Man United lean on Lindelof, Matic in beating Leicester to secure Champions League spot

Manchester United secured their return to the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Leicester on the final day of the season.

Bruno Fernandes scored a second-half penalty before substitute Jesse Lingard added a second in injury time to ensure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side finished third in the Premier League table. United survived a nervy afternoon at the King Power Stadium, but they will be back in Europe's top competition next season.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Fernandes' spot kick -- his 10th goal since his move from Sporting Lisbon in January -- set United on their way after Anthony Martial had been brought down by a combination of Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan. Former United defender Evans was sent off in stoppage time for a poor challenge on Scott McTominay, but there was still time for Lingard to capitalise on a mistake from Kasper Schmeichel to score his first league goal since December 2018.


It was scrappy and tight, but United are back in the Champions League. A run of 14 Premier League games unbeaten to end the season proved the difference after a poor start, and Solskjaer will be delighted at how much he has managed to squeeze out of a squad that looked very thin a year ago.

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The day was all about United getting over the line and they did it. It wasn't pretty, but that won't matter when the Champions League draw is made next season. Finishing third means they've positioned themselves as challengers to Liverpool and Manchester City if they can have a successful transfer window.

Manager rating out of 10

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, 6: Solskjaer went back to the setup that has given him success since the restart. Brandon Williams started in place of the injured Luke Shaw, but otherwise the Norwegian picked his favoured XI, and even though United never found the form they have shown over the past six weeks, they did enough.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David De Gea, 6 -- Made a mess of a tame shot from Kelechi Iheanacho, but didn't have much else to do in a close game.

DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 6 -- Rested against West Ham but back with a decent showing here. Struggled to make the most of space in front of him, particularly in the first half.

DF Brandon Williams, 7 -- In for the injured Shaw. Big pressure on his shoulders in a huge game, but held his nerve.

DF Harry Maguire, 6 -- Returning to the King Power Stadium for the first time. Booked for a rash challenge on Iheanacho.

DF Victor Lindelof, 7 -- Did well to shut down Marc Albrighton as he was about to pick out Jamie Vardy. United's best defender on the day.

MF Nemanja Matic, 7 -- Mistake on the edge of his own penalty area gifted a chance to Wilfred Ndidi. Fantastic pass through to Anthony Martial just after half-time.

MF Paul Pogba, 6 -- Survived an early penalty appeal after Iheanacho went over his leg. Did his best to spark United into action during a weary first half.

MF Bruno Fernandes, 6 -- Looked very tired and didn't have a great game but was cool enough to score United's 20th penalty of the season.

FW Mason Greenwood, 7 -- Gave away a needless free kick from which Vardy hit the bar with a header. Did well to win the ball back in the build up to the penalty.

FW Marcus Rashford, 6 -- Had half a chance just before half time but scooped his shot over the bar. Forced Kasper Schmeichel into a good block at his near post.

FW Anthony Martial, 7 -- Saw a shot flash just wide after a deflection. Won the penalty after a burst off pace to catch out Evans and Wes Morgan.


MF Jesse Lingard (for Mason Greenwood, 77), N/R -- Scored his first league goal of the season in injury time in a brief cameo.

MF Scott McTominay (for Bruno Fernandes, 86), N/R -- Came on too late to do much.

DF Timothy Fosu-Mensah (for Marcus Rashford, 90), N/R -- A late swap.

FW Odion Ighalo (for Anthony Martial, 90), N/R -- Came on too late to make an impact.