Manchester United will be back in the Champions League next season after overcoming Leicester 2-0 on the final day. United knew that they only needed a draw against Leicester to secure the UCL spot. Courtesy of a Bruno Fernandes penalty and Jesse Lingard’ goal, United sealed the top 4 with a 2-0 win.
Leicester had chances throughput the game but could not convert it as United pipped them in an exciting last day encounter. United’s first goal came through a penalty after Jonny Evans fouled Martial in the box when he was through on goal.
It was United’s talisman, Bruno Fernandes who coolly converted the penalty. The penalty itself broke a record. The penalty was United’s 14th of the season which the most, a side has ever won in a single season. United fans would perhaps not care about such things as the Red Devils finish 3rd in the table.
Leicester had some good openings in the first half. Iheanacho was awarded with the first chance but his poor decision making cost him. Rather than slipping it through to Justin who was open in the box, he took a shot which scuffed straight in the hands of De Gea. Ndidi and Tielemans also saw their efforts going wide of the posts.
United also had a goal ruled out in the 33rd minute for offside. Pogba’s beautiful chip found Bruno in the box who slotted in only for it to be ruled out. Rashford got chances of his own to put United in the lead. The first came through Fernandes’ pass which the Englishmen scuffed wide from 12 yards. Schmeichel did brilliantly to react to the 2nd as Rashford’s volley was kept away.
It was a closely fought first half with Leicester sitting deep and trying to hit United on the counter. Leicester got their best chance in the game when Vardy’s header from a free kick came off the bar. Leicester were starting to take control of the match as they were desperate for a goal. United on the other hand were patient when they had possession.
The Red Devils’ got their chance after Hamza Choudhury was dispossessed by Rashford who slipped Martial through on goal. The Frenchman was fouled inside the box and received a penalty which Bruno Fernandes converted.
United with the goal got a cushion, as Leicester needed 2 goals to grab a Champions League spot. It was all-out from Leicester in search of the goals and they came close through Morgan and Gray. Morgan miscued his shot from inside the box adding to Gray’s failed attempts.
The final nail in the coffin was put by Jesse Lingard who dispossessed Schmeichel to make it 2-0.
As a result, United not only secured Champions League qualification but they also finished 3rd. Before the restart, at the start of the year, even Europa League was looking difficult for United. Fernandes truly turned the United side as they fought back to earn their 3rd place.
Leicester meanwhile have to be content with a 5th place finish which qualifies them for Europa League. The Foxes looked set for a place in top 4 but lost their momentum after the restart.
United still have the chance to win the Europa League which resumes in a week’s time while Leicester go on holidays after a pretty successful season.