Cleat Geeks

Manchester United Hold Leicester To A Draw At Old Trafford Proving Bob Dylan Right!

In the often quoted or misquoted song by Bob Dylan we have the well know and prophetic lines which seem to fit into almost every human experience.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

“The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'”
(c) Bob Dylan

At Old Trafford on Sunday May 1st 2016 the order was rapidly fading, the Premier League order that is.

As Leicester City took the field at the home of former champions Manchester United there was a surreal atmosphere around the ground. This was Leicester City, not Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs or Chelsea and they were about to win the title.

The match itself seemed a repeat of United’s game the previous weekend in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Everton at Wembley. In the first half against Leicester, United were all energy, pace and organisation in their bid to gain another three points and finish in a top four spot in the premier league.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

Like the Wembley semi-final it was Anthony Martial who scored the first goal after eight minutes and Leicester’s inevitable march to the title hit a bump on the road. However this is not the Leicester of last year and with the ultimate prize at stake they summoned up an equalizer in the 17th minute through their centre back Wes Morgan.
Leicester, like Everton, put on a better performance in the second half and as in the Everton match United seemed to run out of ideas or energy or both. There was a possible penalty shout when Danny Drinkwater seemed to foul Ander Herrara in the penalty area however the referee deemed the tackle was just outside the box and gave a free kick instead. He then booked Drinkwater for the second time in the match and followed this with the inevitable red card and Drinkwater was sent off. Drinkwater, looking back as the free kick was taken showed relief that a penalty was not given because later video evidence showed a penalty should have been awarded and that he got away with it.

As it happened for Leicester City the 1-1 draw was only a delay on their march to their first Premier League title which they won the following evening as they sat and watched Tottenham fail to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In this most remarkable of seasons a team which were on the verge of relegation at the end of last season and who were 5000/1 on to win the title this season, did just that.

However what of Manchester United this season, what dreams have gone astray under the tutelage of their iron tulip Louis Van Gaal? In the post match interview last week after United had qualified for their first FA Cup final in a number of years Van Gaal immediately blamed the referee for bad decisions in the game. Van Gaal does not seem to grasp the idea of being humble in victory and gracious in defeat. In the aftermath of the 1-1 draw against Leicester Van Gaal was again less than generous in his praise of the opposition.FellainiRock

When asked about a possible ban for his player, Marouane Fellaini, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal defended his lashing out with an elbow, saying that Leicester City defender Robert Huth deserved what he got.

In one of his most extraordinary comments to date, Van Gaal accused Huth of pulling Fellaini’s hair, something, Van Gaal said, was only acceptable “in sex masochism, then it is allowed.” “When I grab your hair now, you will react also,” he told a reporter, motioning off-camera to demonstrate how his hair might be pulled.

The Belgian’s wild swinging elbow that caught Robert Huth on the jaw in the first half at Old Trafford went unseen and unpunished by referee Michael Oliver but will surely attract the attention of the Football Association.

Fellaini’s mitigating circumstance will be that Huth pulled at his hair in an act of provocation. This was clearly true but there can be no excuse for Fellaini’s reaction, which would surely have brought a red card from referee Oliver had he been seen.

So the match ended without Leicester winning the title at Old Trafford and United failing to bag the 3 points needed for their march up the table. United’s next game away at Norwich is even more critical and it will be hoped that the team put on a better performance for 90 minutes than their previous two match.

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