Football Features

“No stage is too big” – Player ratings as Iheanacho stuns Man Utd to lift Leicester into first FA Cup semi-final for 39 years

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:19, 21 March 2021 | Updated: 19:39, 10 September 2021

In a largely one-sided evening of football, Leicester beat Manchester United 3-1 to book an FA Cup semi-final spot.

The is Leicester’s first cup semi since 1982 and came as Brendan Rodgers’ celebrated 100 games in charge of the Foxes.


FA Cup semi-final draw:

  • Southampton vs. Leicester
  • Chelsea vs. Manchester City

Read more:


Here’s how the players rated at the King Power Stadium:

Leicester

Kasper Schmeichel – 7 – Had precious little to do until a late Fernandes free-kick which he stopped superbly.

Wesley Fofana – 8 – Most impressive, bottling up United attacks with ease. The exception being when Pogba spun him for United’s equaliser, which does mark down what was otherwise a flawless defensive display from this young dynamo. If he’s still at Leicester in two years then he’s either been injured for two years or Leicester have become Champions League regulars because this kid is destined to play at the very highest level. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich… no stage is too big.

Jonny Evans – 7 – A solid display.

Caglar Soyuncu – 8 – Really impressive at handling the United attackers, especially when he had to make recovery tackles.

Marc Albrighton – 6 – Shuttled well up and down the flank and provided a peach of a delivery to set-up Iheanacho’s second.

Wilfred Ndidi – 8 – Dominant in the middle of the park. Devoured every United player who came anywhere near his zone.

Youri Tielemans – 8 – Incredible performance in midfield. Tackled, passed, dribbled and was instrumental in victory as he scored Leicester’s goal with an incredible run and strike.

Timothy Castagne – 7 – Ran hard up and down his flank and protected it well against United’s attempted incursions.

Ayoze Perez – 6 – Did decently well to cause trouble, but was largely overshadowed by his team-mates.

Kelechi Iheanacho – 9 – Finished very confidently when Fred unintentionally set him up. Later took advantage of some more bad United defending to thump in a header and kill United off for good. Inbetween those two goals he ran hard, linked the play well and even bagged an assist for Tielemans’ goal. A dominant display against United for the ex-Man City man and with 9 goals in his last 9 games he is fast becoming Leicester’s go-to goalscorer.

Jamie Vardy – 5 – Had an early snapshot to test Henderson. Later missed an unreal chance to kill United off by blazing wide. Worked hard but did not play well.

Substitutes:

Dennis Praet (for Perez 73′) – 5 – Had little impact.

Hamza Choudhury (for Vardy 83′) – 6 – Battled hard.

Manchester United

Dean Henderson – 5 – Good save from early Vardy snapshot but was left with precious little protection against a rampant Leicester attack. Could do little about the Foxes’ second goal although perhaps he could have come to claim the cross for the third.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7 – Brilliant as per usual. Let down repeatedly by his team-mates in defence and somehow became their most forceful attacker as they tried in vain to get back into the game.

Victor Lindelof – 6 – A couple of soft moments but he was mostly good.

Harry Maguire – 7 – A towering defensive display marked down by his baffling decision to pass to Fred when the Brazilian was already having a bad day. Sure he would have expected a sensible player to move the ball on with little fuss but Fred is not a sensible player. Offered more in attack than most of his team-mates.

Alex Telles – 5 – Poor defensively. Some nice ideas in attack but way too wide open at the back.

Nemanja Matic – 4 – Just awful. United are crying out for a defensive midfielder.

Fred – 2 – A horrendous first 25 minutes where he repeatedly gave possession away in stupid positions including literally putting the ball on a plate for Iheanacho to open the scoring. Did absolutely nothing in the game after that beyond run around trying to look busy. Fred can be a useful performer in certain situations but an open game of football against an organised pressing side is not one of those. A liability and it reflects poorly on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he didn’t realise this and take him off as early as possible, leaving him on for 84 minutes. Manchester United cannot progress with him as a starter.

Donny van de Beek – 6 – Not as involved as he should have been but can claim an honourary “assist” for United’s goal with a delicious step-over dummy to let the ball run for Greenwood. Needsto be be in a more passing side.

Mason Greenwood – 7 – Starved of service but put in some nice crosses and scored United’s goal with a deliciously quick finish.

Paul Pogba – 6 – Mostly quiet as he was clearly struggling for sharpness after his recent comeback. A delicious assist for Greenwood aside he wasn’t influential enough.

Anthony Martial – 4 – One nice run aside, he was poor. Again. United have invested a lot of time, money and effort into Anthony Martial and right now none of it looks to be good value.

Substitutes:

Bruno Fernandes (for Matic 64′) – 6 – Instantly upped the tempo. Pulled a great save out of Schmeichel with a rasping free-kick. Defended harder than anyone besides Wan-Bissaka. It’s only been a year but he is already somehow too good for Manchester United.

Luke Shaw (for Telles 64′) – 5 – Some nice forays forward but nothing Telles wasn’t doing.

Edinson Cavani (for Van de Beek 64′) – 5 – Added almost nothing. Clearly not fit.

Scott McTominay (for Pogba 64′) – 4 – Made United worse with his bull-in-a-china-shop style of football. Ran around fouling everyone, including giving away the free-kick that Leicester scored their third from. A goal that wouldn’t have happened if McTominay had done his job and sealed the back-post. The Scot had no idea where Iheanacho was, however, and left poor Dean Henderson with no chance.

Amad Diallo (for Fred 84′) – 5 – Came on late but didn’t look ready for the pace of the game.


FA Cup outright odds (via Sky Bet)

Manchester City 4/5
Leicester 3/1
Chelsea 4/1
Southampton 10/1


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