Mason Greenwood, Amad Diallo and Wesley Fofana were impressive as Leicester City beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a heavily rotated side and therefore, it was hardly surprising that Leicester City dominated the proceedings for the most part and went ahead 10 minutes in through Luke Thomas, whose finish from close range was delectable. Shortly after, though, Manchester United hit back with a peach of a finish from their own, from the boots of Mason Greenwood.
Both sides traded minor blows thereafter, but neither goalkeeper was really troubled much as half-time approached, with the game all square at the break. Post the interval, it was more of the same before the slumber was broken midway through the second half by Caglar Soyuncu, who rose highest to head in Marc Albrighton’s corner.
Manchester United did push forward in search of a second equaliser, but the second goal did not come for them, as Leicester City grabbed a crucial 2-1 win to move to third on the table. The result also means Manchester City are now officially confirmed as the new Premier League champions. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players.
David de Gea: 6/10
Stranded for the goal that Luke Thomas scored, but hardly called into action thereafter. David de Gea, though, did make a big save to deny Kelechi Iheanacho in the second half before conceding another. Having said that, he could not have done anything to deny Caglar Soyuncu either.
Brandon Williams: 5/10
Failed to track Luke Thomas for the opening goal of the game. Saw quite a bit of the ball during build-up play but picked the wrong pass way too often. Is not really at the top of his game right now and a loan move might be beneficial for him, considering the drop-off in his levels is due to a lack of minutes.
Eric Bailly: 6/10
The senior centre-back in the absence of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, Bailly had a lot riding on him at the back. The Ivorian did step up for the most part, with de Gea not being troubled much after Leicester opened the scoring. Not to be blamed directly for either goal that Leicester scored.
Axel Tuanzebe: 6/10
Back at the heart of the Manchester United defence, Tuanzebe had the tricky task of negating the influence of Kelechi Iheanacho. Sucked out of position in the build-up to the Leicester goal, but more than held his own otherwise, with Iheanacho struggling to derive a lot of joy on his side. Disappointing output on the ball, though, misplacing as many as 14 passes.
Alex Telles: 6/10
A blow-hot-blow-cold display by Telles, who ought to have done better to stop Youri Tielemans from making the cross for the opener. Carried a threat on set-pieces, playing a couple of key passes and improved on the defensive front too as the game wore on.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
Donning the armband for Manchester United in the absence of Maguire, Matic had a difficult night, but showed some tremendous reading of the game to thwart Leicester a number of times. Another impressive aspect about his performance was the way he conducted play and linked up with Donny van de Beek and Mata. Could have done more to stop Soyuncu from scoring, though.
Donny van de Beek: 7/10
The Player to Watch in our preview, van de Beek took some time to get going, but did quite well one he found his feet. Kept play ticking when on the ball and also made a few vital interventions at the back, although there were a few sloppy moments as well. A step in the right direction, this, and the Dutchman will hope to step up from here.
Amad Diallo: 7/10
Amad’s game by numbers vs. Leicester City:
7 ball recoveries
5 attempted take-ons
3 successful take-ons
2 fouls committed
1 chance created
1 tackle won
Good to see him get some minutes under his belt. 🇨🇮 pic.twitter.com/Uz9B6LHZ3t
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 11, 2021
Making his full debut for Manchester United, Amad Diallo started strongly, showing a superb first-touch before setting Mason Greenwood for the equaliser. Constantly looked to harry a Leicester defender and pressed aggressively high up and won quite a few balls with such an outlook. Might have showed Solskjaer that it would be worth grooming him for the right-wing berth.
Juan Mata: 6/10
Handed a rare start, Mata looked to pull the strings for Manchester United but often had to drop really deep to retrieve the ball. First touch deserted him quite a few times, but some of his first-time passes did release pressure. Needed to be more incisive with his passes in the final third, though.
Anthony Elanga: 7/10
On debut for Manchester United, Elanga saw a fair bit of the ball and showed a lot of desire to make things happen. Also put in the hard yards and won possession with some smart defensive work while his first touch was impressive as well. Top effort on debut.
Mason Greenwood: 8/10
After a frustrating first half of the season, Greenwood has come into his own in recent months, and the performance on Tuesday was another step in the right direction. The finish for his goal was impeccable and he took on the onus on him to guide Amad and Elanga, even dropping deep at times to help out the young wide duo. Top-notch really, from the talented forward.
