The Premier League is back this week and fans can heave a sigh of relief. And in one of the biggest matches of the week, Manchester United take on Leicester City.
Now, both the teams are known for some entertaining encounters in the recent past. In such a situation, the fans do not expect anything different from him this time. And why would they?
After all, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are capable of beating anyone on their day. And Brendan Rodgers has made Leicester one of the best coached teams in the league.
In anticipation of their match later this week, we now take a look at when these two sides will face off in late 2017.
By the end of 2017, the two teams were in vastly different situations. Leicester City were a year away from being crowned champions of England, and were still figuring out how to deal with the expectations that come from clubs winning major trophies.
Meanwhile, Manchester United were second in the league at the time – although they trailed rivals Manchester City by 14 points. They desperately needed a win to stay in the title race.
The City side were finally finding their rhythm under Pep Guardiola. And Jose Mourinho, then in charge at United, wanted to get one up on his nemesis.
It helped matters enough that United finally found some form. They have won six of their last seven games and look like a team with momentum on their side.
Therefore, the anticipation for the match between Manchester United and Leicester City was skyrocketing. True to form, this was a game that did not disappoint in the slightest.
Manchester United bounce back after Leicester City’s early score
The early stages of the match saw Leicester sit deep and invite United’s pressure. This might seem an unusual approach given that the match was at the King Power Stadium – but the Foxes were at their best at the break.
And their patience finally paid off in the 27th minute. A length ball that gave Riyad Mahrez plenty of room, but by the time he controlled it, Chris Smalling was back to cover for him.
Not that it matters. The Algerian held the ball long enough for Jamie Vardy to make a forward. In picture-perfect timing, Mahrez slotted Vardy through to finish the first. Leicester were ahead.
However, Leicester’s hopes of going into the break with a lead were undone just before the half-time mark. In the 40th minute, Anthony Marshall played a cross from the left wing.
His cross went straight into the path of Jesse Lingard, who headed past Juan Mata. The Spaniard fired a shot through the crowd and into the bottom corner. 1-1 at the break.
Things didn’t get any better for Leicester afterwards. The scoreline remained the same until the stroke of the hour mark, when United won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.
Mata stepped up to take the free-kick. A wonderful curling effort put Kasper Schmeichel past Kasper Schmeichel on goal and United eventually took the lead in the match.
To make things worse, Leicester would be reduced to ten men shortly thereafter. Daniel Amarte, already on a yellow card, clumsily fouled Marcus Rashford on the wing. A second yellow card came out – and then a red card.
At this point, a United victory seemed almost certain.
Leicester leaves it late to earn points
The red card blew the game open for United, as Leicester were now sitting even deeper in their half. During this, there was talk of damage control.
It helped that United didn’t capitalize on the opportunities presented to them. Lingard should have made it 3-1 when he rounded Schmeichel and faced an empty net but conspired to hit the post.
Rashford was also clear of goal at one point but the Dane denied him. Then, Mourinho pulled out a classic tactic that looked to shore up the lead but it came back to haunt him.
Despite having an attacking option on the bench, Mourinho brought on Ander Herrera for Lingard. The move screamed lead consolidation, and inadvertently invited Leicester back into the game.
The foxes start attacking and by the end of the stopping time, they get their prize. A cross from Marc Albrighton found Harry Maguire, who had moved from Leicester to join United.
However, at that point he produced a brilliant finish past David de Gea to level the game. He showed a lot of heart and deserves his equal. However, the game should have died long ago.
It is surprising to look back, but United made 19 attempts on goal and only scored twice. Their defending didn’t help, but the raiders should have ended the game long ago.
Not that Leicester fans cared.