Man City win Premier League after under-strength Man Utd lose at home to Leicester

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A Manchester City supporter celebrates  - AP
A Manchester City supporter celebrates - AP
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They prepared for every eventuality at Old Trafford, and while there were scores of police officers on duty and yard-upon-yard of freshly-installed barricades to protect a paranoid club and an empty stadium from the wrath of its own fans, this was a different kind of plunder.

Manchester City are the champions of England again, for the third time in four seasons, and the men and women of Greater Manchester Police could be of no help to United in that regard. United were beaten for the first time at home in 12 games, which meant their neighbours are now officially out of sight of second place and talk of a dynasty over at the Etihad Stadium can begin. By the time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players reconvene on Thursday for the second attempt in 12 days to fulfil their home fixture against Liverpool, the City celebrations will have begun in earnest.

It is City's fourth Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson laid down his shield, and each one – however inevitable they may have felt – a source of some sorrow for the erstwhile kings of English football. Solskjaer has overseen something of a revival since the turn of the year, with the emergence of a United side that looks closer to a serious proposition than any since 2013, and yet here they were folding at home to give City the trophy. It used to be United who watched while the chasing pack lost their nerve.

City's third Title in four years is celebrated - PA
City's third Title in four years is celebrated - PA

In the end Solskjaer’s team selection was a surrender that will, above all, be a source of irritation for Jurgen Klopp. Solskjaer made ten changes from the team that beat Aston Villa on Sunday and picked a forward line that encompassed three teenagers – that was Mason Greenwood, the sole survivor of the Villa Park XI; as well as Anthony Elanga and Amad Diallo, of whom the latter two were making their Premier League debuts.

Greenwood, the veteran of the trio at 19 years and seven months, scored a fine equaliser in the first half, laid on for him by Diallo but it never felt like it would be enough after half-time. Leicester took control in the second half, and their winner was headed in by the Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu from a corner just moments after Solskjaer decided to send on his famous-name reinforcements.

Mason Greenwood danced through a lumpen Leicester defence to score the equaliser - AFP
Mason Greenwood danced through a lumpen Leicester defence to score the equaliser - AFP

It felt, at that moment, like the United manager was caught between two plans, the second of them being the introduction of Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani on 65 minutes, breaking an old rule about changes when defending a corner. Seconds later Soyuncu ran away from Rashford to nod in the winner from Marc Albrighton’s cross. Leicester should have had more goals in a dominant second half performance. Now United prepare for the return of Liverpool to their barricaded home. This result, as well as the United team that played and the reasons that lead to the fixture congestion will be a source of some anger for Liverpool.

The victory for Brendan Rodgers’ side elevates them to third place and eight points clear of West Ham in fifth – which means that Champions League qualification is well within their grasp. Their two-game wobble is over and against a United team lacking its biggest names, they completed the job. There was a goal in the first half from a teenager of Leicester’s own, the 19-year-old Luke Thomas, that put them on the way. There are still faint hopes for the likes of West Ham and Liverpool that they might break the top four but it feels like the race has been run.

It would have been a very different game without the protests and stadium invasion that saw the Liverpool fixture postponed. Yet it is clear that the Covid era in football has rewarded the teams that respond quickest to adversity, and Leicester took their chance. They pressed United high and while the newly configured, and generally lesser-spotted members of United’s back four coped well in the first half, the dominance of Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi on the ball eventually told.

United were sprung in midfield for the first Leicester goal, with Axel Tuanzebe drawn out of position and Albrighton playing the ball into the space behind the defender to release Tielemans into the right channel. On the run, he picked out an excellent cross to the back-post. Arriving there was Thomas, a Leicestershire boy making his 25th appearance for the club who had the confidence to tell none other than Jamie Vardy to leave the ball to him and meet the cross on the full with the inside of his left boot.

Luke Thomas watches his glorious volley open the scoring - Pool via AP
Luke Thomas watches his glorious volley open the scoring - Pool via AP

Five minutes later, Thomas found himself in trouble chasing Amad Diallo down the right side. The 18-year-old, who has played in European games before now, is more solid than that small stature might suggest and when he and Thomas collided in pursuit of the ball it was the United man who emerged in possession. Diallo passed it inside and the finish from Greenwood demonstrated his useful knack of finding the corners, having set himself on his right foot.

