Good afternoon from a marginally sunny London. I’m Colin D’Cunha and welcome to all the happenings this afternoon as Leicester City take on a Manchester United side looking to regain lost ground after a draw at home to Everton last time around.
Here are the lineups:
Leicester hitman Jamie Vardy has scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances, so he’s one to watch out for. On the other side, Jadon Sancho makes a Premier League start with Marcus Rashford fit enough to make the bench. The former Dortmund man will take his place on the left wing with Greenwood on the right.
In other news, Man United have drawn some flak for flying to Leicester, a 100-mile journey. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended the decision ahead of the game, stating these are unusual circumstances.
Former Man United man Jonny Evans is fit to face the Red Devils. Brendan Rodgers is delighted to have the experienced centre-back at his disposal this afternoon. Speaking of centre-backs, Harry Maguire is also fit enough to start the game. Solskjaer reveals the England defender hasn’t trained much but is feeling healthy enough to give it a go.
This is the start of a tricky run of fixtures for the visitors, who will be without summer signing Raphael Varane as they face Leicester, Atalanta and Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham in their next few fixtures.
1st minute: Here we go! as Fabrizio Romano would say as we kick off at a buzzing King Power Stadium.
2nd minute: Early signs of the setup here from the visitors. Ronaldo a little static and waiting for the right opportunity to pounce, whereas Bruno Fernandes, who led Man United in pressures last season, is pressing high up the pitch.
4th minute: Man United survive an early scare as Leicester ponder too long on the ball. Maguire was beaten all ends by Iheanacho, but Tielemans took a second too long with Man United regrouping just in time. Looks like it’s going to be an open game at the King Power.
6th minute: Paul Pogba with a petty foul after his cross was dealt with admirably. The Frenchman often pokes at defenders but the referee is having none of it.
8th minute: Leicester are quick off the blocks, with the hosts threatening the visitors twice inside the first ten minutes. Iheanacho’s inclusion is proving to be a masterstroke early on.
9th minute: Chance! James Maddison turns Victor Lindelof inside out with a shot on goal but David de Gea deals with it. Man United finding themselves on the backfoot.
12th minute: Leicester extremely confident playing out the back even in a tense situation after regaining possession. The home side are being backed admirably by the crowd at the King Power.
17th minute: Man United looking a little disorganised in attack with the defence bearing the brunt of it. A common criticism of Solskjaer’s time in charge has been the lack of an organised structure, which is showing against Brendan Rodgers’ well-drilled side.
19th minute: GOAL! Mason Greenwood with a stone-cold stunner of a strike from outside the box. Kasper Schmeichel could do little as Greenwood cuts in and rifles a shot into the net. A top, top strike from a mercurial talent. Man United lead despite being outplayed in the first twenty minutes.
20th minute: Jamie Vardy with a tame shot on goal a minute after the restart. His effort is swept up comfortably by De Gea.
25th minute: Man United have some wind in their sails on the back of that moment of magic from Mason Greenwood. The momentum has officially shifted.
26th minute: A slick move from Leicester City with James Maddison in the thick of it all. The midfielder finds Ricardo, who flashes the ball across the face of goal but there’s no one at the other end. Leicester banging on Man United’s door for an equaliser.
31st minute: EQUALISER! Youri Tielemans mercilessly punishes Man United’s lapse at the back. Too much hesitance from Maguire, with Iheanacho nicking the ball off the centre-back and laying one on for Tielemans, who finishes the move with a touch of Belgian elegance. Leicester are back in the game!
34th minute: Maddison takes a blow to the head from Matic and there’s a pause in play. More time to reflect on Harry Maguire’s error, then. The England international was a touch too rusty and Iheanacho duly obliged. The finish from Tielemans was absolutely delightful.
38th minute: Man United’s press is weak, but even in the face of a meagre attempt to retrieve the ball, Youri Tielemans is displaying his quality as a pressure valve in that Leicester defence.
39th minute: Chance! Leicester finding it a little too easy to walk past the Man United midfield. Tielemans finds Iheanacho, who blazes one just wide. You get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time unless Man United find their footing in midfield.
41st minute: The Leicester crowd preying on Maguire every time he gets the ball. The former Foxes defender has been understandably rusty and was justifiably punished for the equaliser.
Half-time: Man United’s helter-skelter ball hasn’t helped their chances, while Leicester have been at the top of their game. Despite having the likes of Ronaldo, Greenwood, Sancho and Bruno Fernandes on the pitch, Man United have rarely threatened the hosts, apart from that thunder and lightning strike from Greenwood. All even at the break.
