Jose Mourinho summed it up for me at the end of the game at the King Power Stadium for Manchester United.
‘Childish in our box; Childish in the other half too. Easy game to win and still lack of awareness in the dying moments’
It was a thoroughly exciting game at Leicester City, where the electrifying crowd atmosphere just added to the thrill of football watching. The supporters really got behind the home team and the players staying true to their nickname, fought like real Foxes to salvage a point for the team.
The game was never lopsided and what we saw was two counter-attacking brands of football locking horns against each other. It will be Leicester who would be the happier of the two teams, despite both the sides garnering a point apiece from the game.
And yeah, want me to get started on the hurricane-esque hurdle of closing down the thirteen points gap that Manchester City hold at the moment?
David de Gea: 6/10
The Spaniard dealt brilliantly with crosses coming in from the flanks. However, he should have shown better awareness by coming off the line for the final goal.
Victor Lindelof: 6/10
Slotted into an unlikely position, Lindelof did fairly well at right-back. However, he should have switched positions to thwart Harry Maguire in the last minute; especially considering that Chris Smalling was barely limping in the final minutes of the game.
Chris Smalling: 5/10
Could he have done better while dealing with Mahrez that eventually led to Jamie Vardy’s goal? Certainly yes. He had ample time before the Algerian passed the ball to Jamie Vardy and a last-ditch tackle would not have hurt his team.
Phil Jones: 7/10
The most assured of the lot. Often made good use of his intelligence and made some truly exceptional blocks and interceptions inside the box.
Ashley Young: 4.5/10
Struggled to put in decent deliveries from the flanks and was a bit lost during Maguire’s goal.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
A mixed game for the Serbian, honestly. He broke up some really promising Leicester attacks and made good use of his physicality. However, he lost possession at important times and should have been the leader inside the box in the final minute.
Paul Pogba: 6.5/10
Did not justify his captain’s armband. Struggled to find his feet early on but slowly eased into his role. Made some precise passes in the final third and did well to release Martial on a couple of occasions.
Anthony Martial: 6/10
Quick footwork and good pace shown by the Frenchman. He was exceptional in the build-up to the first goal by Mata. Should have taken a delightful chance in the second half though.
Jesse Lingard: 6/10
Ran relentlessly but faltered when needed the most. Lukaku’s through ball found him well and Lingard did just as well to get his way past Kasper Schmeichel. Lack of patience meant that he struck the woodwork and failed to recover from that.
Juan Mata: 9/10
His best performance this season, by miles. Juan Mata reignited the creative spark that had deserted him for the past few months. His finish for the first goal was exquisite and the free-kick for the second one was as sumptuous as it can get. Jose won’t mind renewing his contract if Mata is able to do this more consistently.
Romelu Lukaku: 8/10
Provider, rather than a poacher tonight. Lukaku made some delightful passes to release Martial, Lingard and even Rashford in the second half. Dropped back deep to collect the ball and made good use of his footwork to tame the defenders.
Marcus Rashford: 6/10
Made his 100th appearance for Manchester United Football Club tonight but had very little time to leave a decisive impact on the field.
Ander Herrera: 5/10
Brought in to add some more defensive stability yet Herrera failed to thwart the cross that led to Maguire’s goal.
Henrik Mkhitaryan: 6/10
The Armenian was energetic, ready to take on defenders and Mourinho would be happy with this particular short cameo. Only Chink? Like most of his teammates, even Mkhitaryan failed to score moments after his introduction. The angle was narrow yet a player of his stature is expected to put that in.