There should have been further goals for Kelechi Iheanacho before Soyuncu’s winner and then Tielemans after it. Although a defeat like this, United’s fifth of the season in the league and all of them at home, must have been a possibility for Solskjaer, given the team he selected, the reality of it seemed worse for him and his players. They tried hard in the closing stages to rescue the points but finished with just a single attempt on Leicester’s goal all game.

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Not all of his changes were Solskjaer’s choice and the loss of his captain, the former Leicester defender Harry Maguire to injury looks like a bad blow. The ankle ligament damage asks serious questions as to whether Maguire will play in the Europa League final in Gdansk this month or, indeed, the European championships with England this summer. In protective boot and supported on crutches he looked particularly disconsolate in the stands.

After the final whistle, over at the Etihad a banner celebrating the seventh league championship of the club’s history slowly unfurled above the stadium’s main entrance. Seven was the number United had in the cupboard before Ferguson’s great winning run began and it is, as he will attest, a very long way to 20. Yet there is an undeniable familiarity now to these City titles. They still sting at Old Trafford but they hardly feel like a shock any longer.

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08:52 PM

Man United fans: you happy with this?

is this good enough? Plucky runners up? Is Ole a plucky runner up?

"If you want to take up the challenge with them, of course, we need to strengthen our squad," Solskjaer told BT Sport.

"Congratulations to them. They've had a fantastic season.

"I'm very pleased with my boys because they've made it into the last 10 days of the season with a Man City team ahead of us that are lauded as the best in Europe.

"We've done well but we want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to have a stronger squad."

Well, his youngsters gave it their best tonight but they couldn't manage a point with Leicester, and that in turn meant that the Title race (in honesty, only a mathematical one at this point) is over. Manchester City are, deservedly, Premier League champions. Thanks for following along with us. Goodnight.

08:35 PM

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer quotes

He's a worker, that Mike McGrath. Pep, Ole, he's got the lot. Over to you, Mike - and over to you, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“Of course it’s not a position we want to be in but we are realistic and the sensible answer is we pushed them until the last 10 or 12 days of the season. They’ve been lauded and rightly so as one of the best teams there has been in the Premier League.

“They’ve shown where the bar is. I want to congratulate Pep and the team of course.

“But that’s where we’re at. We’ve got to be big enough to hold our hands up. I don’t mind that. We know we want to get there, that's the next step we have to make and hopefully we can come together as a team and a club and push next season.”

08:28 PM

Over to the man of the moment, Pep Guardiola

“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” said Guardiola. “This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players.

Mike McGrath the man with the quotes here as Pep Guardiola hails Man City players after winning 'hardest' Premier League title

08:14 PM

Here's a selection of some of our best features about the Title

win - in terms of Pep, the tactics, and what on earth their unfortunate rivals have to do next...

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07:48 PM

All hail Sam Wallace

whose match report is incoming. I'll put that at the top of this blog but we'll probably keep the reaction going here for a wee bit.

City fans enjoy their Title win outside the Etihad - AFP
City fans enjoy their Title win outside the Etihad - AFP

07:44 PM

Second best on the night

and second best in the League, probably. Decent enough from Ole and his guys. But a ten point gap does not flatter City really.

United's players contemplate the fact that City are Champions as Leicester celebrate shoring up their grip on a Champions League place - Pool
United's players contemplate the fact that City are Champions as Leicester celebrate shoring up their grip on a Champions League place - Pool

07:40 PM

City fans celebrate

City fans celebrate
City fans celebrate

07:39 PM

Gundog speaks

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07:27 PM

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"We started off a bit slow, maybe some nerves. But once they scored I thought we did really well. Mason is only 19 but looked like a seasoned professional.

They haven't had too much time to prepare together. Unfortunately, Leicester got a goal from a corner that should have been a throw in.

I thought we played well and could have got a point.

But we cannot have this again. It is impossible. It is unheard of. We cannot play Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. It is impossible to perform at this level.

Congratulations to City. I am very pleased with my boys, they have made it into the last ten days of this season against them."

Ole says that MUFC need to invest in the squad.

Mason Greenwood danced through a lumpen Leicester defence to score the equaliser - AFP
Mason Greenwood danced through a lumpen Leicester defence to score the equaliser - AFP

07:24 PM

Delirious scenes at the Etihad

City
City

07:20 PM

So: are United the most likely to close the gap?

Or are Liverpool going to be City's closest challenger?

