Manchester United take on struggling Leicester City at the King Power on Sunday looking to narrow the gap on the top four.
So far it has proven to be a feisty encounter with challenges flying in all over the pitch, the physicality of the game making up for the lack of chances until Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the visitors a relatively comfortable 2-0 lead in the closing minutes of the first half.
Prior to the goals, however, the biggest talking point came just before the half-hour mark, as Juan Mata went in late on Leicester striker Jamie Vardy…
With the ball already gone, Mata came flying in and caught the England international on the ankle, which in turn sent him flying in the air.
It was a challenge that Gary Neville, covering the game as a co-commentator for Sky Sports, called borderline, and admitted it would not have been a surprise to see the Spaniard sent off for the foul.
In the end, Mata was shown a yellow card for the foul, and Man United have since turned the tie in their favour with a counter-attacking goal from Mkhitaryan three minutes before the break, before Ibrahimovic doubled the lead.
Juan Mata’s tackle on Vardy? pic.twitter.com/vsus24DcMM
— United Report (@ManUtdReport_) February 5, 2017
Nasty Mata. Will expect grovelling apology into tomorrow’s blog #LEIMNU
— Mikey Stafford (@me_stafford) February 5, 2017
If Granit Xhaka had tackled Vardy the way Mata did, he’d get a red card and be charged with attempted murder.
— Mohamed ELNneny (@ElNnenyM) February 5, 2017
2-0 it remains at half-time and it looks as though Man United are about to move within one point of fifth-placed Liverpool by the end of the match.