Çağlar Söyüncü

Foxes End 23-Year Wait For Win At Old Trafford

Leicester City laid claim to their first victory at Old Trafford since 1998 after a 2-1 Premier League triumph away to Manchester United on Tuesday night saw them strengthen their position in the upper echelons of the division.
More on this story...

For City’s trip to Manchester, manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes from the defeat by Newcastle United. Luke Thomas and Ayoze Pérez came in for Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison, while there was a spot on the bench for youngster Tawanda Maswanhise.

Shaping up in a 4-4-2 formation early on, City had their first sight of goal on eight minutes. Marc Albrighton's cross took a touch off a Manchester United defender and the ball fell to Jamie Vardy, who made his way to the front post, however he couldn't generate the desired power and David De Gea was able to collect.

The Foxes were hot on their hosts' heels, though, and when Youri Tielemans hung up a lovely cross to the back post, Academy graduate Thomas volleyed an unstoppable strike into the top corner for his first Premier League goal for the Football Club.

Then came an immense downpour that greyed the Manchester sky and clattered Old Trafford's corrugated roof. In that period, the Red Devils drew level as Mason Greenwood collected Ama's pass and drove into the box before firing into the far corner with 15 minutes played.

A neat pass from Thomas then found Vardy on the left, but the No.9's cut-back to strike partner Kelechi Iheanacho was cleared to safety by Axel Tuanzebe midway through the first half. Five minutes later, De Gea had to be alert to Tielemans' cross, tipping it over to make sure it wouldn't drop into the net.

Aside from two good Çağlar Söyüncü recovery runs, Leicester were comfortable when in a defensive situation. On 42 minutes, meanwhile, Iheanacho tried to locate Vardy with a through-ball, however Tuanzebe did well to track back and the hosts were eventually awarded a free-kick in their own box.

Into first-half stoppage time, Wilfred Ndidi won a free-kick on the edge of the area and Tielemans stepped up to take it, however his effort hit the Manchester United wall and the opening 45 minutes came to a close.

City started the second period well, with Iheanacho winning a corner just 20 seconds in. Tielemans' delivery was headed away by Alex Telles to the feet of Ndidi, who hooked a half-volley wide of the mark. Iheanacho then sent a curling effort in the same direction after some productive work from Albrighton.

United's forward presence grew too, with Belgium full-back Timothy Castagne doing well to nod away Greenwood's header from a Telles free-kick on 54 minutes. The Foxes followed that up with a well-worked passing move, however Ndidi's eventual effort was blocked as Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side absorbed the pressure.

On 59 minutes, City's fluid passing nearly paid dividends as Tielemans located Iheanacho, but the Nigerian's attempt from a tight angle was saved by the mid-rift of De Gea and Vardy was then denied a follow-up effort. Shortly after, Eric Bailly was there to halt another Iheanacho shot as Rodgers' men piled on the pressure.

Both sides made changes with 25 minutes to play. Solskjær brought on Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford, while Rodgers introduced No.10 Maddison, who replaced Pérez.

But as the substitutes entered the field after a break in play, City regained their lead. Albrighton whipped in a delightful corner and there was Söyüncü to power home a header for 2-1 - his first Premier League goal of the season.

With 19 minutes to go, Tielemans had a shot blocked 20 yards out as Leicester looked to extend their advantage, while a header back across goal from Vardy nearly found the Belgian, whose commitment saw him slide into the post after flicking just wide. This was his 57th appearance of the season for club and country, though, and he was determined to play on.

It was an end to end affair in the closing 15 minutes, and United were a danger on the counter-attack. It took a well-timed sliding challenge from Wesley Fofana to stop Marcus Rashford in his tracks, while the opposition forward was also dispossessed by Ndidi in the heart of midfield.

As Maddison curled a 25-yard strike wide of the mark, United made their third change of the match as top-scorer Bruno Fernandes entered the action with just over 10 minutes to play. Shortly after, Vardy's evening came to an end and on came Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury.

A scramble in the City area then led to Fernandes slicing wide of the mark on 84 minutes, while Ndidi's brilliant defensive header prevented Bailly from connecting with a corner, before Tielemans dug the ball out to safety.

The Red Devils pushed for an equaliser in time added on, however Leicester were comfortable in their defending and were able to see out the win.

Major moment

Expand photo
Çağlar Söyüncü & Luke Thomas
Çağlar Söyüncü & Luke Thomas

City's goalscorers rejoice after Çağlar Söyüncü netted in the winner at Old Trafford in the second half.

Pegged back after Mason Greenwood cancelled out Luke Thomas' superb opener, City came out for the second half with a steely determination and looked threatening throughout. 

They always looked calm in possession of the ball, epitomised by the words 'patience, patience, patience' that bellowed through the stadium as captain Kasper Schmeichel urged his team-mates to take their time to unlock the Manchester United defence.

And it was a measured set-play that produced the winner, with Çağlar Söyüncü the man to net it as he thundered a Marc Albrighton corner past David De Gea with his head. It proved to be Söyüncü's first goal for the Club this term, but it was certainly worth the wait.

Who impressed?

Expand photo
Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas

The Academy graduate scored a beautiful opener against the Red Devils.

Positioned in the pressbox at Old Trafford, co-commentator Gerry Taggart told LCFC Radio: “I thought Wesley Fofana should get Man of the Match and Marc Albrighton, defensively, was outstanding, but I have to give it to Luke Thomas for that goal. If he scores another goal like that throughout his career, then he's done well. What a day to remember for him."

Where do we stand?

Expand photo
Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü netted a crucial winner as City stepped up their pursuit of European football.

City move back up to third in the Premier League standings with two games to play. They now possess an eight-point lead to fifth place, having registered their 20th league win of 2020/21.

Coming up…

Expand photo
Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana excelled for the Foxes against Manchester United.

Focus now shifts to Leicester City’s first Emirates FA Cup Final in 52 years. The Foxes head to Wembley Stadium on Saturday to face Chelsea (5:15pm BST kick-off) in a bid to win the competition for the first time in their history.

Leicester City Crest

Latest News

More Videos

Latest Images