Manchester United Player Ratings at Leicester (Oct 16, 2021)

Written By Uttiyo Sarkar on October 16, 2021

Manchester United are looking to kick off the start of a difficult run of games with a win against an under-pressure Leicester City side. Instead, they had the worst possible start and endured an embarrassing 2-4 loss to the Foxes. 

Despite not starting the game very well, the Red Devils took the lead in the 19th minute thanks to Mason Greenwood’s screamer from outside the box. 

Leicester were quick to fire back and capitalized on a defensive mistake from United to get the equalizer in the 31st, with Youri Tielemans brilliantly chipping the ball over David de Gea to make it 1-1. 

The Red Devils were definitely the second-best side in the first half, almost making it too easy for Leicester on occasions to attack them and leaving too much open space in their half. 

After failing to capitalize on their chances, United were made to pay as Leicester took the lead in the 79th minute when Caglar Soyuncu finished off a scrappy set-piece move to make it 2-1. This seemed to fire up the Red Devils, who found the equalizer 3 minutes later through Marcus Rashford to make it 2-2. 

But Leicester were not to be undone on the day and got back the lead in the 83rd minute thanks to a brilliant finish from Jamie Vardy. Patson Daka then scored from another set-piece in the 91st minute, sealing a big win for Leicester.

With that, United’s 29-match unbeaten run in away PL games is over and it could also be the beginning of the end for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign – unless he can spark a drastic turnaround soon. 

Here are Manchester United player ratings at Leicester

Manchester United player ratings at Leicester

Manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (3.0)–  

Solskjaer made no improvement or changes to his system from the Everton draw and that came back to haunt him. His starting XI was good, but in-game management and decision making was nearly non-existent. United just didn’t look hungry or sharp enough to compete with Leicester and ended up losing too many battles all around the field.

Again, the Red Devils had no real style of play nor did they show the dedication needed to outplay this hungry Leicester side. Defensively they were poor too and being unable to improve the set-piece defending reflects poorly on Solskjaer. 

Ole’s unbeaten away record in the PL is now gone and he must take his share of the blame for it. If unable to improve United’s performances, Solskjaer could see his side completely wither away from the title race over the next few weeks and see his job under real threat. 

Goalkeeper

David de Gea (6.5) –  

The in-form Spaniard makes a nice save to deny Maddison in the 8th. Should’ve reacted better for Tielemans’ goal, as the ball went over him too easily into the back of the net. Makes a good save from Iheanacho’s attempt early in the second half. Then pulls off an incredible save to deny Tielemans in the 76th. And another sharp stop with his feet two minutes later to frustrate Leicester. 

De Gea made another brilliant save before Soyuncu’s goal and was very unlucky to concede like that. Couldn’t save United from trouble today. 

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4.5) –

Wan-Bissaka was perhaps United’s best defender in the first half – putting in some great clutch tackles to nullify Leicester’s moves down his wing. Unnecessarily lunged into a bad challenge before Vardy’s goal, resulting in a yellow card. Had a game of two halves and looked visibly tired towards the end. 

Harry Maguire (3.0) –  

Captain Maguire passes a late fitness test to play against his former side. Had a shaky start to the game and horribly gave the ball away outside the box before Leicester’s equalizer. Ended up playing Soyuncu onside for his goal too. His defending wasn’t that bad, but Maguire’s distribution was awful and helped create chances for Leicester. Shouldn’t have started in this one. 

Victor Lindelof (6.5) –

Lindelof is being run ragged from the get-go by Jamie Vardy, but was able to keep him relatively quiet in the first half. Made a fantastic pass to set up Rashford’s strike to make it 2-1. But then lost mark of Vardy, resulting in his goal minutes after that. Still apart from that, Lindelof was quite solid and was probably United’s best defender in the horror show. 

Luke Shaw (4.5) –  

Shaw still doesn’t look as sharp was last season and is being caught out of position defensively on quite a few occasions. Lacked efficiency down the left, being unable to create anything and not being able to nullify Leicester’s attacking threat either. Definitely lost the majestic touch he had last season. 

Midfielders

Nemanja Matic (6.0) –

The Serbian midfielder had a torrid time against Leicester last season and looks to redeem himself here. Did well to win back possession on multiple occasions but is still being overrun by the opposition midfielders. Nearly scores a screamer in the 55th but his thunderbolt burst just over the bar. Worked hard but still didn’t seem comfortable enough to deal with Leicester’s penetration down the middle. 

Paul Pogba (4.0) –

Pogba initially looked more secure with Matic beside him and is making some clever passes to create chances. Hit a scuff header over in the 17th. Having to cover a lot of ground – but often leaving too much space for Leicester’s midfielders to penetrate through. Had a terrible second half, failing to get any control in midfield and ending up helping on Daka’s goal with a poor deflected back-header. 

Bruno Fernandes (6.0)

Bruno gets a rather fortunate assist as he played the pass to Greenwood before his incredible strike. Created a few half-chances after that, but his delivery just wasn’t accurate enough in the first half. In the second half, it was some of the same as Bruno did send in some quality passes into the final third – but Ronaldo or anyone else couldn’t finish it. 

Forwards

Mason Greenwood (8.0) –

Greenwood makes a decent run into the final third in the 13th before hitting his shot straight at Kasper Schmeichel. His next shot is an incredible one, a real thunderbolt powered into the top corner to put United ahead. Managed to get into the box in the 48th, but his shot went over. Then sees another curler go over two minutes later. Subbed late on after growing weary. 

Jadon Sancho (6.5) –

Sancho looks sharp after a prolific international break and tried to make a decent pass to set up a chance for Ronaldo early on. Making some great forward runs from the left, setting up another for CR7 in the 27th. But like it’s been for him so far this season – his final product wasn’t efficient enough to set up a goal. Subbed for Rashford after the hour-mark. 

Cristiano Ronaldo (4.0) –

After being shockingly benched in the last game, Ronaldo starts again today. Forces a great save from Schmeichel after a stinging effort on goal in the 27th. Got a great chance to score a header in the 70th but ended up botching his attempt. Then gets another big chance in the 89th but fails to score from close range. And then can’t tap an attempt into the goal in the 93rd. 

Substitutions

Marcus Rashford (7.5) –

Rashford makes his first appearance of the season after recovering from an injury. Looks very sharp and scores a great goal, breaking past the Leicester backline and coolly finishing past Schmeichel. One of the rare good things about this game was that Rashford’s back and looks very good. 

Scott McTominay (N/A) –

McTominay was caught napping before Vardy’s goal and allowed Perez to play the pass too easily to assist the strike. Looked quite clueless towards the end. 

Jesse Lingard (N/A) – 

Lingard had a few pops at goal towards the end but was unable to beat Schmeichel. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Youri Tielemans was a machine for Leicester in midfield and helped create all the good stuff for them. He owned both Pogba and Matic for the majority of the game and deserves the MOTM today. 

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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