Manchester United Lament Dropped Points At Leicester
It’s testament to how far they have come in the past 12 months that Manchester United are disappointed to come away with just one point, drawing 2-2 against second-placed Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
Having gone ahead twice thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford then talisman Bruno Fernandes, an 85th minute own goal from Axel Tuanzebe meant the two sides would share the spoils, and ensured Liverpool were given a Christmas gift of the opportunity to go six points clear of Leicester when they face West Brom on the 28th.
At this time last year, United were more than 20 points behind eventual Champions Liverpool, mired in mid-table obscurity and needing a late-season charge to make the Champions League positions.
Solskjaer’s team have not lost an away game since January, and had won their open six fixtures away from home to kick off the current campaign.
“We feel disappointed. The boys are flat in the dressing room. We created enough chances to score more goals. We defended well but they had one moment at the end. We created big chances. It was a good game of football, end to end,” said Solskjaer.
Bruno Fernandes has now been in the side for one year, and has transformed the squad with leadership, quality, and a hand in 31 goals in his 28 appearances – 18 goals and 13 assists.
Today he provided an assist to Rashford for the opening goal, then pounced on a Cavani pass for the second.
“[Fernandes] is definitely a player that impacts results,” Solskjaer said. “He scores, creates chances and takes risks which any Man United player should be brave enough to do. He is a brave boy. Sometimes there is an easier pass but you can’t take that away from Bruno, you want him to be the X factor.”
While pleased with his sides efforts going forward, Solskjaer was frustrated that his team let three points slip through some slack defending.
“The pressure on the ball for the first one wasn’t good enough. The second one, we could have stopped the cross and maybe it’s a bit unlucky on the deflection.
“When you score as often as we do you have to accept you open up at times. We felt we deserved more from the game. The first goal we should have got to Harvey Barnes and blocked quicker,” concluded the manager.
With the fixtures coming thick and fast, United will have a chance to get back to winning ways again soon. With home games against Wolves and Aston Villa to come, six points from those fixtures will have everyone talking of a summit showdown when United travel to Anfield on January 17th.
While they may not have the consistency of Champions, being in the title race discussion for the first time since 2013 is music to the ears of the Old Trafford faithful.