Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard scored as Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-0 on Sunday to finish third in the Premier League and clinch a place in next season’s Champions League at the home side’s expense.
Leicester, who needed a win to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition, must settle for a Europa League berth after a poor late run in which they won only two of their last nine league games.
Manchester United finished on 66 points, ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and four points clear of Leicester, who missed several chances before they were undone late on by sloppy errors.
Fernandes fired United ahead with a 71st-minute penalty and substitute Lingard sealed the win deep into stoppage time after a bad mistake by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester dominated the opening half as Youri Tielemans went close with a clever first-time shot which trickled inches wide before Schmeichel kept out a Marcus Rashford volley on the stroke of halftime.
Jamie Vardy hit the top of the woodwork for Leicester on the hour from an audacious header with his back facing goal before the home side collapsed in the last 20 minutes.
Fernandes released Anthony Martial with a defence-splitting pass after Hamza Choudhry lost possession in midfield and the Frenchman was tripped by Jonny Evans as he raced clear.
The Portugal playmaker coolly converted the spot-kick, given after a VAR check, sending Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schemichel the wrong way.
Evans was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for a rash tackle on substitute Scott McTominay and Schemichel gifted United a second goal moments later, as Lingard robbed him of the ball and slotted it into an empty net.
United were rewarded for a strong finish to the season, winning six of their last nine games and drawing the other three after the league restarted following a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Reuters | LEICESTER, England