Manchester United 1-1 Leicester: The wait goes on

Date published: Sunday 1st May 2016 3:55

Leonardo Ulloa Chris Smalling Football365

Leicester must wait to be crowned Premier League champions after being held to a 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

Victory on Sunday for the Foxes would have secured them a first-ever English top-flight title with two games remaining, but United held firm.

The hosts took the lead through Anthony Martial early in the first half, but Leicester equalised soon after through Wes Morgan.

Both sides had opportunities to score the winner, while Danny Drinkwater was dismissed with ten minutes remaining for a second bookable offence on his return to Old Trafford.

Leicester are now eight points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who play Chelsea on Monday. Spurs must beat their London rivals to stand any chance of winning the Premier League, but the leaders now require just two points from their final two fixtures to claim the title.

The Foxes’ failure to seal the deal with two games to spare was not for the want of trying. It was only after Drinkwater’s 86th-minute dismissal that it began to look like a draw was a satisfactory outcome.

United, who were also anxious for points in their battle for fourth place, were never in the mood to oblige them or their buoyant fans.

The opening half hour was a frenetic affair as Leicester made an unusually – but understandably – nervy start.

It came as no surprise they were breached early, as Marcus Rashford had already seen a shot blocked, when Martial arrived unmarked to sweep an Antonio Valencia cross under Kasper Schmeichel after eight minutes.

It was only the third goal the normally rocksteady Foxes had conceded in eight games and it needed a fine save from Schmeichel to deny Jesse Lingard and prevent it getting worse.

Leicester needed to regroup but did so successfully with Morgan getting away from the erratic Marcos Rojo to reach a Drinkwater free-kick and head a 17th-minute equaliser.

Attention then switched to referee Michael Oliver and a series of big decisions which could have had a significant bearing on the game.

Firstly Lingard seized on poor control by Danny Simpson and threatened to race clear, only to be dragged back by the Leicester defender. Lingard went down but Oliver did not deem contact strong enough to constitute a foul, much to the relief of Simpson, who on another day might have been sent off.

There was then controversy at the other end as Riyad Mahrez wrong-footed and then collided with Rojo in the penalty area, but again nothing was given.

United midfielder Marouane Fellaini might also have been lucky to escape punishment after appearing to catch Robert Huth with a flailing arm following a tussle that involved the Leicester defender pulling the Belgian’s hair.

The Foxes upped the tempo at the start of the second half. Simpson found space and had a cross deflected just out of Shinji Okazaki’s reach before Leonardo Ulloa headed the resulting corner over.

Ulloa had another good effort deflected wide.

United came back into the game as time ticked away and Chris Smalling went close with a firm header that struck the outside of the post.

Hearts were then in mouths when substitute Memphis went down after contact by Drinkwater on the edge of the area. Leicester were relieved no penalty was given, with a free-kick awarded just outside, but the red card made for anxious times in the closing minutes.

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