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07:19 PM

Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get pelters for his team selection?

Changed 10 tonight. Effectively conceded the Title to City. Not really sure what else he could have done, in fairness.

07:15 PM

Brendan Rodgers

"Huge step, very proud. Luke and Wesley in the back line, they are not experienced but they have no fear. We got a bit sloppy with our passing in the first half.

"At half time we reinforced that we need to play with speed. Needed to play with more confidence, circulate the ball faster.

"Luke played his first game last season and has been brilliant. He is 19, Wesley is 20. Both exceptional.

"We have overachieved relative to the big teams around us. Now we can get ready and really enjoy the Cup Final."

07:13 PM

Mahrez Appreciation

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07:08 PM

Luke Thomas

"No better feeling than seeing it go in the top of the stanchion. It was a dream playing at Old Trafford anyway. Every game has got pressure, but when people don't believe you are going to get the result, then...

"We started the game really well. Then there was a period we sat back, but we came out in the second half and showed that."

07:06 PM

Sorry about this, Man United fans

I won't be hurt if you turn this blog off...

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07:03 PM

Here is chief sports writer Oliver Brown

Pep Guardiola masterminds most impressive League title yet

The presence of chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain, his friends from Barcelona, created a club ready-made for his arrival, and one that has since bent to his every whim.A £20-million-a-year contract alone, though, is insufficient to explain his loyalty to City, where, with an extension of his deal until at least 2023, he will have spent far more time than at any of his previous employers.For a start, Guardiola appears genuinely to love the city that he calls home today. Eschewing the predictable choice of a mansion in Cheshire’s “Golden Triangle” of Wilmslow, Prestbury and Alderley Edge, long beloved of Manchester United’s multimillionaire stars, he has chosen a city-centre apartment on Chapel Street, opposite the cathedral.

06:59 PM

Who were the players who did it for City?

Here, we rank and rate Man City's Title winners.

06:53 PM

Congratulations to Manchester City

They are ten points clear of United with three games to play.

We'll take in some of the news, reaction, and features to that, as well as a match report of Man United vs Leicester. The Foxes deserved their win tonight, and they are into third. 66 points for them, 64 for Chelsea, and West Ham looking highly unlikely to muscle into that top four, with 58 points.

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06:52 PM

Full time: Man United 1 Leicester 2

That's it. United's team selection does not pay off, and Manchester City are Premier League champions.

06:50 PM

90+ mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Rashford, who I love, has looked a bit brainless since coming on tonight. Caught offside here.

06:49 PM

90 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Fernandes with a chance to deliver the ball in... but overhits it. Cavani looks frustrated.

06:49 PM

89 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Does not look like we are getting Fergie Time: 3 minutes are added.

06:48 PM

88 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Maddison throws the ball away to waste time but Pawson does not see it. Naughty!

06:47 PM

85 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

United having all of the ball. But not in all honesty opening Leicester up all that much. I'd say they are at least ten points worse than City so this feels a fitting enough conclusion. I guess the question for Man United is: will Liverpool raise their level once they can get back in front of supporters? (Very likely). And now Chelsea have got a proper manager, will they also challenge? Second might be harder to come by next term...

06:43 PM

82 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Mata and Rashford looking dangerous. Mata gets in behind, cuts it back. Excellent defensive work from Tielemans. Bruno Fernandes! Strikes it wide under pressure from Ndidi.

06:41 PM

80 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Hamza Choudhury on for Jamie Vardy. Leicester are close. City are close.

06:37 PM

77 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Amad is off. Bruno on. City fans - have you got the glasses ready? Leicester look more likely to score another than United do to equalise.

06:36 PM

This will be starting soon

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06:35 PM

75 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Vardy and Ihenacho causing problems again. Looks like Fernandes is warming up.

06:34 PM

74 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Telles runs forward and tries a low percentage, high drama shot from miles out. Nope.

06:32 PM

72 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Ooh and Leicester nearly wrap it up. A ball into the box, Vardy with a header back across, and Tielemans arriving at the far post tries to nod it in but cannot quite get there. Deals himself a sore one as he slides into the post.

06:31 PM

70 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

Hmm. So do United go for it? Or just accept that City are going to win the League sooner or later and just get it over and done with.

06:27 PM

67 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 2

The classic "should you make a sub when defending a corner" debate getting a run out on BT.

City are getting the Title tonight as it stands.

