Barclays Premier League
Leicester City vs. Manchester United
Venue: King Power Stadium
Date: Saturday, 28 November 2015
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Manchester United came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw away at Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Bastian Schweinsteiger’s header on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s 24th minute strike, meaning he broke the record for scoring in consecutive Premier League games (11), a record set by United’s very own Ruud van Nistelrooy 12 years ago.
Louis van Gaal’s side had the better of the game, although a point was probably a fair result on the day in the East Midlands.
Early on in the game Wayne Rooney got his angles wrong, and his attempted cross with the outside of his boot ended up a shot, but Kasper Schmeichel held with ease.
Ashley Young was booked for bringing down Riyad Mahrez as the Algerian looked to break, before Rooney’s tame volley was hit into the ground and found the arms of Schmeichel once more.
Over on the left-hand side Young slipped in Anthony Martial, whose low cross allowed Schweinsteiger to get a shot away, but it was blocked by Leicester captain Wes Morgan.
A Daley Blind corner saw Schmeichel hold the ball unchallenged, and his quick release allowed Christian Fuchs to play a through ball to find Vardy, who finished past David De Gea in style.
Schweinsteiger volleyed wide before De Gea’s low save denied Shinji Okazaki, as Martial’s attempt came back of the foot of Schmeichel and behind for a corner.
And it was an in-swinging corner, on the stroke of half-time, taken by Blind that saw Schweinsteiger outmuscle his marker Okazaki, and head home, to send United into the break on level terms.
It was almost déjà vu not long after the interval, as Juan Mata’s dummied free-kick saw Young’s delivery find the head of Schweinsteiger once more, but Schmeichel produced a fine save, with Rooney offside as he attempted to finish the rebound.
Leicester were content to let United have the ball and use their counter-attacking nature to try and hurt the visitors, and this nearly paid dividends when Mahrez broke and fed substitute Leonardo Ulloa, but despite shifting the ball onto his favoured right foot, he was denied by the legs of De Gea.
Ulloa again took aim, this time on his left-foot, but it flew over without troubling.
United’s own substitute, Memphis, was beginning to cause problems of his own, and his cross from the left to the back post found Mata, but he saw a shot blocked behind for a corner.
Matteo Darmian then won an aerial duel which allowed Memphis to get a shot away, but his effort kept rising as Schmeichel watched the ball fly over his crossbar.
Austrian left-back Christian Fuchs utilised his long throw-in ability, and after one of these was cleared, former United academy starlet Danny Drinkwater fired a shot wide.
The Foxes were very much happy with the draw, and despite Jeffrey Schlupp heading clear Young’s cross in stoppage time, the ball fell to Darmian, whose touch allowed him to shape up for a shot, but on his weaker foot, the ball fell just over the bar.
Full-time then arrived, with a point a decent result for both sides.
As for United, playing a side away from home who have only lost once in the league all season, on the back of a Wednesday night Champions League tie, with six first teamers out through injury plus Rooney forced off with a knock, and with haunting memories of the 5-3 defeat here last season, returning to the northwest with this draw can be seen as a positive one at that.
It was also a decent performance from Van Gaal’s team, who gave very little away in defence, kept the ball well, created a reasonable amount of chances against a side who had won their last four heading into the game, and did not let the rocking atmosphere and Vardy’s record faze them as they showed good character to come from a goal down.
This upcoming week sees a free one for United, only the second time this has happened all season and first since between the opening two fixtures of the campaign, allowing the squad chance to rest, train and prepare ahead of next Saturday’s league game against West Ham United.
That 3pm kick-off at Old Trafford will hopefully see a few players return from injury, another reason why it is important to make the most of next week, with a heavy schedule approaching as we head into the festive season.
Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, McNair, Smalling, blind, Young; Carrick, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Rooney (Memphis 68), Martial.
Subs: Romero, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Pereira, Memphis, Rashford.
Manager: Louis van Gaal
Leicester: Schmeichel; Simpson (De Laet 80), Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Kante, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Schlupp 70); Okazaki (Ulloa 60), Vardy.
Subs: Schwarzer, De Laet, King, Schlupp, Ulloa, Dyer, Inler.
Manager: Claudio Ranieri