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The crowning of Leicester City as the 2015/16 Premier League champions was postponed- albeit for a short while- after they registered a one-all draw with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford. The Foxes were a bag of nerves during the opening exchanges that saw them unequivocally punished for their slapstick defending. An unmarked Anthony Martial smashed home a well worked Antonio Valencia cross to give United the lead with just eight minutes into the match.
As has been resonated all season long the Foxes never give up, and it wasn’t long before they found an opening. Wes Morgan outwitted Marcos Rojo from Danny Drinkwater’s free kick to level the scores with a deserving header in the 17th minute.
Although much of the second half was full of fouls, tempers and penalty appeals, it had no bearing on the outcome as the two sides still shared the spoils. Here are three observations from Manchester United’s draw with Leicester.
Champions League looking bleak
Leicester’s hopes of winning the League at Old Trafford may have been dented a tad bit, but Manchester United were the biggest losers of the day. Their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League became increasingly bleak; more so because securing maximum points could have drawn them within touching distance of fourth placed Manchester City who lost 4-2 to Southampton later in the day.
The result now leaves Louis van Gaal’s charges mud stuck in fifth place with 60 points, four points behind their City rivals who occupy the last Champions League slot. It is still mathematically possible for the Old Trafford outfit to topple Manchester City by finishing fourth in the Premier League standings, but that would only be possible if Pellegrini’s side lost their two remaining games against Arsenal and Swansea.
To be on the safe side, United would do best to win all their remaining matches against Norwich, West Ham and Bournemouth and hope Manchester City falter heavily.
Leicester still title frontrunners
The draw at Old Trafford is nothing more than a bump in Leicester’s rear view mirror as the Foxes only need Tottenham to either lose or draw against Chelsea on Monday night for them to be crowned Premier League champions.
But even if Spurs emerge victorious at Stamford Bridge, Leicester only need two points from their last two games to elevate themselves to Premier League glory. A win over Everton at the King Power stadium next Saturday will however seal the deal for the much deserving Foxes.
Rojo is a fraud
Marcos Rojo may not be good at making toast, but he isn’t as good at defending either. The Argentine showcased criminal defending when he was caught off guard and outmuscled by Wes Morgan for the equalizer which was everything but a hard finish. Detecting a loophole at the United backline, the Leicester skipper went at Rojo all day, completely annihilating the 26-year old.
Caught unawares again, Morgan could have easily grabbed the winner right after the interval had it not been for David De Gea’s instinctive saves. Furthermore, on any other day with any other official, Rojo’s offence on Riyad Mahrez could have been punished with and a penalty given away.
With Luke Shaw and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson returning from injury, it’s hard to see Marcos Rojo’s future in Manchester United colors.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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