Mason Greenwood has scored 6 Premier League goals since the beginning of last month, no player has scored more in that period.
Continues his fine form in front of goal. 🧨 pic.twitter.com/sXYkwNSOOk
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 11, 2021
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
On for Elanga, Rashford lost Soyuncu for the second Leicester goal in what was not the best of starts for him. Pushed forward with intent, but could not make a lasting difference late on.
Edinson Cavani: 6/10
Sent on in place of Greenwood, it was a frustrating cameo for the most part for Cavani, who did not get the right service at times. Did create some trouble with his movement, but was marshaled rather well by Wesley Fofana.
Bruno Fernandes: N/A
Introduced in place of Amad Diallo, Bruno Fernandes got one chance to score, but scuffed his effort wide. Overhit a cross towards Cavani as well, in what was a disappointing cameo.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
There was not a whole lot that Schmeichel could have done to keep out Greenwood’s effort, but he was hardly troubled otherwise.
Timothy Castagne: 6/10
Back in his favoured role of a full-back, Castagne fared better than he did last time out against Newcastle United, although Elanga gave him a few scares. Showed the adventurous side to his game by charging forward at times, but never really carried a threat with his deliveries.
Wesley Fofana: 8/10
A much-improved performance by Fofana, who did have some hairy moments against the nippy movements of Greenwood, but stayed on his feet instead of needlessly committing himself. Won 6 duels while completing 91 percent of his attempted passes in a solid all-round display. Showed just why Manchester United are hot on his trails.
Caglar Soyuncu: 7/10
Yet again, Soyuncu left a lot to be desired with some of his defending. Too weak when Greenwood scored and seemed to be wobbly whenever a Manchester United attacker took him on. Did make a few crucial clearances and interceptions, though, and made amends on the opposite end, when he nodded in Marc Albrighton’s delivery from close range.
Luke Thomas: 6/10
As first Premier League goals go, Luke Thomas' is pretty special 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Ao7bnuHgn5
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) May 11, 2021
Back in the side in place of Ricardo Pereira, Thomas was perfectly positioned inside the Manchester United box for the opener, but it was his finish that took the cake – right out the top drawer and into the top corner. However, he was poor when Manchester United hit back shortly after and had some nervy moments against Amad Diallo.
Marc Albrighton: 7/10
Stationed on the right flank, Albrighton was typically industrious in his display but could not make many meaningful deliveries in the first half. Got more involved post the interval and grabbed the assist for Soyuncu’s goal with a superb delivery from a corner. Played a game-high 3 key passes by the end of the contest.
Wilfred Ndidi: 7/10
Another hit and miss showing by Ndidi, who was played around with ease at times but also made a few important interventions in midfield to cut out Manchester United moves. The impressive aspect of his performance, though, was the fact that he carried a threat going forward, playing a couple of key passes. Decent enough at the end of the day.
Youri Tielemans: 6/10
Tielemans has been one of the standout players for Leicester this season and on Tuesday, he was impressive once again. Linked up superbly with Kelechi Iheanacho and delivered the cross for Luke Thomas to open the scoring. Continued to be an outlet, but the end product was not always on point.
Youri Tielemans’ game by numbers vs. Man Utd:
77% pass accuracy
24 final third passes
6 ball recoveries
5 passes inside the box
3 shots — all blocked
3 tackles attempted
2 tackles won
Such a top midfielder. 🇧🇪 pic.twitter.com/XyJV0QfpOZ
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 11, 2021
Ayoze Perez: 5/10
Another player recalled to the starting lineup, Perez was left isolated at times and was not nearly as influential as he would have hoped to be. Put out of his misery when James Maddison replaced him midway through the second half.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 6/10
The ever-impressive Iheanacho looked to be the most dangerous outlet for Leicester, but was not given the right service at times. Sent in a few dangerous deliveries himself, but they were not met with the right finish.
Jamie Vardy: 5/10
Another frustrating evening for Vardy, who either did not see much of the ball or was thwarted by the Manchester United defence when he did. Showed fine awareness to leave the ball for Thomas to score the opener, though.
James Maddison: 5/10
On for Perez, Maddison saw a lot of the ball in the final quarter of the game but was a tad bit wasteful with his passing. Did win a few second balls, though, which heaped the pressure on Manchester United.
Hamza Choudhury: N/A
On for the final 10 minutes or so, Choudhury helped see the game out late on.