Leicester City clearly the more well-drilled side at the King Power. Man United have a number of big names but have struggled to string together a cohesive sequence to threaten Kasper Schmeichel’s goal. Lots of questions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to ponder upon at the break.
Not too many options for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring off the bench in search of a goal. Jesse Lingard has been in good nick while Donny van de Beek will hope he sees some game time this evening. Rashford could be called upon, though. As things stand, no changes for either side at the restart.
45th minute: Within minutes, Kelechi Iheanacho has a shot on goal after catching Man United unawares. Visitors looking a little rusty at the start of the second half.
47th minute: Man United’s midfield has been practically non-existent so far. Leicester’s, on the other hand, has been at the top of its game. Maddison, Tielemans and Soumare keeping things tight for the hosts.
52nd minute: Man United have a comfortable spell of possession but fail to test Schmeichel’s goal. It’s been a pattern for the visitors this evening.
54th minute: Nemanja Matic with a speculative effort off a volley, an effort that flies just over the bar. A super strike from the Serbian but Schmeichel is well aware.
59th minute: Marcus Rashford gearing up for his return. Sancho the most likely suspect to make way at the moment.
61st minute: Man United are great at counters, but that’s when they have someone to target in the box. With Ronaldo involved in the build-up this time around, Wan-Bissaka finds himself with precious little support, his cross comfortably collected by Schmeichel.
64th minute: Bruno Fernandes makes a clever run in behind and Paul Pogba duly obliges, but the move comes to naught with Leicester shutting the door and the referee raising the flag.
65th minute: Sancho makes way for Marcus Rashford for his first taste of action in a while after shoulder surgery. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope Rashford provides a little something to have his own comments go under the radar. The Man United manager suggested Rashford should prioritise football over social efforts in a bid to take his game to the next level.
70th minute: Daniel Amartey down with a cramp here and things aren’t looking too sunny for the Ghanaian. Elsewhere, Ayoze Perez will make his way onto the pitch, with James Maddison likely to make way.
75th minute: SAVE! David de Gea at full extension pulls off a save from a beautiful strike from Youri Tielemans, who nicked the ball off a leggy Nemanja Matic.
76th minute: Man United mount a quick counter-attack with Ronaldo finding himself through on goal, but the move is ultimately flagged offside with Schmeichel pulling off the save… just in case.
79th minute: GOAL! Soyuncu with the final touch to put Leicester ahead. Daka, who just came on for Iheanacho before the corner, has a shot on goal, followed by a De Gea save, but the Spaniard can only watch as Soyuncu slotted it in to give the Foxes the lead. The King Power is absolutely buzzing at the moment.
79th minute: A double substitution from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Matic and Greenwood hooked off for Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard.
82nd minute: GOAL! The hosts find themselves back in the contest. A long ball from Lindelof finds Marcus Rashford, who makes no mistake one-on-one with Schmeichel.
83rd minute: GOAL! Jamie Vardy with a strike straight out of the Wild Wild West! End to end football here at the King Power. Man United’s social media team haven’t even had time to update the goal from Rashford!
86th minute: Patson Daka has been a handful for Man United since coming on for Iheanacho. Picking up right where the Nigerian striker left off, as he’s brought down by an irate Paul Pogba.
91st minute: GOAL! Patson Daka comes to the party. The former Salzburg man scores his first goal for the Foxes as he bundles it in after a free-kick from Youri Tielemans. Man United watch on with their hands on their hips. A 29-game unbeaten run crumbling to dust before their very eyes at the King Power as Solskjaer watches on.
93rd minute: Chance! Bruno Fernandes finds Ronaldo with a cheeky dink but it just hasn’t been the Man United icon’s day. The Portuguese finds himself just short as Schmeichel mops up. A torrid outing for Man United’s statement summer signing.
Full-time: Man United had their moments but they were thoroughly outplayed by a well-drilled Leicester City side. The Red Devils slip to fifth in the table with their helter-skelter football while Leicester rack up their third win in eight games. A monumental win for Brendan Rodgers’ side at the King Power.
Solskjaer had some thoughts on priorities ahead of the game, which should make for interesting discourse after this defeat. The Red Devils rarely looked like gaining the upper hand. Leicester City were just too organised for the visitors. A lesson in there, perhaps, when it comes to structure, organisation and coaching. Doldrums for the Red Devils.
Leicester face Spartak Moscow next while Man United host Atalanta at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
That’s that from me, Colin D’Cunha. Hope you enjoyed the thrills and spills from this evening at the King Power. It’s certainly going to be a long weekend for Man United, while Brendan Rodgers will rest easy knowing his stock is ever so high. Will Solskjaer hang on for another season? Or will the likes of Conte and Zidane pounce on the opportunity?