Football Features

“This is the level, gentlemen. Get on it.” – Player ratings as Leicester beat Man Utd’s back-ups to crown Man City Premier League champions

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 20:24, 11 May 2021 | Updated: 19:20, 10 September 2021

Leicester beat a much-changed Manchester United side to keep their top four hopes alive and hand Manchester City the Premier League title.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 10 changes to his XI as he tried to cope with a faintly ridiculous 4 games in 8 days, and Leicester’s resultant win leaves the Red Devils 10 points behind City with just 9 points to play for. Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues have now won three of the last four titles.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

David De Gea – 6 – Made some bright saves. Powerless on both Leicester goals.

Brandon Williams – 4 – Absolutely awful. Passes going astray all over the place.

Eric Bailly – 7 – Looked a bit erratic at times, but defended well for the most part.

Axel Tuanzebe – 8 – Absolutely brilliant. Started off shakily, but played his way into the game and was an absolute brick wall for United. A performance Harry Maguire would have been proud of, and made himself the clear choice to step in for the skipper while he’s out injured.

Alex Telles – 7 – Relentless in his attempts to win United the game. A team-high 5 tackles and 4 clearances; he was also the main United outlet in attack with his crosses and long passes.

Nemanja Matic – 8 – Phenomenal. Wearing the captain’s armband he rolled back the years to 2015 and was just sublime. Defended passing lanes well, sure, helped out in defence, sure, but his work with the ball was superb. Calmly played out through the Leicester press and kept United on the front foot.

Donny van de Beek – 6 – A very impressive first-half where he was snapping into tackles and pushing the ball forward with smart passes. Lacked the stamina to keep going into the second period, however.

Amad Diallo – 7 – An incredible display from the teenager on his Premier League debut. A relentless force in the press, winning the ball and playing a well-weighted pass to set-up United’s equaliser in the first-half. Carried on trying to penetrate and do something.

Juan Mata – 7 – A magical first-half display, including a beautiful pass leading to United’s equaliser, was marred by a second-half where he very clearly ran out of stamina and was just ghosting around the field.

Anthony Elanga – 6 – A positive display from the youngster, full of hard work and skill.

Mason Greenwood – 8 – Battled well and led from the front as the most experienced of the front three. Produced a simply magical equaliser; his touch, shift of bodyweight and precision finish were off the charts.

Substitutes:

Marcus Rashford (for Elanga 66′) – 4 – Couldn’t get into the game. His only notable contribution was losing Soyuncu for the winning goal.

Edinson Cavani (for Greenwood 66′) – 5 – Made some good runs but was always just slightly out of sync with his team-mates.

Bruno Fernandes (for Amad 78′) – 5 – Came on late. Tried a few hero passes but couldn’t get his angles right.

Leicester

Kasper Schmeichel – 5 – Could possibly have done better on Greenwood’s goal but was otherwise untroubled.

Timothy Castagne – 6 – Solid at the back.

Wesley Fofana – 7 – An impressive performance once again from the Frenchman. He was always alert to cut out countless United attacks before they became a threat.

Caglar Soyuncu – 7 – Destroyed by Greenwood on United’s equaliser, but made up for it with some impressive defending otherwise and, of course, a thumping header to win the game for Leicester.

Marc Albrighton – 7 – Relentless up and down the flank and produced a sumptuous corner for the game-winning goal.

Wilfred Ndidi – 8 – Superbly dominant display from the Nigerian midfielder. Made a game-high 6 tackles and a joint-game-high 3 interceptions. Won possession back from the Foxes on no less than 14 occasions! Whenever it looked like United would be able to hurt the Foxes, up stepped Ndidi to shut it down.

Obviously it was only against a second-choice XI, but it felt illustrative for the Nigerian defensive midfielder to play this well against United, a team who so desperately need an elite defensive midfielder. This is the level, gents, get on it or get left behind.

Youri Tielemans – 8 – Superb third-man run and cross for the opening goal. Was excellent besides as he combated United in the middle of the park but also drove Leicester forward whenever he had the chance.

Luke Thomas – 7 – SUPERHUMAN volleyed finish to give Leicester the lead. A truly spectacular strike but not five minutes later he blotted his copybook by getting outmuscled by Amad for the United equaliser.

Ayoze Perez – 5 – Barely involved.

Jamie Vardy – 6 – A constant source of movement and energy, but couldn’t do much with the ball.

Kelechi Iheanacho – 6 – Nowhere near as influential as he was in the cup tie.

Substitutes:

James Maddison (for Perez 65′) – 5 – Tried to make things happen but couldn’t quite get it going.

Hamza Choudhury (for Vardy 80′ – n/a – Came on late.

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