Nemanja Matic was selected as a starter for Manchester United for the third time in eight days as the Red Devils lined up at the King Power Stadium.

The veteran Serbian did not let his team down, delivering another vital display as United secured a Champions League qualification.

United have other options in midfield, but neither Scott McTominay or Fred have the same defensively disciplined mindset and positional awareness as the 31-year-old.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Matic was crucial to United tactically in this performance, often dropping deepest to help Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof pass the ball out from the back.

He bailed Maguire out in the first half too when the captain mis-controlled the ball inside his own penalty area. Matic was there to mop up and clear the danger.

Statistically strong

Matic won five tackles as he helped shut down Leicester’s attacks as they pushed to try and secure a Champions League place for themselves.

Only the ever-efficient Aaron Wan-Bissaka was able to match Matic, also winning five tackles, the joint highest of any player on the pitch.

Matic also made two interceptions, two clearances, and won two aerial duels.

 

In total Matic had 85 touches, the most of any United midfielder or forward.

His pass completion rate of 86 per cent was also the most efficient among the front six.

Challenge is laid down

Matic will likely get a rest in the Europa League as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mixes up his midfield with the pressure off.

It is an opportunity for Fred and Scott McTominay to state their cases, and even young gun James Garner.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

They have an opportunity to change the current belief that a United side without Matic is a downgraded line up.

If they do not manage it, then United may have to accelerate transfer business in the transfer window to sign a player who can more effectively back up and deputise for Matic.

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