Fred and VAR save Manchester United’s blushes as Ralf Rangnick’s strikerless side managed to avoid defeat but see top-four hopes dented in Leicester draw April 2, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer

Manchester United saw a Fred goal and a controversial VAR decision spare them home defeat against Leicester in a 1-1 draw.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s 63rd minute opener brought the game to life after a dull first half, and United similarly woke up, with Fred equalising three minutes later.

AFP

Former Man City man Iheanacho sparked life into the game

But Fred bit straight back

AFP

But Fred bit straight back

However, Ralf Rangnick‘s strikerless United struggled to build upon their leveller in the absence of forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.

Instead, Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes continued to dictate the game, and looked to have won it when a brilliant James Maddison scored a late effort.

A foul from Iheanacho in the build up saw the goal ruled out, and with Jadon Sancho wasting a late opportunity, United saw their chances of Champions League football next season fade.

A drab first half was played like ‘a Harry Maguire testimonial’ according to talkSPORT commentator Clive Tyldesley, but the second 45 couldn’t have been any more different.

Scott McTominay upped the tempo with a borderline challenge on the excellent Maddison straight after the break, only picking up a yellow card.

“He was chasing his own bad touch,” said talkSPORT commentator Trevor Sinclair. “His studs are up but he was quite low.


Maddison needed some attention after his run in with McTominay

AFP

Maddison needed some attention after his run in with McTominay

But the Englishman was straight back troubling Rangnick’s strikerless system

AFP

But the Englishman was straight back troubling Rangnick’s strikerless system

“If Maddison carries on he’ll be fortunate because that’s one of those challenges that can break a metatarsal.”

Leicester, and crucially Maddison, were quick to recover, with the Foxes’ No.10 soon guiding a perfect cross onto the head of former Man City man Iheanacho to open the scoring.

But Rangnick’s main man, Fred, struck back almost immediately, firing in the rebound from a parried Bruno Fernandes shot.

United, who counted on Fernandes and Paul Pogba as their central attacking options, saw Marcus Rashford join the fray for the final 15 minutes, but fail to trouble Kasper Schmeichel.

The most dangerous man on the pitch at Old Trafford, Maddison, instead attempted to wrestle away the narrative with a winner in the 80th minute, only to be denied by VAR.

Maddison tucked the ball in but a foul on Raphael Varane saw the goal chalked off

Getty

Maddison tucked the ball in but a foul on Raphael Varane saw the goal chalked off

Former Man City striker Sinclair was full of praise for the English midfielder though, despite his late heartbreak.

“Any young player who’s playing number 10, have a look at this performance from James Maddison,” Sinclair said.

“He’s playing in the future this kid, his spatial awareness is second to none.

“If he could just up his rate of intensity out of possession I really do feel there’s a chance for him to get into this England squad.”

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