Leicester City Vs Man United

Leicester City 5, Manchester United 3, September 21, 2014

This was the 853rd game that Manchester United, the dominant force in English football for two decades, had played since the advent of the Premier League. It was the first in which they’d had a two-goal lead and lost.

For Leicester City, a scoreline of 5-3 will forever be synonymous with these 90 minutes in September 2014.

Trailing by two goals with half an hour to play and yet still toppling a behemoth like United was a memorable feat in itself, but it was made more remarkable in that the hero of the match was a scraggly, scrappy, mohawk-sporting striker who had been playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels in the eighth tier of the game just four years earlier.

It was the day that Jamie Vardy announced himself to a national audience and the day that City truly marked their return to the big time after 10 years away.

Beyond Vardy’s masterclass in persistence, guile, and composure, and City’s never-say-die attitude, the match saw a Champions League-winning summer signing score on his home debut, the new record buy notch his fifth in five games, and a brief rise to sixth in the Premier League table.

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In the late summer sunshine, in front of a packed, raucous King Power Stadium, this felt like the pinnacle of their City-supporting lives for many of the 32,000 fans inside the ground. Little did they know.

The match started as might have been expected. United, for all their troubles in adjusting to life after Sir Alex Ferguson, still had a galactico front-line and took advantage of a City team whose collective top-flight experience was minimal.

Robin van Persie headed in a Radamel Falcao cross, and then Angel Di Maria sublimely lobbed Kasper Schmeichel after a one-two with Wayne Rooney. It was 2-0 to the superstars after 16 minutes.

After 17 minutes, it was 2-1, Vardy with the first of his five-goal involvements as he nipped in, raced to the byline and crossed to Leonardo Ulloa’s head.

As the chant went, the striker had cost a bleeping fortune – at £8m, pittance these days, he broke the club’s 14-year-old transfer record – but he was quickly paying it back.

Now expertly marshalling City’s defence, Jonny Evans, then in red, was caught flat-footed, allowing Ulloa to thump a header past David De Gea.

When Ander Herrera flicked in just before the hour mark to restore United’s two-goal advantage, neutrals may have switched off, sensing an exciting climax would not be forthcoming. How wrong they were.

Vardy, still putting himself about, barged over Rafael. No foul, said referee Mark Clattenburg. Rafael retaliated, barging over Vardy. Clattenburg pointed to the spot, and David Nugent struck down the middle and in.

City fans, still rubbing their eyes at former Real Madrid and Inter Milan man Esteban Cambiasso wearing their club’s shirt, then witnessed the Argentinian fire in a leveller after Vardy had inadvertently blocked Dean Hammond’s effort. A mixture of disbelief and joy-filled the stadium.

And it was to get better. Ritchie De Laet robbed the ball and sent Vardy away. There was one touch off his midriff to control, one finish into the bottom corner, and one brilliant noise around the ground.

Moments later, Vardy was hacked down in the box and Ulloa put the cherry on the icing of the glorious cake.

Even Nigel Pearson, always looking to downplay achievements and keep feet firmly on the ground, was overcome.

“To win the game is, at the moment, something that is difficult to believe,” he said. “We’ve raised the bar somewhat.”

And away boss Louis van Gaal, his side humbled, even had to admit: “I think the supporters have seen a fantastic spectacle.”

It was the start of something big for City. Not in the short term, with just two points gained from the next 13 matches, but around the corner was the greatest era in the club’s history.

But even with all the excitement and silverware that has followed, the 5-3 win over United is a contender for the club’s most enjoyable afternoon.

There have been plenty, and many have involved plundering goals past Manchester clubs. Twice Vardy has scored hat-tricks as City have torn apart Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City with big wins, a 4-2 success in 2016, and a 5-2 victory in 2020.

This campaign’s 4-2 encounter with United was a reminder of how exhilarating the atmosphere can be on Filbert Way.

There are a few more scorelines that bring certain games to mind too. 3-3? Steve Walsh’s last-gasp header against Arsenal. 4-0? The wiping of the floor with Leeds after Lilian Nalis’s out-of-this-world volley. 9-0? The biggest away league win in top-flight history on a soggy night in Southampton.

Which scorelines conjure up games and memories for you? Do any of them top that match against United?

Add your comments in the form below

Source : https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leicester-city-5-manchester-united-6245273

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