Maguire’s welcome, Fletcher’s fan row, Carrick returns and Man United moments missed vs Leicester

Manchester United failed to bridge the gap on the top four after playing out a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

Following a lifeless first half, Leicester took the lead just past the hour mark through former Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who met James Maddison’s terrific cross to head past David de Gea. However, United responded just three minutes later through Fred’s fourth goal of the season.

The Brazilian found himself in the right place at the right time to tap in from close range after Bruno Fernandes’ effort was pushed away by Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal. However, that was as good as it got for United – and they could have lost it.

READ MORE: Manchester United player ratings vs Leicester

That is because Maddison saw a goal chalked off by VAR for a foul committed by Iheanacho on Raphael Varane in the build-up. The Nigerian, even if only softly, kicked Varane when trying to get the ball through Maddison and referee Andre Marriner, following a check of the VAR monitor, overturned the decision.

The second half certainly proved to be more entertaining than the 45 minutes that proceeded it, but there was still a few moments that you might have missed throughout the contest. With that said, here are five moments that may have escaped your eyes during United’s draw with the Foxes:

Maguire’s warm welcome

Fresh from being booed by some England supporters during Tuesday evening’s 3-0 win over the Ivory Coast at Wembley, Harry Maguire may have been forgiven for fearing the worst upon his arrival at Old Trafford ahead of kick-off. However, his fears of him were soon banished.

That is because the United captain, as he stepped off the team bus and made his way into the ground, was cheered and waved at by numerous Reds supporters, making it clear that no shortage of them are still supporting the skipper. On Friday, speaking in his pre-match press conference, Ralf Rangnick backed Maguire and made a strong defense for him, stressing how important he is to the club and the squad.

Neville slams United approach

In what was a drab and forgettable first half, Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville criticized United’s tactical approach as the half-time whistle loomed. He slammed Rangnick’s decision to leave Marcus Rashford on the bench when both Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani were unavailable for selection.

Neville said: “If Ronaldo was fit, he’d have played, obviously. United would not have played 4-2-2-2.

“You would think Rashford would come in if they used this system with Ronaldo in? That’s the surprise, he’s changed the system completely to exclude Rashford because Ronaldo would’ve played. He should be in this team, you have to say.

“Manchester United are absolutely toothless, it’s pathetically slow.”

Rashford did step off the bench in the second half and replaced Scott McTominay, who had earlier been booked for a rough challenge on Maddison.

Fletcher gets the brunt of it

After Iheanacho had broken the deadlock to put Leicester in front, one United supporter had seen enough, releasing his anger in the direction of United technical director Darren Fletcher. He had a real go at the former midfielder, but the Scot was not afraid to turn around and give it back, as opposed to remaining glued to his seat in silence.

In the end, the supporter in question appeared to be escorted out of the stand by a steward. Some United supporters who were sat in close proximity to where the war of words broke out applauded, but it was hard to say if they were reacting to the ousting or approving of Fletcher getting both barrels.

Had the fan remained silent and in his seat, he would have seen United make an immediate response through Fred.

Fred tucks away Manchester United’s leveler.

Carrick returns

Former United midfielder Michael Carrick was in attendance, soaking up the action as nothing more than a spectator. The 40-year-old took caretaker charge after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit in November and left the club following Rangnick’s appointment as interim boss.

Carrick was at the club for a total of 15 years and remains much-loved by the United faithful. He took charge of three games during his caretaker stint, winning twice and drawing once.

Rashford’s angry outburst

Looking to pile pressure on the Leicester rearguard as the contest enjoyed its final breaths, United’s best chance fell to substitute Rashford. He won the ball inside the penalty area and looked to dance his way through the Foxes defence, in the hope of getting a shot off.

After gliding past three Foxes defenders, Rashford was poised to pull the trigger from the right side of the penalty area, only for Anthony Elanga to get in his way, touch the ball and see the attack flagged offside. Rashford was furious with the youngster, slamming both of his hands on the turf, before getting up and appearing to say something along the lines of ‘I was going to score’.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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