Mistake-prone Man United punished by Iheanacho, Leicester

Leicester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup - Quarter Final - King Power Stadium
Photo by Ian Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Kelechi Iheanacho had a goal and an assist as Leicester City moved past Manchester United 3-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday to claim a spot against Southampton in the FA Cup semifinals.

The sides traded first-half goals before Iheanacho set up Youri Tielemans low drive past Dean Henderson, whose United teammates managed just nine shots attempts after returning from a Europa League triumph over AC Milan late Thursday.

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Mason Greenwood scored for Manchester United, who is out of the FA Cup at the quarterfinal stage after leaving the FA Cup at the same stage and falling short at the semifinal rounds of three tournaments last season.

It’s a huge win for Brendan Rodgers, who will like his chances of beating Southampton and challenging for a big bit of silver at Wembley Stadium. And Kasper Schmeichel beat his dad’s former club while Harry Maguire loses to his former employers.

1. Iheanacho feasts on terrible United decisions: Leicester City’s Nigerian striker is in sensational form and hasn’t needed help producing goals of late, bringing a run of five goals in three matches into this one and added two more goals and an assist.

But help is what he got on his goals, the predatory striker taking advantage of poor play from Harry Maguire and Fred to make it 1-0 before United sub Scott McTominay somehow totally missed his bid to head a Marc Albrighton corner away from danger, Iheanacho all alone to salt away the result at the back post.

Iheanacho has thrived as Jamie Vardy has looked rusty. The 24-year-old striker now has 12 goals and five assists in 1,369 minutes across all competitions, his best since scoring 14 goals with five assists as a teenager with Man City in 1,248 minutes.

The Nigerian’s performance recalled his goal and assist for City in a 2-1 Manchester derby win at Old Trafford in 2016.

Is McTominay just trying to see how high he can jump here, or did he look for the ball, too?

2. Solskjaer’s plan fails as Red Devils still in Milan: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pulled the chute on Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, and Nemanja Matic after 64 minutes, plugging Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw, and Scott McTominay into the proceedings.

It fell flat. Bruno did force Kasper Schmeichel into a big save but McTominay was single-handedly responsible for Iheanacho’s second goal. United was out-attempted in both halves and showed little life aside from Pogba, Van de Beek, Greenwood, and Bruno.

There’s only one trophy left for United this season barring an epic, shocking, and historic collapse from Man City. And if United through Leicester City was ready to counter, wait til they get a load of La Liga’s Granada in the Europa League quarterfinals.

3. Van de Beek shows his smarts: Manchester United supporters haven’t seen nearly as much of Donny van de Beek as they’d have expected when the Red Devils won the sweepstakes to sign the Dutchman. Only 10 times has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to play the midfielder 45 minutes or more. United had won all nine of those matches prior to Sunday.

And it’s not that a dummy is the football world’s rarest move, but his calm and cool in letting this cross get to Greenwood was so very DVDB. Ajax’s terrific No. 8 has terrific awareness and a great soccer IQ. There’s little surprise he’s pitched in and the move is not going to show up on a stat sheet.

Van de Beek was one of the focal points for Ajax last season and it’s not a surprise to see him struggle to find his place as a satellite for Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, and Bruno Fernandes, but it’s easy to ask not just why he was lifted on Sunday but why he isn’t getting more of a chance to shine for his new team.

Man of the Match: Kelechi Iheanacho