Albrighton was the man who delivered the corner. His previous deliveries were awful, we are talking UPS levels here.

06:25 PM

GOAL! Man United 1 Leicester 2 (Soyuncu 66)

Well the changes have worked for one side! A corner from Leicester, and Soyuncu rises like a magnificent Turkish salmon to batter home a header. The man who nodded off at the corner and let the Leicester man get the run at the ball? Marcus Rashford!

06:24 PM

65 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Leicester also freshen up, Perez (disappointing) comes off.

06:20 PM

60 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

United are under the cosh here. Looks like OGS is going to make a change. Two in fact. Elanaga and Greenwood off, Cavani and Rashford on.

06:19 PM

58 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

That's a really good save from De Gea. Excellent Leicester move - the Foxes are well on top. Tielemans takes up that always dangerous position, in between the lines, to feed his striker. He does this well, Iheanacho hits it with the left from the narrow angle, De Gea does really well. United struggle to clear. Finally they hack it away.

06:13 PM

55 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Telles delivers in a freekick, Greenwood gets across Castagne, and tries the glancing header but doesn't get his angles quite right.

06:12 PM

52 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Cavani going for a wee jog around, McTominay also up off the United bench.

06:10 PM

49 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Feel a bit sorry for young Elanga, he has made lots of bright and busy runs but more senior colleagues - such as Greenwood here - are failing to find him.

Tielemans, now Tuanzebe, are the latest in a very long list tonight of players who have given the ball away.

06:04 PM

46 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Leicester are out of the traps, Albrighton finds Iheanacho, who gets his shot away. Corner. Cleared. Not a good corner.

05:50 PM

Half time: Man United 1 Leicester 1

A truly gorgeous volley for the opener from Luke Thomas, and there were no flies on the Mason Greenwood equaliser shortly afterwards, when United's brilliant teenager carved through the Leicester defence to level it up. Other than that, it has been a busy and well contested match, but both sides have given the ball away too much to call it a high quality game.

United's second string doing their cases no harm in general though.

05:46 PM

45 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Ndidi on the edge of the United box, heavy touch and draws the foul/is fouled by Amad. This hands LCFC a freekick in a very handy spot.

Tielemans drills the freekick into the wall, and that'll do it for the half.

05:42 PM

41 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Iheanacho has been quiet.

05:41 PM

40 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Perez with a hospital ball into Vardy, and Bailly clips the Leicester striker.

Castagne also with a bit of sloppy play here.

Neither side quite at their best.

And here is Tielemans giving it away to van der Beek.

05:39 PM

37 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Matic takes down Tielemans. I am a big fan of Youri T. He always seems to have a positive impact. Here's another impressive wide man, Albrighton, crossing.... repelled.

Pool Nemanja Matic of Manchester United and Youri Tielemans of Leicester City  - Telegraph/Pool
Pool Nemanja Matic of Manchester United and Youri Tielemans of Leicester City - Telegraph/Pool

05:38 PM

36 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Elanaga is making some good runs down the left but teammates are not really spotting him.

05:38 PM

35 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

United are enjoying a settling spell of possession. But now the LCFC players swarm Mata and win the ball. Can they start an attack? Matic and Ndidi taking turns to put in spoiling interventions.

05:32 PM

30 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Greenwood runs up the pitch with the ball. Mata offering support. Leicester defending well enough.

Elanga is drifting all around the pitch, not sure if that is because he cannot stick to his position or if he has been told to go looking for the ball.

05:29 PM

26 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

De Gea tips a ball over, United deal okay with the corner.

Amad has caught the eye: bright in attack and putting his shift in at the other end of the pitch as well.

05:28 PM

25 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Enjoyable game this. It is pouring down, which always things seem that bit more dramatic.

05:24 PM

21 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

Vardy with a lethal run down the left, what a player this guy has been. Decent defensive work form Tuanzebe though and the danger is alerted. Iheanacho was ready to pounce for yet another goal.

Man United: de Gea, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Alex Telles, van de Beek, Matic, Diallo, Mata, Elanga, Greenwood. Subs: Lindelof, Pogba, Cavani, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Shaw, Henderson, Wan Bissaka, McTominay.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Soyuncu, Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas, Perez, Iheanacho, Vardy. Subs: Maddison, Ward, Amartey, Choudhury, Ricardo Pereira, Mendy, Praet, Fuchs, Maswanhise.

