Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for Manchester United in a 2-2 draw against Leicester City but the Reds were pegged back late on by a deflected Jamie Vardy strike.

Credit should be given to Dan James who had a good first half, and to Luke Shaw who played well too, but these three players stood out particularly for United.

Bruno Fernandes

Considering United’s best players, you often find yourself not considering Bruno Fernandes for contention right up until the last quarter-of-an-hour. Every time, though, it is at that point which he provides another goal contribution. This time it was a goal, his 15th of the season. That is a brilliant goal tally for a striker, let alone a man playing behind the front line.

This was a typical Fernandes performance. He hung between the two centre-backs, as Rashford and Martial split into the wide areas. And then he dropped back, as he always does. The centre-backs can’t step out to continue marking him, and Fernandes finds the space behind the midfielders who aren’t aware of his presence. It keeps working.

Bruno Fernandes has 31 goal contributions in 28 Premier League games

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Fred

Another tenacious performance from United’s scrappy Brazilian midfielder. When the long-legged Pogba or Wan-Bissaka wrap their leg around the ball for a brilliant tackle, it’s no surprise. Fred is shorter but still has that ability to sneak a foot in. It’s a credit to his timing. This was another good performance from an in-form United player.

His partner, McTominay, was not so good. He appeared eternally unavailable for the ball, marked out of the game by Leicester’s forward line who kept him in their shadow.

Paul Pogba

Pogba replaced Dan James in the 54th-minute and his impact cannot be underrated. As he did in Paris in the away win against PSG, Pogba arrived off the bench and forced the opposition to change the way they played.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Paul Pogba of Manchester United comes on to replace Daniel James of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on December 26, 2020 in Leicester, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution.
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Just the potential quality of Pogba forced Leicester to drop deeper. That allowed United more time on the ball and they kept the ball better. He also helps his teammates because they can trust in his touch and strength. Unlike McTominay who seemed to be constantly marked, Pogba stayed in space, offered an outlet and put United in charge of the game for the majority of his time on the pitch.

Pogba (40 minutes) had 21 touches on the ball, only three fewer than Martial who played 75 minutes.

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