By 90Min
December 23, 2017

Manchester United were pegged back further in the title race on Saturday evening after a late Harry Maguire goal gifted 10 men Leicester a point at the King Power Stadium, leaving the Red Devils 13 points adrift of their city rivals.

Victor Lindelof - conventionally a centre-back - filled in at right-back in place of injured captain Antonio Valencia. Paul Pogba made his Premier League return after completing his three-match suspension for stamping on Arsenal's Hector Bellerin. Vital central midfielder Wilfred Ndidi also returned for The Foxes after his dismissal in the dismal 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

The Red Devils came racing out the blocks and within two minutes. Chris Smalling had a free header which he got underneath and put over the bar when he really should have done better.

Then two minutes later, a good one two between Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku resulted in the former shooting at goal, deflecting off Harry Maguire with Kasper Schmeichel just about able to claw it over the bar.

Despite all the early United pressure, it was Leicester who clinched the opening goal of the game in the 27th minute with a glorious counter attack that they've become so renowned for ever since their title winning campaign.

Wilfred Ndidi played a delightful first time ball through to Riyad Mahrez, who simply had to pass to his left for Jamie Vardy to score his 50th Premier League goal. It was poor defending from United, with Lindelof and Phil Jones leaving the helpless Smalling all alone at the back.

However, the away team continued to dominate the game and got their due reward with five minutes remaining of the first half. Anthony Martial - who had Danny Simpson on toast for the whole half - put in a deflected cross which fell kindly to Jesse Lingard on the penalty spot. He deftly laid it off to Juan Mata, who took one touch and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

United's suspect defence continued to prove its vulnerability as Marc Albrighton floated a deep free-kick to the back post where Maguire - the tallest man on the pitch - was left completely unmarked, but he couldn't steer the ball goalwards from three yards out.

The start of the second half contrasted the beginning of the opening 45 minutes, with both sides looking sluggish and just passing the ball from side to side. Mahrez then took the game by the scruff of it's neck as he so often does by skinning Ashley Young before fizzing a low cross along the corridor of uncertainty, only for Christian Fuchs' effort to be cleared off the line by Lindelof.

On the hour mark, Martial was brought down off the ball and awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Mata stood over it and nonchalantly curled the ball over the wall and into the back of the net to complete the turnaround. Schmeichel might be slightly disappointed he wasn't able to save that effort on second viewing as the ball wasn't precisely in the corner. 

United almost had their third in the 72nd minute. An error from Leicester substitute Daniel Amartey gifted the ball to Romelu Lukaku who drove forward and beautifully played in Lingard. He rounded Schmeichel but his effort at goal cannoned off the base of the post when he really should have signed, sealed and delivered all three points.

Amartey's poor showing was further compounded just a minute later as he received his marching orders after he saw yellow twice in quick succession for similar cynical challenges.

The Ghanaian's second yellow was for upending substitute Marcus Rashford, and the young star had a great chance to score with 10 minutes remaining. He got onto the end of a beautiful Pogba pass and went to take it round Schmeichel but this time, the big Dane managed to palm the ball onto his shin and out for a goal-kick. 

Foxes fans were becoming increasingly disgruntled with referee Jon Moss and were dismayed that they weren't given a penalty when Smalling clambered all over Maguire in the penalty area to win a header.

Smalling was evidently carrying a groin injury and could hardly move without grimacing, but United had made all three subs. Leicester took advantage of this by hoofing a deep ball into the box, Smalling couldn't backtrack in time and allowed Maguire to ghost in at the back post to grab an equaliser with the last kick of the game.

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