Leicester City’s 2-1 win over Manchester United has confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions.
The Foxes went ahead at Old Trafford through Luke Thomas with a fine strike on the volley. Mason Greenwood responded for the Red Devils with a neat finish.
However, Caglar Soyuncu planted a powerful header past David de Gea to earn the visitors the three points.
It’s a result that strengthens their position for a Champions League place and hands the title to Pep Guardiola’s team.
Pep Guardiola surely thinks so. Brendan Rodgers, too. David Moyes and Jurgen Klopp perhaps not so much.
The team Solskjaer picked for his second match in five days had ramifications throughout the top six places; for just about everybody, bar Manchester United.
It gave the title to Manchester City; made Leicester very hard to catch inside the top four.
It all but ended West Ham’s hopes of Champions League qualification, and made placed Liverpool’s return to the competition in jeopardy.
As for United, well their job is done. A top four finish is guaranteed and this was about protecting tired legs from an unworkable fixture schedule with a European final still to come.
None of this was Solskjaer’s fault. He tried his best and so did his player, but Leicester are a good team.
No rival, not even Manchester City, could field so many second string players and be favoured to win. United were odds against, once bookmakers got wind of the team; Leicester even money.
Solskjaer gave a league debut to Swedish teenager Anthony Elanga, in an all-teenage front-line.
Unsurprisingly, Leicester’s old hands looked more dangerous. Ironically, though, it was when Solskjaer introduced two experienced players in the hope of winning that game that Leicester scored, and delivered the trophy to United’s most bitter rivals.
He delayed a Leicester corner to introduce Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford and, from it, Leicester scored.
Marc Albrighton whipped in the ball from the right and central defender Caglar Soyuncu lost his man, Rashford, to rise above Nemanja Matic and power the ball into the net.
It’s a football adage, about replacing men at an opposition corner, and it was certainly hard on Rashford if he had been instantly detailed to track such a danger man.
United have a quick turnaround for their next outing as they host Liverpool on Thursday in their next Premier League clash.
Leicester face a huge game on Saturday in the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.