By James Agberebi: Manchester United missed the chance to keep up with Premier League leaders Manchester City as they conceded a late goal to settle for a 2-2 draw against 10-man Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday night.
Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi returned to Leicester’s starting 11 after serving his suspension for the red card he received last week, while his Nigerian teammates Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa were not included in the home team’s matchday squad.
A brace from Juan Mata looked set to seal the win for a dominant United side after Jamie Vardy had opened the scoring for Leicester which was his 50th in the EPL for the Foxes.
But a late goal from Harry Maguire secured a share of the points for Leicester.
The draw saw United remain second on 42 points, 13 points behind Manchester City while Leicester are eighth on 27 points.
United raced off the blocks and almost took the lead in the second minute but Chris Smalling’s from Juan Mata’s deflected cross went over the bar.
In the fifth minute United had another opportunity as Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku played a one-two but the former’s deflected shot was tipped over the bar by Kasper Schmeichel.
United continued to mount pressure and were presented with another chance as Paul Pogba’s fierce left-footed shot was gathered by Schmeichel.
In the 26th minute Leicester had their first attempt on goal but David De Gea stopped Riyad Mahrez’s low shot.
Leicester eventually broke the deadlock in the 27th minute as Ndidi launched the ball up field to Mahrez who held on to the ball and slipped a pass to Vardy whose left-foot strike went under De Gea.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, United were back on level terms thanks to Mata who drove a low shot from 12 yards into the corner.
United went on the offensive in the 52nd minute with Pogba hitting a long range effort which Schmeichel easily dealt with.
Just two minutes later Victor Lindelof cleared Christian Fuchs’ goal bound strike off the line after Mahrez had worked the ball to the far post.
In the 57th minute Leicester were forced into an early change as Danny Simpson went off injured and was replaced by Ghana’s Amartey.
United took the lead in the 20th minute as Mata scored his second goal off a superb curler from a free-kick from 20-yards.
Leicester were lucky not to concede on 72 minutes as Lingard was played through on goal but saw his effort hit the base of the post after rounding Schmeichel.
In the 74th minute Leicester were reduced to 10 men as substitute Amartey was sent off for a second yellow card after fouling Marcus Rashford.
Leicester went in search of the equaliser in the closing stages of the game and almost got their reward in the 90th minute but Marc Albrighton dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.
But in the 94th minute, Leicester equalised thanks to Maguire who pounced on Albrighton’s whipped in cross in what was the last attack of the game