Leicester City vs. Manchester United score: Late equalizer keeps Foxes second in Premier League standings
Leicester City remain second in the Premier League table after a 2-2 Boxing Day draw with Manchester United that sees the hosts remain one point ahead of their visitors and three behind leaders Liverpool.
Marcus Rashford put United in front after 23 minutes from a Bruno Fernandes assist but Harvey Barnes spectacularly levelled just eight minutes later after being teed up by James Maddison at King Power Stadium.
It took Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side until 11 minutes from time to get their second with substitute Edinson Cavani providing for Fernandes to put the Red Devils in front but Ayoze Perez assisted Jamie Vardy to ensure that lead only lasted six minutes.
The result gives Liverpool a great chance to extend their advantage at the Premier League summit when they host West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
United throw it away
It was an afternoon of what might have been for United in Leicester after twice taking and then throwing away the lead before being unable to find a late winner. Barnes and Vardy both equalized for the Foxes within eight minutes of falling behind and that vulnerability in the aftermath of going in front cost Solskjaer’s side.
Had United been set up in a more purposeful manner, they might have been able to capitalize on the long and goalless 48-minute spell between Leicester’s first equalizer and their second goal to secure all three points.
Instead, they leave with just a point and that result will suit Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool down to the ground.
With his equaliser to make it 2-2 five minutes from time, Vardy added to his prolific form under Brendan Rodgers with his 44th Premier League strike since the Northern Irishman’s 2019 appointment.
Although he is now 33, he is still in contention at the top of the Premier League scoring charts and has chipped in with around a third of Leicester’s league goals this season.
Vardy’s United equalizer further justifies recent praise from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho but also illustrates why the Portuguese might be right that his most prolific form has perhaps come too late in his career for a move to a bigger club.
In providing for Fernandes’ goal, Cavani has now been involved in five Premier League goals as a substitute and the Uruguay international is making a strong case for inclusion from the off. El Matador’s late strike against Everton in the League Cup and assist here suggest that he could be ready to start against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa — or both.
Leicester finally draw
Bizarrely, this was Leicester’s first draw all season and it keeps them ahead of United in the chase to close the gap on leaders Liverpool. If Rodgers’ men can salvage more points from losing positions like this, they could find themselves clinging to their spot near the summit for the remainder of the campaign.
United need midfielder rethink
Once again, United’s midfield setup left a lot to be desired with Fernandes left to shoulder too much responsibility alone, Paul Pogba sent on for 35 second half minutes and Donny Van de Beek not used at all.
While the defense remains as vulnerable as it is at present, the lack of a dominant midfield will continue to cost United points and add to Solskjaer’s inconsistent tenure.