THROWBACK TUESDAYS: LEICESTER CITY 5 - MANCHESTER UNITED 3
Updated: Nov 4, 2020
This week for our throwback I take a look at one of the most thrilling comebacks the Premier League has ever witnessed, when the old warhorse Manchester United took on newly promoted Leicester at the King Power stadium.
It was always a game on paper that United were expected to win, with an array of global superstars filling their line-up including the likes of Robin Van Persie, David De Gea and newly signed Angel Di Maria it seemed destined for an away triumph.
It started that way anyway, David Moyes’s men were quick out the blocks with Robin Van Persie heading in from an inch-perfect Ramadel Falcao cross. Di Maria made it two inside 15 minutes, when he was sent through one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel and on his debut produced a sumptuous chip over the Dane’s head to put United firmly in the driving seat.
Leicester bounced back quickly though, with a lively Jamie Vardy getting to the byline and crossing for new signing Leo Ulloa to head past De Gea, the first signs of some frailties at the back for United. Leicester then started to weather the storm through the latter stages of the first half and went into the interval at 1-2, a score-line the Premier League new-comers would have taken 15 minutes into the game.
Leicester came out for the second half refreshed and rejuvenated, but they were dealt a blow early on. Ander Herrera slyly diverted the ball using his backheel past the despairing Schmeichel, with United 1-3 up with 30 minutes to go, no one could have predicted what happened next.
Vardy was set free down the right and muscled Rafael out of the way to win the ball, the striker made his way into the penalty area and then felt a response by Rafael, as the Brazillian defender clattered into his back, persuading Vardy to go down. Even though it looked very soft on the replays, Martin Atkinson had no hesitation and pointed to the spot. David Nugent, the man who finished top scorer in the Championship for Leicester the season before lashed the spot-kick into the middle of the net, sending De Gea the wrong way, 3-2.
Leicester and their fans were given a new lease of energy and two minutes later it got even better for them. In the 64th minute, Leicester exposed another leak in the United defensive system. Dean Hammond had a go from 20 yards, which incidentally cannoned into Jamie Vardy’s boot, Vardy showed pristine control and touched it down beautifully inside the 18-yard box for Esteban Cambiasso. The Argentine legend on his home debut managed to get under the ball and fire home to make it all square at 3-3! The stadium erupted and the Leicester fans were sent into complete and utter ecstasy.
I think by now most Leicester fans were thinking about what a comeback it had been and it would be amazing to snatch a point from one of the big boys. The players had other ideas though, as the Foxes pushed for a winner to put the cherry on this historic day. Richie De Laet, Leicester’s Belgian right-back that had previously played for Manchester United academy, capitalized on a loose ball in midfield. It caught the away side by surprise, as only one player was back defending for United, which was a huge problem considering Jamie Vardy was lurking on the shoulder. Vardy was played in by De Laet and sent one-on-one with De Gea, who he calmly slotted past to give Leicester a 4-3 lead, amazing!
Leicester then went on to put further salt into the wounds of a timid United team. Vardy who was involved in every goal, was yet again set free after turning young defender Tyler Blackett. He was bearing down on goal and in an attempt to make immense for his side, Blackett clumsy brought Vardy down in the area. Leo Ulloa calmly slotted past a furious De Gea to get his second of the day, as United conceded five!