Manchester United arrived at the King Power stadium knowing they needed only a point to guarantee Champions League qualification. They started on the front foot but couldn’t make the early pressure pay. Leicester grew into the game and had a good spell of their own. Both teams were nervous and it was understandable with what was at stake. Bruno Fernandes did have the ball in the back of the net just before half time, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Half time arrived and United were half way to the point they needed.
Shortly after half time Leicester came close to taking the lead! A dangerous free kick found the head of Jamie Vardy, and his header hit the crossbar. Then with just over 22 minutes left, Leicester were the architects of there own downfall. Greenwood caught Choudhury in possession, the ball broke for Fernandes who played a first time pass through to Martial. He raced towards goal before being brought down by Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan. Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot!
Fernandes stepped up and sent Schmeichel the wrong way. 0-1! Now United were really in control, Leicester needed 2. That was Fernandes’s 8th goal in the Premier League, and once again he was justifying his price tag! He’s been a fantastic signing and is only going to get better.
A few minutes after United had taken the lead, Leicester were nearly level! A cross caused chaos in the United box and the ball broke to Harvey Barnes. He spun, got his shot away but De Gea’s positioning was spot on. Although it was a good chance for Leicester, United had been the better team in the second half. Maguire and Lindelöf had been rocks at the back. With 15 minutes left, Leicester must of felt there Champions League hopes slipping away.
This season Lingard has had his troubles on and off the pitch, but the season was going to end on a high for him. In the 98th minute Kasper Schmeichel had a moment of madness! He brought the ball out to get Leicester moving, but the lively Lingard had other ideas. He closed him down, dispossessed him and passed the ball in to an empty net! 0-2 and job done for United. The players and staff were over the moon, and rightly so!
On New Years Day Manchester United were 14 points behind Leicester, they’ve finished the season 4 points above them! That is some turn around from Solskjaer and his men. The Champions League is where United belong. And in getting back into it, it should make the transfer window a lot easier for them.