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

05:22 PM

20 mins: Man United 1 Leicester 1

The City champers is back on ice...

No country for old men with Ndidi on the prowl: he's clattered Juan Mata here.

05:20 PM

Briefly wondered if this hashtag

was something to do with United fans protesting this game...

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05:18 PM

GOAL! Man United 1 Leicester 1 (Greenwood 15)

The rain is pouring down, United are back in it, and it is their brilliant forward Mason Greenwood. I think Leicester are missing Evans, they look a bit of a mess at the back here, Soyuncu more than most, and Mason has danced through a big crowd of them and slotted this away. Did Kasper S do everything he could have done there? Maybe he will feel he might have stopped that one.

The ball was delivered in by Amad Diallo - so nice to see another young feller getting himself involved.

05:16 PM

10 mins: Man United 0 Leicester 1

The finish from young Luke T was wonderful, and he also showed some great composure - and stones! - to yell at Jamie Vardy, who was inside him to the right, to LEAVE IT! Would have been some words from JV9 had that not gone in..

05:12 PM

GOAL! Man United 0 Leicester 1 (Thomas 8)

What a goal from Leicester! Tielemans with a trademark bursting, galloping run down the right - Matic needs to look at his positioning here - he hits a cross on the run and young Luke Thomas has produced an absolute gem of a volley. What a hit. No chance for the keeper. Caught that perfectly and it was just a gorgeous sight.

And a welcome sight in the other part of Manchester as well, I dare say...

Luke Thomas watches his glorious volley open the scoring - Pool via AP
Luke Thomas watches his glorious volley open the scoring - Pool via AP

05:08 PM

5 mins: Man United 0 Leicester 0

Knock to Alex Telles but he seems to be okay to carry on. Neither side really got going yet.

05:04 PM

3 mins: Man United 0 Leicester 0

Ball hit into the channel for Vardy to chase... just overdone.

05:03 PM

No security/protest news

as far as I can see. Will keep you updated.

The police outside Old Trafford - Telegraph
The police outside Old Trafford - Telegraph

05:01 PM

1 mins: Man United 0 Leicester 0

Leicester kick off.

Mike McGrath updates us: "Harry Maguire is at the game, on crutches. Watching."

05:00 PM

So all eyes in Manchester on this

If Leicester win, City are Champions.

managers
managers

04:57 PM

The players are out on the pitch

United in their red shirts, white shorts. Just as well, might be hard to recognise some of these lesser lights... still, as Robbie Savage says on BT Sport: "You don't get in the Man United first XI unless you are a top player. I never made it. These players have worked so hard."

04:55 PM

Here's Mike McGrath with a Harry Maguire update

Harry Maguire has suffered ankle-ligament damage and faces a battle play in the Europa League final in two weeks’ time.

The Manchester United captain was injured during the victory over Aston Villa on Sunday and left Villa Park in a protective boot, with scans confirming fears it was worse than a minor knock.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted at the time Maguire would miss a few weeks, and he faces a race against the clock to make the European final against Villarreal on May 26 in Gdansk, Poland.

"Obviously we've had scans and the good news is there's no fracture. Ligament damage and hopefully we'll see him again this season. Hopefully ready for the final," said Solskjaer.

Gareth Southgate will be monitoring his recovery closely as England’s preparations for the European Championships start the following week with friendlies against Austria and Romania in Middlesbrough.

Ahead of the injury, Maguire had played in every minute of the Premier League season. He hobbled off after Anwar El Ghazi landed on him in the second half at Villa Park.

04:54 PM

Here's young Elanga

Elanga warms up - Getty
Elanga warms up - Getty

04:46 PM

Brendan Rodgers

"Disappointing performance against Newcastle. Tonight we need players who are at their fittest. With the biggest teams, it doesn't matter what team they put out. United played Sunday, then tonight, then Liverpool on Thursday. Ole has earned the right to pick the team he likes."

04:44 PM

Big game for Leicester of course

They are five points clear of the Hammers, and six of Liverpool - although Klopp's lads have played a game fewer. But they have had a wee wobble of late, the Foxes.

04:37 PM

Rio Ferdinand

"The manager's team talk will be to go out there and enjoy it, no pressure."

04:35 PM

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"I want to win every game but it was impossible to do anything different. Harry Maguire would have played if he wasn't injured. Good news is that he hasn't broken anything, ligament damage. Hoping to have him back before the Final."

