It was Peter Schmeichel’s day to hide and Jesse Lingard’s day to look to paradise and say Manchester United are going to the UEFA Champions League at full time at the King Power Stadium.
Let us take you through the main talking points of the 90 enthralling minutes that transpired between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s relentless United side and a depleted and defeated Leicester team that spent 30 match days in the top 4.
Brendan Rodgers could’ve done better
A season that had it all for the new boss of the foxes, from surpassing anyone and everyone to beating Southampton 9-0 and staying in the top 4 for 30 consecutive matchdays being consistent through everything it finally broke down for them. With a post Project Restart campaign hampered with injuries in the form of James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira was destined to have a ride full of bumps towards the end of the season which Leicester City wasn’t able to ride through despite Brendan Rodgers best efforts of masterfully lining up the team for every match.
Taking nothing away from Leicester City’s 2019/2020 campaign though, they were spectacular and a treat to watch and look forward to every single MatchDay and looked like a proper Brendan Rodgers side this season. The extra revenue from the Champions League in a post COVID world would have given him the necessary ammunition to solidify his side further, but Europa League will have to do for Leicester City next season and its important that they keep hold of their marquee players like James Maddison.
Fifty Million down the drain… NO!
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in an attempt to bring the prodigal son back to life, gave Anthony Martial his number 9 back, the same number 9 with which he exploded on to scene against Liverpool as a 19-year-old. He might have not reached his 20 goal target this season set for him by Solskjaer but he has created 8 big chances scored with a better goal scoring ratio per 90 than Sadio Mane and when he is not scoring his pressing figures have been way more than just impressive. Today he proved his worth of more than just being a number 9 by excellent movement around the 18-yard box and helping United coast past Leicester. It can only get better for the Talismanic Frenchman from now on.
David de Gea needs rest
“I am sick of death of this goalkeeper, he is the most overrated goalkeeper”
These were the words of a passionate United legend Roy Keane on one of David’s many mistakes throughout the season. It’s interesting to note although that he just equaled United legend Peter Schmeichel’s clean sheet record for a Premier League season. Considering that he’s been deemed ‘finished’ by most of the footballing community, well done David!
He looked sloppy today but secured a clean sheet for the Reds. He’s got a week’s time to rest and recover before getting back in action in the Champions League. This will be a significant morale and fitness boost for not only de Gea but the whole squad.
Ole’s Tricky Reds
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have easily given in to Brendan Rodger’s trap of having a conservative approach by going all-in on the attack against a back 5 whilst exposing his defense, but Ole as always knew the cards he was holding as well as the ones Brendan had and lined up his team and tactics in a very balanced manner, balanced enough to get the job done.
Nemanja Matic living on shaky ground
Ever since Matic’s new contract signing he has been booming with confidence although today he didn’t pull out the performance that was expected out of him. He seemed to get through the match at times, other times he was being completely run over by Leicester’s Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi. If Matic wants to ensure that his place in the United starting 11 next season is secured, he needs to get back to his pre-contract signing best and quick.
Challenging times ahead of Ole and his Reds
While they have qualified into the Champions League, expectations are upgraded for OGS. Next season, they will like to challenge for the title, get through the knockout stages of the Champions League and have a chance at winning a domestic cup. All this while Liverpool and Manchester City do not look like depleting their squad and the likes of Spurs, Chelsea and Wolves buying newer and better players.
United, on the other hand, haven’t made any proactive buys in the market. They are in a hunt for Jadon Sancho but he isn’t enough. A center-back and a midfielder are also top priorities. With recent investments made by the club, the Reds are on track with shrewd acquisitions. However, they need to maintain the pace to reach the promise land.