Defending champions put to the sword

lcfc-mufc-17Two goals conceded in the last five minutes of the first half, followed by another one in the second half’s early minutes, saw defending champions Leicester City stay near the bottom of the table, more likely to face a very fierce relegation dog-fight with clubs like Hull City or Swansea, while on the other side, the Red Devils moved closer to the Top 4 with this win, and if they continue their good form in the EPL, they may well end up in the promised land, that is a spot in the CL for next season.

It was not a terrific start for the Red Devils thou in this game today, as both teams looked scrappy, committing several fouls on each other, with the Red Devils also opting for more of a ‘kick and rush’ approach despite having play-makers like Mkhitaryan, Mata and Pogba on the field. United created their first notable chance thru Rashford, after being picked out by Mkhitaryan’s cross from the right-hand side, but his volley was not controlled enough, and the ball flew well over, while earlier Morgan went close after Rojo, playing as left back, conceded a stupid free-kick which could have been costly for them. Mata could have seen red for his studded tackle on Vardy, but the ref only gave him a yellow instead, which was not to the taste of the home crowd, as the little Spaniard got booed every time he touched the ball thereafter. Rashford tested Schmeichel with a low drive, but failed to find net and while it looked to be heading for a 0-0 at half-time, Mkhitaryan popped up on the 42nd minute,latching onto a header from Smalling near the half-way line, nudged the ball with the tip of his boot to beat Huth, and then went on to beat Morgan for pace before dispatching a neat finish into the far corner, with Schmeichel getting a touch off his leg, but not enough to keep the ball out. United were not done yet, as on another quick counter, Valencia cut a pass across the box to find Zlatan, and the veteran striker drilled the ball between the legs of the unfortunate Morgan, and Schmeichel was helpless to keep out the low shot. The Foxes were caught out cold by the Red Devils in about 88 seconds, but could still get back if they managed to control the second half.

Yet, any possible endeavors for a comeback on their behalf were quickly extinguished by Mata on the 49th minute, as he played a very good one-two with Mkhitaryan, and finished off the move with a neat finish on the near post to give United a 3-goal lead. Mahrez then found the side-netting for Leicester as United released some of their grasp on the game, waiting patiently at the back and moving forward in counter-attacks only. Another chance did come, and again for Mata, but this time he failed to score his second as Schmeichel was quick to react, while the former went for a cheeky lobbed attempt but the ball never took off properly to upset the keeper. United kept possession of the ball as time went on, and Mkhitaryan wasted another chance on the 81st minute as he skied his shot, but the Foxes were nowhere to be seen by that time, and the competitive spirit which they showed last season was nowhere to be found as well, as the final whistle came more as a deliverance for them rather than a relief for United, who may have wanted some more minutes to be played on as they looked to be enjoying themselves around, but also near the end looking much like taunting the Foxes, something which they should avoid as this may happen to them against a big team, or a more determined opposition, and in sports the first thing to learn is respect.