Football Features

“Just about the stupidest thing any United player has done” – Player ratings as Leicester hold Man Utd 1-1 to kill top four hopes

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 20:01, 2 April 2022

In a bizarre evening of football, Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester at Old Trafford.

The result leaves United sixth having played more games than Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea above them and looking unlikely to make the top four, meaning no Champions League football next season.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:


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Manchester United

David de Gea – 7 – Made some utterly ridiculous saves to keep United alive including one from Fofana that defied belief. Only beaten by a truly incredible header from Iheanacho and he almost got to that as well.

Diogo Dalot – 5 – Once again the epitome of lightly buttered toast.

Harry Maguire – 6 – Didn’t fall over, injure anyone, nor give away a penalty so guess you could say this was an improvement on his usual form this season. Plus the United fans showed him very vocal support after the England booing.

Raphael Varane – 5 – Played on the left of defence for some reason and while he did defend well he absolutely should have tracked Iheanacho for the Leicester goal. Losing the Nigerian was killer for United, but Varane made up for it by winning the ball back to start the move that led to United’s equaliser.

Luke Shaw – 5 – He ran forward, and ran backward, then got injured. Nothing much else to say.

Scott McTominay – 3 – Like a bad parody of what internet meme accounts say about Scott McTominay. All he did was run around, kick people and hoik passes out of play. Lucky to avoid a red. Is in desperate need of time out of the starting XI and quality coaching.

Fred – 7 – The only United player to really show his true quality today. Constantly pushing the side to be on the front foot, completing 4/5 take-ons and winning possession back a game-high 11 times. He also completed 2 tackles and made 2 interceptions. Most importantly, of course, is that he scored the equaliser with a nice predatory finish that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of.

Anthony Elanga – 3 – Elanga’s chief virtue is that he isn’t Marcus Rashford, but he often plays with the same level of incision as the Englishman without the excuse that he is terribly out of form. Added to that, the Swede stopped Rashford from scoring the winner by inexplicably fouling his own team-mate just as he was about to shoot and that is just about the stupidest thing any United player has done on the pitch this season and that is a very high bar to clear.

Jadon Sancho – 4 – As always he looks a dangerous prospect wth the ball at his feet but until his team-mates start making the correct runs then his danger remains only theoretical, especially when he uses the ball as poorly as he did today.

Paul Pogba – 4 – Apparently he played today. Hard to say when there was no evidence of such, though.

Bruno Fernandes – 5 – Bruno is usually at least good but not today, when he celebrated his new contract by being as erratic and inaccurate as Twitter accuses him of being. However he did still manage to create United’s goal after his shot was saved by Kasper Schmeichel because even at his most useless, he can’t help but be useful.



Manchester United Substitutes:

Alex Telles (for Shaw 46′) – 4 – Was culpable for Leicester’s goal, was all at sea for their disallowed goal as well. He’s usually at least full of gusto and drive but today he was truly bad.

Marcus Rashford (for McTominay 54′) – 5 – Another bizarrely meandering showing from one of football’s genuine good guys. However his standout bad moment, standing frozen like a statue as a missed header left him with a clean shot at goal, was cancelled out by a brilliant bit of dribbling through the heart of the Leicester defence in the literal last minute that would surely have seen him score the winner but for the last-second slide tackle… from Anthony Elanga.

Nemanja Matic (for Pogba 75′) – 5 – Came on and definitely improved upon Pogba’s display but that wasn’t exactly hard.



Leicester

Kasper Schmeichel – 6 – Did reasonably well in goal and didn’t concede from a set-piece for once. However will feel he should have done better on Fred’s goal.

James Justin – 6 – Worked hard and covered ground well but just lacked a little bit of sharpness.

Wesley Fofana – 7 – A stalwart performance from the young Frenchman. A game-high 6 clearances and 3 interceptions as he repeatedly denied United a goal. It’s a delight to see him back in action.

Jonny Evans – 7 – Strong at the back.

Timothy Castagne – 7 – Rugged display. Lots of tackles as he stifled United down his side.

Youri Tielemans – 6 – A measured performance.

Nampalys Mendy – 7 – Hard-working, covered space, was safe with the ball.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – 7 – An absolute dynamo. His drive to win the 50/50 that started the attack which led to the Leicester goal was sublime. He’s really growing into his role as a starter.

James Maddison – 8 – Brilliant display both on the pitch and even in his post-match interview. Produced a baffling cross with his left-foot that led to Leicester’s opening goal, and he scored a devilishly good goal himself that was ruled out for a foul in the build-up. This is the level Maddison needs to play at if he’s to get his way into the England set-up.

Harvey Barnes – 7 – Sauce boss. Constantly put every United defender on toast. Nutmegs ahoy!

Kelechi Iheanacho – 7 – Scored the opening goal with a bafflingly brilliant header, but his (needless?) foul on Varane let United off and he also missed a very easy chance when put through 1-v-1.

Substitutes:

Daniel Amartey (for Evans 64′) – 4 – His introduction was minutes before the United equaliser and he almost gifted United a winner when he missed a headed clearance and allowed the ball to fall to Rashford (and Sancho).

Hamza Choudhury (for Mendy 90’+1) – n/a – Came on late.

Patson Daka (for Iheanacho 90’+1) -n/a – Came on late.

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