Despite taking the lead twice in the match, Manchester United couldn’t hold on to the victory at the King Power Stadium, as they dropped two points in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City.
Though Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes gave United two separate leads, it was a largely uninspiring performance from United as their winning run away from home stopped at ten.
Here are how the Reds rated against a fairly strong Foxes side on a bitterly cold Boxing Day afternoon.
David de Gea - 5/10: An early mistake coupled with letting in Harvey Barnes’ shot that should have probably been saved ensured that it was a difficult first half for David de Gea. He didn’t have much to do in the second half, but conceded late on due to circumstances beyond his control, as Axel Tuanzebe’s deflection condemned the Reds to a draw.
Victor Lindelof - 6/10: The defender didn’t have a great deal to do during his time on the pitch, and was brought off with twenty-five minutes to go through injury. The Swede has been solid for United this season and adapted fairly well to his right-back position after the experiment for Daniel James to play at right-wing-back quickly failed.
Harry Maguire - 6/10: The United captain had a solid game in the centre of defence, he faced a slight difficulty in Leicester’s first-half equaliser in a loss of balance, but he did well to get it away to Fernandes who could have done better. A consistent hindrance for Maguire is his inability to head on target enough given how often he is in space from corners, but other than that it was a solid showing from the skipper.
Eric Bailly - 5/10: Eric Bailly’s solid outing against Everton in the League Cup in midweek saw him win another starting gig against Leicester, and despite looking a bit on-edge throughout the first half, he looked to have shored up in the second half – but he was largely at fault for Jamie Vardy’s late equaliser.
Luke Shaw - 4/10: Luke Shaw had an inconsistent afternoon against Leicester, as he went largely forgotten in the first hour of the game, but his poor marking for the cross that set-up Vardy’s equaliser meant it was a below-average showing from the left-back.
Scott McTominay - 5/10: It was always going to be difficult to live up to his double against Leeds a week ago, but Scott McTominay struggled against some resilient opposition. He couldn’t prevent Barnes’ first-half goal despite being in space to close him down. It was largely a solid game for McTominay, but there was nothing special that separated him from the pack.
Fred - 7/10: The Brazilian has recently put in a few solid showings in the middle of the park, and that continued again against Leicester. Fred did his job, solidly breaking up the play between the lines and handing the ball off to more attacking-minded midfielders like Fernandes. Fred often gets stuck attempting forty-yard passes and trying to be something he isn’t suited to, and is better when he quietly sits and does the thankless tasks in the heart of midfield – his performance against the Foxes was exactly this.
Bruno Fernandes - 7/10: Fernandes gave the ball away for Barnes’ goal, but shouldn’t really be blamed for the error given his determined attempt to track back. He managed the assist for Rashford’s goal with his outstretched left leg, and grabbed a second half goal after a nice pass through from substitute Edinson Cavani.
Daniel James - 4/10: James struggled against a solid Leicester defence, and the early project to see how the winger would fare at right-wing-back was quickly abandoned by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Wales international continues to look raw on the ball, with his pace helping him on the break as it did a few times against the Foxes, but he rarely finds the space to fulfil his main priorities.
Anthony Martial - 4/10: The France international consistently frustrates any onlooker - it is clear his talent is limitless but his work ethic is often limited – and this was the case against Leicester. Despite having the ball in the back of the net in the second half, the striker was in an offside position and was frequently caught in possession and really struggled despite a few sparks.
Marcus Rashford - 7/10: Despite missing an early header that may have led to an abject performance from Rashford, the forward put in a solid showing in front of goal, netting from Bruno Fernandes’ diverted nick through the defence with a tidy finish. His second half was fairly good and probably should have scored a second past Kasper Schmeichel, but a wonderful save from the Dane prevented a brace.
Paul Pogba - 4/10: Pogba came on early in the second half but wasn’t able to impact the game. He formed the narrow midfield that United attacked with in the second half, but he was largely underwhelming for the Reds.
Axel Tuanzebe - 5/10: The centre-half-turned-right-back looked strong against Everton in the week, but was arguably doomed by disrupting the defence in the second period – through no fault of his own. However, the deflection for Vardy’s equaliser ensured it was a match to forget for the defender.
Edinson Cavani - 6/10: Coming off the bench, Edinson Cavani replaced an underperforming Anthony Martial, and instantly made an impact, winning the ball in dangerous positions and forcing the Leicester defence to play against a much different type of attacker. He set up Bruno Fernandes’ second-half finish and put his name firmly into Solskjaer’s head to start ahead of the oft-frustrating Martial.