Bastian Schweinsteiger cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s record breaking opener as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Leicester City this evening.
Man United made a solid start to the match but struggled to create much by way of clear cut chances. Leicester, on the other hand, always looked dangerous on the counter and Christian Fuchs’ wonderful pass teed up Jamie Vardy to score for the eleventh Premier League game in succession, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record. United were rattled and it took time for them to get going again but Bastian Schweinsteiger’s pinpoint header from a Daley Blind corner levelled things up just before the break.
Following the interval, Schweinsteiger again aimed a header at goal after getting onto the end of Ashley Young’s delivery but Schmeichel denied the German. United took control but Leonardo Ulloa should have scored for Leicester when presented with a golden chance on the counter attack by Riyad Mahrez. Neither side could find a winner, meaning they both had to settle for a point.
Vardy’s achievement is a wonderful one and he deserves full credit for it. However, United certainly made it easy for him as Fuchs’ pass carved the visitor’s defence open with relative ease.
United lined up with three centre-backs and two full-backs at the King Power stadium but not one of them managed to see where the pass was going. For a side who have been praised for their defensive solidarity this term, it was truly woeful from van Gaal’s side.
Woeful first half
Up until Schweinsteiger’s goal, it was hard to recall United having a proper shot on goal in the first half, such was their predictability and sluggishness in front of goal.
Van Gaal switched the formation around against Leicester but it did little to help United’s attacking issues in the first period, with Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata failing to combine effectively. Schweinsteiger’s equaliser came as a huge relief but it was concerning, once again, how toothless United looked in open play.
Big players stand up in big moments and Schweinsteiger did exactly that against Leicester in what was a crucial period in the game for United.
Shrugging off the attentions of Foxes forward Shinji Okazaki, Schweinsteiger powered a header past Kasper Schmeichel and into the net. It epitomised everything United supporters expected of Schweinsteiger when he joined the club – determination, leadership and drive.
The United captain was fairly ineffectual at the King Power stadium and went off after 68 minutes after picking up a knock.
Rooney’s display was subpar but the same could be said of many of his teammates. However, after seeing Schweinsteiger bullet in a header to equalise for United, it makes you wonder if Rooney is capable of moments like that anymore. When was the last time the 30-year-old grabbed a game by the scruff of it’s neck and pulled United out of a hole singlehandedly?
What has happened to the Italian? Denis Irwin recently claimed that Darmian has ‘gone off the boil’ following a promising start and it’s hard to disagree with him.
Darmian’s crossing was poor, he was suspect at the back and didn’t really offer much going forward. The full-back enjoyed a wonderful start to life at United but his decline in form has been severe.