Gary Neville: Soft-centred Manchester United were bullied by Leicester

Louis van Gaal
Image: Louis van Gaal

Gary Neville has accused his former club Manchester United of being 'soft-centred' and 'bullied' by Leicester City in their 5-3 capitulation.

Louis van Gaal's side threw away a 3-1 lead against the Premier League new boys after a second half of shambolic defending at the King Power Stadium.

This defeat leaves United in 12th place in the Premier League with just one win this season, despite spending over £140million on players in the transfer window.

Gary Neville says Manchester United are ‘soft centered’ and need to show some fight and determination if they are to stop leaking goals and win games.

Sky Sports pundit and former Red Devils defender Neville pointed the finger at the players on Super Sunday, branding them ‘not tough enough’.

"Going forward they're a lot better than they have been in the last 12-18 months and that's a positive," said Neville.

"But in the first half, every ball that got played forward from distance a Leicester player won it, whether it was the first ball or the second ball. In the second half, a decision goes against them but make no mistake about it they're soft-centred.

There's no doubt Manchester United are soft-centered. They're not tough enough
Gary Neville

"There's no doubt Manchester United are soft-centred. They're not tough enough. 

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"You saw out there today [in the Manchester City versus Chelsea match] that every time a ball went up to Diego Costa he was getting battered by (Eliaquim) Mangala and it was the same at the other end with John Terry and Gary Cahill.

"I thought the midfield three for United and the back four got bullied.


"Credit to Leicester and (Jamie) Vardy and (Leonardo) Ulloa - they really ran them ragged. It wasn't intricate play or world-class football, it was just hard work. 

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"Grit, hard work, with a bit of quality mixed in with it and United couldn't deal with the physicality of that team.

"Defensive organisation is one thing, but they've got to be more competitive than that and win battles and one-on-one duels, because they were soft-centred in that game.

"Even though things were going against them with a bad refereeing decision, if you can't compete...You're playing away in the Premier League at Leicester - what did they expect?  

"Have they not learned their lessons from the Everton game a few weeks ago? You've got to be physical, you've got to stand up to your man and you've got to win headers, win your tackles and give them no encouragement. They didn't do that. Leicester got encouragement, I thought, in the first half not just the second half.

"Their (United's) three goals were brilliant, they were absolutely fantastic goals but, they're going to get done week in week out. That was a proper test for them today against Leicester."

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