Leicester 2-2 Manchester United: Harry Maguire scores dramatic 94th-minute leveller for hosts
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 24/12/17 7:03am
Harry Maguire netted a 94th-minute equaliser as Manchester United were punished for their wastefulness in a 2-2 draw at Leicester.
Somewhat against the run of play, Jamie Vardy finished off a fantastic counter attack in the 27th minute to break the deadlock - his 50th Premier League goal, and his fourth in all competitions against United.
United deservedly restored parity 13 minutes later, as Juan Mata stroked the ball home after good work from Jesse Lingard, before the Spain international curled a delightful free-kick into the net on the hour mark to complete the turnaround.
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Leicester pressed for an equaliser, but substitute Daniel Amartey's needless red card after two quick-fire bookings didn't help their cause, as it seemed United would go on to extend their lead. However, after Jose Mourinho's men wasted a host of gilt-edged chances to seal victory, Maguire stole in at the back post to snatch the Foxes a point in the most dramatic fashion with the last kick of the game.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (5), Morgan (6), Maguire (7), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (7), Ndidi (6), Iborra (6), Abrighton (7), Gray (6), Vardy (7).
Subs: Chilwell (N/A), Amartey (3), Okazaki (6).
Manchester United: De Gea (5), Lindelof (7), Jones (6), Smalling (5), Young (7), Matic (7), Pogba (6), Mata (8), Lingard (7), Martial (7), Lukaku (8).
Subs: Herrera (6), Mkhitaryan (6), Rashford (6).
As a result, United are now 13 points behind leaders Manchester City, while Leicester stay eighth.
United started on the front foot, and went close as early as the second minute, with Chris Smalling heading over after climbing to meet a Mata cross.
Jesse Lingard then linked up well with Romelu Lukaku, thundered a strike towards goal which Kasper Schmeichel did well to palm over the bar, before Pogba also tested Schmeichel from distance, but again the Denmark international was equal to it.
Paul Pogba returned from his three-match Premier League suspension to captain Manchester United. The Frenchman was one of three players who retained their starting spot following Wednesday’s League Cup defeat at Bristol City, along with Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial. Christian Fuchs replaced Ben Chilwell at left-back for Leicester in the only change from the side who were humiliated at home against Crystal Palace last week.
Leicester grew into the game and, in typical Foxes fashion, they countered to stun United. Vardy laid the ball off for Wilfred Ndidi who launched it forward for Mahrez.
The bounce did not help the Leicester forward, but he showed great composure to hold the ball up and wait for Vardy to continue his run before laying the ball into the England international's path, who finished into the bottom corner
The goal did not affect the flow of the match, however, as United continued to press, and levelled things up through Mata five minutes before the break.
Martial fizzed the ball into the feet of Lingard, who did well to lay it off for Mata, with the Spain international showing great composure to steer the ball into the bottom corner.
After the break Christian Fuchs' goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Victor Lindelof, before Anthony Martial blazed over from a good position after being picked out by a penetrating pass from Lukaku.
Mata put United in front with a sublime free-kick, showing a delicate touch to clip the ball over the wall and beyond the despairing dive of Schemichel.
Lingard should have put the game to bed with 18 minutes left, but he hit the post after rounding Schmeichel, before substitute Amartey did make United's task that bit easier after receiving his marching orders.
United had further chances to make their position more comfortable, with Marcus Rashford wasting the clearest of the lot, but he could not get around Schmeichel, before Maguire stole a point at the death.
With United pressed into their own penalty area, Marc Albrighton whipped a crossed into the danger zone, David de Gea stayed rooted to his line, and when an injured Chris Smalling could not get across, Maguire was on hand to steer the ball home.
Manchester City will be 13 points clear of Manchester United on Christmas Day - the biggest points gap between first and second place on Christmas Day in English top-flight history.
This was the first time that Manchester United have conceded a 90th minute goal that has changed the result of a league game since Feburary 7th 2016 (1-1 v Chelsea - Diego Costa).
Manchester United have lost just one of their last 13 league visits to Leicester City (W7 D5 L1), a 3-5 defeat in September 2014.
42 per cent (21) of Jamie Vardy's 50 Premier League goals have come against 'big six opposition'.
Man of the match - Romelu Lukaku
Not renowned for his creativity, Lukaku was integral to United's flow at the King Power, though this time as a provider. His pass for Martial's second-half chance was sublime, as was his lay off for Lingard's guilt-edged opening. Both deserved to be finished off.
His confidence in front of goal is still not quite right, but having provided four key passes - unsurpassed by anyone on the pitch at the King Power, the Belgium international can be pleased with his all-round contribution.
Burnley make the short trip to Old Trafford on Boxing Day, while Leicester head to the capital to take on Watford in their latest festive fixture.