Manchester United’s FA Cup journey came to an end in unceremonious fashion as they were batted aside 3-1 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Following the Red Devils’ exploits against AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League mid-week, it was a disappointingly under-par showing from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Not many players were immune from criticism on the day, with Fred turning in a horrendous showing. However, it was actually Nemanja Matic who stood out, but not for the right reasons.
Deployed at the base of a midfield diamond alongside the likes of Fred, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek, the Serbian looked ponderous and off the pace throughout the majority of the tie.
According to WhoScored, he only managed to contribute two tackles and not a single clearance.
Considering that the former Chelsea man was intended to be a shield for the Red Devils’ backline, it was no surprise that Leicester midfield dynamo Youri Tielemans was able to waltz through unopposed on numerous occasions. The Leicester man even punished the Red Devils at the start of the second half, playing a quick one-two before finding the bottom corner.
For all of his experience and pedigree, Matic was also extremely sloppy on the ball – although that was not an uncommon feature for the entire United team.
The 32-year-old completed 34 passes throughout the game which isn’t too bad of a count but considering that he racked up just a 73.5% completion rate, it is damning. For context, that is the second-lowest in the entire Red Devils squad, with just Alex Telles accumulating worse.
Matic’s shocking afternoon was brought to an end in the 64th minute of the game as he was replaced by fellow midfielder Scott McTominay, who only completed ten fewer passes than Matic despite playing for half of the time.
It is fair to say that Solskjaer will certainly have been expecting more from his £120k per-week midfielder.