Barclays Premier League
Manchester United vs. Leicester City
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Sunday, 1 May 2016
Kick-off: 14:05 BST
Manchester United slipped up in their pursuit of a top four finish, drawing 1-1 at home to league leaders Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Despite Anthony Martial’s early strike giving the hosts the lead, Leicester skipper Wes Morgan equalised from a poorly-defended free-kick.
Former United academy graduate Danny Drinkwater was sent off late on for a second bookable offence, but whereas the visitors are on the verge of the title, the home side may have seen their slim chances of Champions League football for next season diminish.
Within eight minutes, United had the lead, with Antonio Valencia’s cross from the right-hand side of the penalty area falling at the back post to Martial, who swept home a first time finish in front of the Stretford End.
Kasper Schmeichel, son of United great Peter, then produced an immaculate save low to his left to deny Jesse Lingard, after Marouane Fellaini had brought down the ball and teed up his teammate from Marcos Rojo’s cross.
A crucial save, as the Foxes equalised moments later, with Drinkwater’s free-kick headed in by captain Morgan to level proceedings.
It was United’s captain, Wayne Rooney, who saw one shot fall wide before striking a free-kick into the wall, as Jeffrey Schlupp’s effort was deflected over by Valencia at the other end.
Schlupp’s cross was then palmed away by David De Gea, and as Riyad Mahrez ran at Rojo from the loose ball, and the latter seemed to bring down the newly-crowned Player of the Year, but referee Michael Oliver said no penalty.
Looking for his second, Morgan headed over from a corner, as half-time brought to a close a frantic first half.
Morgan had more joy from a set piece, seeing a header held from a corner after the break, with Martial firing over from a tight angle at the other end.
After cutting in from the left, Lingard’s shot was held, as Rooney’s speculative dink dropped over the bar.
De Gea did well to beat away Mahrez’s stinging effort, as Chris Smalling headed against the post from Rooney’s stood up cross.
Substitute Memphis was then fouled just outside the box, according to Oliver, and with that came Drinkwater’s second yellow after an earlier caution earlier in the half.
The free-kick from Rooney was dealt with by Schmeichel, before Memphis himself struck a separate free-kick into a wall as Rooney’s shot on the rebound was held.
As expected, United saw more of the ball, and although their play was better than for most of the season, particularly in the first half, the draw was a fair result on the day.
Similar to last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Everton, United fell away after the interval, and were unable to breakdown a stubborn backline.
Next up is a trip to East Anglia to take on Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday, with the early kick-off of 12:45 commencing a crucial fixture at both ends of the table.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick; Lingard (Mata 62), Fellaini (Herrera 75), Rooney, Martial; Rashford (Memphis 82).
Subs: Romero, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Mata, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Memphis.
Manager: Louis van Gaal
Leicester: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez (King 88), Kante, Drinkwater, Schlupp (Albrighton 77); Okazaki (Gray 67), Ulloa.
Subs: Schwarzer, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Wasilewski, Chilwell.
Manager: Claudio Ranieri