04:34 PM

De Gea warms up

David de Gea warms up
David de Gea warms up

04:29 PM

Leicester are evens to win

at Old Trafford. They have only won two of their 29 Premier League matches there. I think people are considering this United line-up to be a weakened one, fair to say.

04:28 PM

Security

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04:23 PM

Anthony Elanga

Is a wide man. Born in Sweden. Good pace, dribbling. He'll play on the wide of a front three: that wonderful veteran Juan Mata in the centre, and then Anthony on one side and fellow youngster Amad Diallo on the other.

04:21 PM

And there is a debut for

Anthony Elanga. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made 10 changes for Manchester United's Premier League clash with Leicester.

The 19-year-old academy talent comes and 18-year-old January arrival Amad Diallo makes his first start.

Mason Greenwood is the only player to retain his starting role from Sunday's win at Aston Villa.

Leicester bring in Ayoze Perez and Luke Thomas at Old Trafford.

04:13 PM

Those players have got through

to the ground. So that's an improvement over recent home matches.

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04:03 PM

So multiple changes for United

He's left out new contract man Cavani, the stalwart Bruno, Poggers, the erratic Lindelof, the busy Wan Bissaka and more. De Gea in nets.

Quite fancy Leicester, seeing the teams.

04:02 PM

Here are the teams

Man United: de Gea, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Alex Telles, van de Beek, Matic, Diallo, Mata, Elanga, Greenwood. Subs: Lindelof, Pogba, Cavani, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Shaw, Henderson, Wan Bissaka, McTominay.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Soyuncu, Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas, Perez, Iheanacho, Vardy. Subs: Maddison, Ward, Amartey, Choudhury, Ricardo Pereira, Mendy, Praet, Fuchs, Maswanhise.

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

03:56 PM

Teams incoming

for this 6pm fixture.

03:26 PM

Checkpoint

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Well, the fans were calling for more investment in the stadium... is this what they meant?

03:11 PM

Manchester United need a result

to keep their wafer-thin chances of ruining Manchester City's party alive. The Blues are ten points ahead, United have four games to play including this one against Leicester that kicks off at 6pm. City have three more to play. If Manchester United lose to Leicester, City are Champions. Given the points gap, it's only a matter of time you would think, but United will feel that it is important to push their neighbours all the way.

So that's on the mind of the United players, staff and club tonight. Also in the mix is whether there will be any more fan protests. Judging from the pictures coming in from Old Trafford, the police are not going to be left short handed there this evening.

Police prepare for the possible arrival of people - AFP
Police prepare for the possible arrival of people - AFP

We will obviously be keeping a close eye on that ahead of kick off.

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Meanwhile, Eric Cantona has thrown his weight behind former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Cantona told Sky Sports News: "It's important to win any kind of trophies, and United still have a chance to win the league - but a small chance.

"But in the near future, I hope next year they can win the league. Now they have found somebody like Ole, who was a player when Alex Ferguson was manager - like Guardiola was a player when Johan Cruyff was the manager of Barcelona.

"He learned a lot with Johan Cruyff and he became a great manager with the same kind of football identity, philosophy of football.

"Ole was a player when Alex Ferguson was there and he learned a lot. He was lucky to play with Alex Ferguson - like I was, but I decided to do something else, and other players too.

"Ole decided to become a manager, so I think it's great to have today a manager who knows the identity of this club and the philosophy and the DNA.

"He's got the DNA of this club and he learned a lot with Alex Ferguson, so I can't wait for United to win the league again - and it will be soon."

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On the European Super League debacle, Cantona said: "We've heard for 20 years that some rich clubs wanted to build this league and it's unbelievable that, in 20 years, none of them could anticipate the reaction of the fans and didn't inform anybody.

"What is unbelievable is that, in 20 years, all the guys went to school until the age of 30 or 35, so they are very smart, intelligent, and none of them could anticipate the reaction of the fans.

"Now they just have to say 'sorry' because now they realise that it was just a stupid idea and they had to respect the fans.

"It's good sometimes that something like this happens and you build something else and something stronger from that. I'm very optimistic. I hope they will use this moment maybe a lot to give more power to the fans."

He added: "That's the way Manchester United built this club. In the bad moments and tragedies and success, always try to unite the people and use any moment of history to build this club even stronger."

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