A calamitous display from Manchester United at the tail end of their game against Leicester cost them a win.
United’s ever-fleeting hopes of staying in the Premier League title race were dealt a fatal blow at the King Power Stadium on Saturday night. Having fallen behind to a first half goal from Jamie Vardy, a Juan Mata brace looked to have set the Red Devils up for a seventh win in eight league games.
Not for the first time this season, United rested on their laurels, and instead to truly attempting to finish the game off, they sat back and wasted chances when they did get forward.
Cannot believe Rashford didn’t pass this either. Wrap it and kill it 3-1. Instead he messes on the ball and gets dispossessed. Shocking. pic.twitter.com/hK1zLU9WVa
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) December 23, 2017
Harry Maguire made them pay with the last kick of the game.
Speaking on his self-titled podcast, Sky Sports’ Gary Neville highlighted the atrocious organisation on display in defence, with Smalling, beaten to the ball by Maguire, coming in for criticism.
“Smalling has got to flag up as an experienced defender that he’s struggling, get someone else into the centre,” the club legend stated. “It didn’t happen for two or three minutes.”
“Then Phil Jones recognised it had happened and tried to reorganise – as I saw it, Ander Herrera refused to go to right-back and told Henrik Mkhitaryan to go back there. All over a sudden Smalling sits down on the floor and then goes off the pitch and then comes back on at centre-back. He ends up picking up Harry Maguire.
“You can’t believe the disorganisation and lack of leadership shown by Manchester United at the end of that game in a game they should have won. Jose will be furious when he watches that back.”
Interesting that Jones asked Herrera to fill in at right-back and he refused. Why?? That caused confusion in the final minutes. Herrera also had word with Lukaku near the end. Some clearly frustrated characters in this squad at present. #MUFC
— Rob Blanchette (@_Rob_B) December 23, 2017
Herrera also had a run-in with teammate Romelu Lukaku, when, in opting to stay out of defence, shirked a run while attacking.
Herrera must have been bricking it when Lukaku had a go at him ? pic.twitter.com/1UQQpCOOQW
— SNM (@JackCook95) December 24, 2017
Mourinho was indeed furious after the game, labelling the performance of some players “childish”. United next host Burnley on Boxing Day.