Jamie Vardy stuns Manchester United as Leicester snatch win in six-goal thriller

Leicester 4-2 Manchester United: The defeat ends United’s 29-game unbeaten away record

Melissa Reddy
King Power Stadium
Saturday 16 October 2021 17:55
<p>Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring the Foxes’ third goal</p>

Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring the Foxes’ third goal

Dirty sheets, divine goals, utter chaos and the death of an English league record unbeaten away run.

Leicester swatted Manchester United 4-2 at King Power Stadium in a spectacle that was, well, pure Barclays.

Mason Greenwood and Youri Tielemans decorated it with the kind of strikes that demand Goal of the Season accolades.

The final 10 minutes were a swirl of attack, no defence, substitutes running wild and the home crowd erupting to celebrate a display that they could finally relate to.

Leicester’s four-match winless league streak was done, United’s fine run on the road was dead and gone.

Brendan Rodgers unsurprisingly edged the tactical battle over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the more complete, coherent team were victors.

The last three meetings between Leicester and United on this turf had immense jeopardy: duelling for a Champions League spot and an FA Cup quarter-final. Saturday afternoon’s test was less knife-edge and more about correcting early-season ills. Leicester, ravaged by injuries through their defensive spine, have been a shell of themselves.

Easy to play through and create against, they spent opening months of the season struggling to both carve out quality chances and keep them out.

United, meanwhile, arrived seated amongst the title contenders but with only one truly convincing performance against an expansive Leeds to their name.

This fixture was an opportunity for both to do better, be better, show better. The home side were granted welcome defensive relief with Jonny Evans fit enough to start while Harry Maguire provided the same positive news for United.

Regardless of their presence, with both teams unable to bank on a clean sheet, goals were a guarantee as afternoon faded to evening. And when they came – holy wow!

Mason Greenwood celebrates his stunning strike

Leicester had threatened, but Greenwood provided a warning shot before making jaws drop. The 20-year-old had held off Evans, but his hit was comfortable for Kasper Schmeichel to collect.

Six minutes later, Greenwood received possession from Bruno Fernandes wide on the right, cut inside and confidently dispatched a lightning bolt with his left that swerved and cannoned in off the far-left post.

It was a stunning way to set the game alight and Leicester pressed for a response. They made a habit of bypassing United’s midfield and went close through Ricardo Pereira but the equaliser was more than worth some patience.

Caglar Soyuncu celebrates scoring Leicester’s second goal

A free-kick for the visitors was played by David de Gea to Maguire, who dawdled as the ball headed his way. It encouraged Kelechi Iheanacho to press United’s captain and ultimately thieve possession off him to supply an unmarked Tielemans.

The scorer of wonder goals, perched at the edge of the area, waved his magic right foot and conjured a clipped beauty that hung in the air before exquisitely curling into the top corner.

Leicester ended the half stronger and Iheanacho worked a Tielemans pass narrowly wide. The forward began the second stanza with another chance, but he shot straight at De Gea.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United is helped up by Daniel Amartey of Leicester City

Greenwood tried to reduce Leicester’s control and Nemanja Matic had a half-volley that made Schmeichel scramble before the goalkeeper thwarted Cristiano Ronaldo – but the flag was up.

Marcus Rashford, returning from a lengthy lay-off due to shoulder surgery, replaced the largely anonymous Jadon Sancho.

But it was at the other end of the pitch where the significant action materialised in the closing stages, shaped by Rodgers’ changes. Tielemans struck the post after dispossessing Matic and De Gea saved with his feet from substitute Patson Daka.

The 23-year-old drew another fine intervention from United’s No 1, but Caglar Soyuncu – played onside by Maguire – bundled in.

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United reacts after their side concedes a third goal

Leicester looked to have won it, but there was still more chaos in the air. Rashford would get his golden ‘welcome back’ as his brilliant, curved run met a lovely long ball from Victor Lindelof and the England international finished expertly.

But Leicester’s subs would have the final word. Ayoze Perez dribbled into the box and supplied Jamie Vardy, who thundered in an unstoppable volley.

And they were not done yet. Daka followed in at the back post after United failed to clear a set-piece and waved goodbye to their unbeaten away run.

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