'Totally and utterly wrong': Uproar over Manchester United 'disgrace'

·5-min read
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is pictured here during the Leicester match.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was slammed for fielding a weakened side against Leicester. Pic: Getty

Manchester United have sparked condemnation from across the football world after a controversial home defeat to Leicester in the English Premier League.

United went down 2-1 to the Foxes at Old Trafford in a result that handed the league title to crosstown rivals, Manchester City.

'DEVASTATED': Body found in four-day search for missing footballer

'SHAMELESS': Fans blast $250 million Hazard's reaction to loss

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to make 10 changes to the side that had beaten Aston Villa 72 hours earlier, with an eye on the Liverpool match in two days.

A recent fan protest outside Old Trafford forced the postponement of the Liverpool game, meaning United were faced with the daunting prospect of three games in five days.

Manchester United fans are pictured here protesting the club's owners at Old Trafford.
United's match against Liverpool had to be postponed after fans stormed the pitch at Old Trafford. Pic: Getty

With that in mind, few could argue with Solskjaer's decision to manage that fixture pile-up by resting some of his key players and rotating the squad.

However, United went into the Leicester match with a mathematical - albeit slim - chance of snatching the title off City, prompting some supporters to slam Solskjaer for selecting what many considered a 'second-string' side to take on the Foxes.

The more widespread outrage centred on the implications for the top-four race though, with Leicester's win representing a huge blow to Liverpool and West Ham's hopes of Champions League qualification.

Leicester's win cemented their spot in third on the table, eight points clear of the Hammers in fifth and nine ahead of Liverpool - who have two games in hand.

Veteran football commentators Richard Keys and Andy Gray slammed United's team selection and said protests from fans had unfairly affected rival clubs.

“What’s happened here is a set of circumstances created by Manchester United that will adversely affect Liverpool,” Keys said.

“Not just in the short-term — but maybe in the next two, or three, or four years; dependant on how this season finishes.

“It’s totally and utterly wrong.”

Andy Gray added: “Have Liverpool fans got the right to feel aggrieved tonight? 100 percent.”

Writing for the Mirror Andy Dunn agreed saying: “Liverpool did nothing other than endure a wasted day when they were scheduled to face United and the upshot was that Solskjaer field a second string eleven against Leicester and will, almost certainly, send a first team out against Jurgen Klopp’s team."

“This was the night the race for the Champions League places got a little bit ugly.”

Plenty of fans were also left outraged by United's team selection, with those from top-four-chasing West Ham and Liverpool particularly vocal.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

United manager explains move

Solskjaer defended his team selection after the match and hit out at the scheduling dilemma imposed on his players.

"It can't be like this again," Solskjaer said.

"We can't play like Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday, it is impossible that's the reason we made the changes. It's unheard of."

Leicester's victory meant the Midlands club leapfrogged Champions League finalists Chelsea into third place, although the London club have a game in hand.

The Foxes have yet to win the FA Cup but manager Brendan Rodgers said this win was the ideal preparation for the showpiece match against Man City on the weekend.

"It’s the perfect platform to get the three points at this magnificent club," he told the BBC.

"We know we are playing a top team. Tonight was the Europa League finalists, now at the weekend it is the Champions League finalists.

"But we will be ready and let's see if we can make history," he added.

Pictured here, members of United's usual starting XI sit out the match against Leicester.
The majority of United's usual starting XI was left out of the match against Leicester. Pic: Getty

United defender Harry Maguire missed his first league match since joining from Leicester in 2019 after suffering an ankle injury in Sunday's comeback win at Villa Park.

As rain lashed down upon Old Trafford, it was the visitors who took a 10th-minute lead thanks to a superb finish from Luke Thomas, who volleyed a ball from Youri Tielemans back across goal and into the top right-hand corner.

United, however, drew level through Mason Greenwood's low shot before Caglar Soyuncu rose above Nemanja Matic in the 66th minute to head powerfully into the root of the net from a corner.

with agencies

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting