In this fixture last season, the Foxes visited Old Trafford where a win would have clinched the Premier League title. A decent draw was played out at 1-1 and City were crowned Champions the following day as Spurs failed to win at Chelsea and the rest is history.
City were travelling to Manchester off the back of a 4-2 defeat to Chelsea in the EFL cup, that said, it was a much changed team to that one that featured at the King Power Stadium. United in contrast had suffered a bit of a blip of two league losses in a row, but they did manage to overcome Northampton Town on Wednesday also in the EFL cup.
Zieler once again featured in goal after Schmeichel picked up a muscle injury in the week. The German goalkeeper spent part of his youth career at Old Trafford and a picture emerged in midweek of him and a young Danny Drinkwater lining up in the United colours, however the Foxes stopper never quite made the first team. Slimani was once again preferred over Shinji Okazaki as a strike partner for Jamie Vardy.
Rooney was dropped from the Manchester United starting line-up after coming under pressure of late.
The Foxes fans travelled in great numbers and they were in fine form with a huge repertoire of songs. The United crowd in comparison were very quiet, with the odd chant of ‘United’ which was often deafened out by the City faithful. Leicester started the game well and looked lively in the first 15-20 minutes, however a lapse in concentration on 22 minutes from a Daley Blind corner allowed Chris Smalling to tower above Huth and Fuchs and power his header past Zieler who almost kept the shot out. Questionable as to why no defenders were placed on the posts.
City then had to soak up a spell of pressure where Marcus Rashford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba all had chances to double the lead. The latter forcing a fine save from Zieler who had to palm away a fierce shot from the £89m man.
What happened then was period of madness for the Foxes. Between the 37th minute to the 42nd minute, the defence fell apart and Manchester United put the game out of sight with 3 quick fire goals to make it 4-0 at half time. I am not even going to try to sit and decipher what happened. The defence capitulated and City were shellshocked going into half time.
Claudio Ranieri recognised the game had gone and he pulled Vardy and Mahrez off with eyes now firmly fixed on the visit of Porto on Tuesday. Vardy was definitely taken off to be rested, but you could argue Mahrez was taken off as he was quite simply poor. Andy King and Damarai Gray replaced them.
All the Italian could ask for was a better performance in the second half, defensively at least and in fairness, he got a decent performance from his men. Damarai Gray gave the Foxes something to cheer about on 60 minutes with a contender for Goal of the Month. The youngster has been growing impatient of late, tweeting as much after the 4-1 defeat versus Liverpool 2 weeks ago.
Andy King went close soon after, but the Welshman drove his shot straight at De Gea and again Gray tested the United keeper who had to claw away a cross-come-shot from the City substitute. The game played out at 4-1 making it a miserable time on our travels this season (bar Brugge) losing all 3 games on the road.
A mad 5-10 minutes cost City dearly today.
Man of the Match – Damarai Gray
Watch the Match Highlights here…