player ratings as foxes and red devils share the loot
Leicester and Manchester United had to settle for a share of the loot in a 2-2 draw at King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
United took the lead after 23 minutes, Marcus Rashford slipped home the stabbed pass from Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes was in the thick of the action again – but for all the wrong reasons – as Leicester equalized just after the half hour. The Portuguese midfielder was dispossessed in the depths of his half by Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison fed Harvey Barnes and the Foxes winger sent a wonderfully slapped effort from afar in front of David de Gea.
Fernandes made amends 11 minutes from time, recovering the intelligent Edinson Cavani by ball and stroking Kasper Schmeichel.
However, Leicester equalized again in the 85th minute, replacing Ayoze Perez passing through Vardy, who came home via a slight deflection on Axel Tuanzebe.
Let’s move on to some player ratings.
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 6/10 – Realized a fantastic one-handed reaction stoppage to prevent a scathing effort from Rashford in the second half.
James Justin (RB) – 7/10 – Produced one of Leicester’s most promising openings in the first half with a bubbly delivery to Vardy. Selected the Foxes forward in the first period again with a smart, defensive division pass and looked perfectly assured on the defensive.
Jonny Evans (CB) – 6/10 Martial, Rashford and Fernandes got behind Leicester’s backline on several occasions but were otherwise solid defensively and kindly congratulated Fofana.
Wesley Fofana (CB) – 6/10 – Jumped with a centerpiece of defense in the second half, crossing quickly, lifting James up and winning the ball with United two-on-one. So confident taking the ball out of defense.
Timothy Castagne (LB) – 6/10 – Combined very well with Barnes advancing and making a solid defensive turn.
Wilfred Ndidi (CDM) – 7/10 – Fernandes squeezed and dispossessed deep in the half of the United States in preparation for Leicester’s equalizer. Led the press and protected all full four expertly with a number of smart interceptions while still offering a lot when Leicester was in possession.
Youri Tielemans (CM) – 8/10 – Produced a slippery interception in the first half to prevent James from being played on goal. So smart, dynamic and efficient on the ball, tenacious and hard working out of possession.
James Maddison (CAM) – 6/10 – Fed Barnes for Leicester’s equalizer and hit some soft passes on the pitch in the second half but was never really able to exert his creative influence on the game.
Mark Albrighton (RW) – 6/10 – A change of hard work and industriousness, characterized by a formidable tackle he made in Leicester’s box in the second half with Fernandes about to pull the trigger. Overhit a few crosses and was replaced with 10 minutes remaining.
Jamie Vardy (ST) – 7/10 – Crossed Bailly’s face and flashed a bubbly delivery from Justin right at the start of the first half. He appeared with a vintage Vardy move to save some space and make Perez’s cross home for Leicester’s second.
Harvey Barnes (LW) – 8/10 – Tied the scores with a superb finish from a distance, sending a bad left-footed strike past De Gea from the edge of the box. Lively and adventurous, he was at the heart of every dangerous Leicester move.
Ayoze Perez – 6/10 – Influenced in Leicester’s equalizer, with his cross returned home by Vardy.
David de Gea (GK) – 5/10 – Carelessly conceded possession in the first half as United tried to play from behind and were fortunate not to be penalized.
Victor Lindelof (RB) – 5/10 – After a somewhat difficult afternoon by the very lively Barnes. Forced after 65 minutes of injury.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 6/10 – Did a good job on Vardy for the majority of the game between him and Bailly, with the Leicester forward rarely having a chance to fall behind.
Eric Bailly (CB) – 6/10 – Question marks about his role in equalizing Leicester, Bailly and McTominay giving Barnes too much room and calling on the winger to take a break. Had no response to Vardy’s move for Leicester second.
Luke Shaw (LB) – 6/10 – Enjoyed a good battle with Albrighton, rarely beaten by Leicester winger – but Shaw rarely got the better of him by advancing either.
Fred (CDM) – 6/10 – A typically energetic defensive display, but didn’t offer as much possession as Ndidi and Tielemans did for Leicester.
Scott McTominay (CDM) – 6/10 – Gave Barnes too much time in preparation for Leicester’s equalizer, McTominay failed to rise to shut Barnes down quickly enough – a rare lack or urgency on the part of the Scotsman, who harassed himself and got stuck in the whole afternoon.
Bruno Fernandes (CAM) – 8/10 – Teed up Rashford with an irresistible cross in the opening rally which the United striker should have scored. Stretched out to push on Rashford’s path for United’s opener, before carelessly conceding possession in preparation for Leicester’s equalizer. Made amends with a compound finish as United regained the lead.
Dan James (RW) – 6/10 – Heavily involved in United’s opener, spinning and feeding Fernandes. Not clinical enough when United were on a promising counterattack in the second half, their pass cut by Fofana. Replaced after 53 minutes.
Anthony Martial (ST) – 5/10 – Had the ball in the net in the second half after running behind Leicester’s baseline, but was correctly ruled out for offside. Otherwise relatively quiet, replaced after 75 minutes.
Marcus Rashford (LW) – 7/10 – Spoiled a glorious first-half opportunity when, unscored, he came from close range. I was right a few minutes later, passing Schmeichel to give United the advantage.
Paul Pogba – 6/10
Axel Tuanzebe – 6/10
Edinson Cavani – 7/10 – Set Fernandes up for second place at United with a superb deep ball.