes with his trademark runs, but his finishing was off on the day. Also lost the ball a bit too many times.
Dennis Praet: 6/10
Making his return after an extended spell on the sidelines, Praet was solid in his cameo.
Hamza Choudhury: N/A
A late introduction, Hamza Choudhury helped see the game out.
Dean Henderson: 6/10
There was not much he could have done about any of the goals that Manchester United conceded. Made a couple of decent saves to ensure the scoreline did not become embarrassing. Completed 13 of the 14 passes he attempted.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 5/10
Not troubled a great deal on his flank, Wan-Bissaka defended diligently as ever. However, going forward, he could and should have done so much more to support Mason Greenwood and the Manchester United attack.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Not to be blamed directly for any of the goals that Leicester scored, with the midfielders instead being at fault. However, Lindelof did not quite enjoy himself against the purposeful Iheanacho. Misplaced just three passes all game.
Harry Maguire: 5/10
Sub-par by Maguire, who was not solid enough to deal with the pressure built by the two Leicester strikers. Was one of those culpable for the mess ahead of Iheanacho’s first, as he sold Fred short with a poor pass. Did win 7 duels but needed to do so much more.
Alex Telles: 6/10
A decent enough performance by Telles, who created a couple of chances and was an outlet on the left flank. Can do better still, but he was not helped by the poor performances by the midfielders.
A disastrous showing by Fred, who made the error ahead of Iheanacho’s first goal before failing to track the Leicester striker in the build-up to Tielemans’s goal. One of those outings when Fred looks like a total trainwreck, as he also lost the ball cheaply at times.
Nemanja Matic: 4/10
A sub-par display by Matic, who failed to provide the cover to the Manchester United defence and was overrun in the middle of the park. Leicester ran all around him in the build-up to Tielemans’s goal and it was hardly surprising that he was taken off in the second half.
Mason Greenwood: 6/10
No Man Utd player has been directly involved in more domestic cup goals than Mason Greenwood (3⚽️ & 2🅰️) this season.
Such a clever equaliser. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/WDLii53J5x
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 21, 2021
Greenwood’s upturn in form continues and he matched that with a crucial goal. However, that is as good as it got for Manchester United, with Greenwood not having another shot at goal.
Donny van de Beek: 5/10
A purposeful showing by van de Beek, but he lacked that bit of quality to make a difference. Did have a role to play in the goal that Greenwood scored, as his dummy was perfectly timed for the Englishman to pounce on.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
One of the better performers for Manchester United, Pogba created the goal for Greenwood. He looked a little short of fitness, although he still looked like United’s best bet to make things happen.
Paul Pogba’s last 5 direct goal involvements have come away from home:
⚽️ West Ham (A)
⚽️ Burnley (A)
⚽️ Fulham (A)
⚽️ Milan (A)
🅰️ Leicester (A)
Scorer-turned-creator. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/wLfjNm9lWj
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 21, 2021
Anthony Martial: 4/10
A horrendous showing by Martial, who was more focused on falling down cheaply than taking on the Leicester defenders or getting into scoring positions. Surely enough, he managed just one shot all game. Has to do more.
Bruno Fernandes: 6/10
On for van de Beek, Bruno Fernandes tried to make things happen, but it was not to be for him. Did come close to scoring himself with a free-kick, but the goal did not come.
Scott McTominay: 4/10
An inexplicable substitution in place of Pogba, McTominay added very little to Manchester United’s attacking forays. To make matters worse, he lost Iheanacho for Leicester’s third of the night.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
On for Telles, Shaw continued from where the Brazilian had left off and created a couple of half chances. Could not make a lasting impact in the end, though.
Edinson Cavani: 5/10
Hardly saw the ball after being introduced, managing just 7 touches. Not the kind of impact he would have liked to have on his return to domestic action.
Amad Diallo: N/A
A late introduction, Diallo did not have enough time to make an impact.