Here’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“It’s a wonderful achievement from the boys. The game wasn’t a classic but it doesn’t matter really. It’s been like a mini-tournament since the restart, and it shows: we’re a bit tired, leggy, and I think everyone can see we’re not the same as we were early on. But we had to go for it, and now they’ve done it.
“These boys are looking more and more like a Man United team – the Man United way. You play with no fear, you go for it. Today we could have sat back and played for a draw but that’s not in the DNA of the club. Just go for it.
“Qualifying for the Champions League means better opposition and bigger games next year. We need to step it up, definitely, because we can’t rest players like we could in the Europa League. We need to get fitter, stronger and more robust.
“The club know what I feel we need [in the transfer market], and we’re going to pursue it. Let’s see where we end up.”
Here’s Harry Maguire
“As a club, we expect to be in the Champions League. We always had great faith in ourselves. At the start of the season we were far too inconsistent, dropping silly points. We’ve been a lot better of late, and to come from an unpromising position shows great character.
“[What changed?] It’s hard to say, really. Bringing Bruno in made a big difference, and we’ve worked tirelessly on the training ground. We knew we had to get better. Our top performances were good at the start of the season but we just dipped so much and dropped so many silly points. Defending set plays is huge; that’s definitely improved a lot. We would find ourselves going 1-0 behind and struggling to break teams down.
“It was the exact game I thought it would be today. It was a nervy, edgy game but we deserved the three points. To finish third in this league should be a minimum requirement for this club. Next year we need to keep improving.”
Manchester United lost 2-0 at home to Burnley on 22 January, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was apparently a walking P45. Then they signed Bruno Fernandes, and they are unbeaten in the Premier League ever since: P14 W9 D5 L0 F29 A7. They are still light years away from Liverpool. But they have come a fair way since 22 January, and even further since they lost at home to relegated Cardiff on the last day of last season. If they can sign a few good players in the summer – Grealish, Upamecano, Partey, Sancho, Beckenbauer, Netzer, Royston Keane and Royston Race – they will be in with a shout next season.
Full time: Leicester 0-2 Manchester United
Peep peep! Manchester United are back in the Champions League. It was a day when the result mattered far more than the performance, and that’s probably a good thing because United were miles from their midsummer best.
One of their worst players, the weary Bruno Fernandes, still had the personality to score a nerveless second-half penalty that gave them a vital cushion. Jesse Lingard sealed the victory with an open goal in injury time, his first goal since 1974, and his team-mates could not have been more thrilled for hin.
Kasper Schmeichel dawdled on the ball and was robbed by Lingard, who gleefully tapped the ball into the empty net. It’s his first Premier League goal since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game as part-time manager in December 2018.
GOAL! Leicester 0-2 Manchester United (Lingard 90+8)
Astonishing things always happen on the last day of the season: Agueroooooooooo, Oldham’s great escape in 1993, Newcastle 5-1 Spurs in 2016 and all that. But this surely tops the lot: Jesse Lingard has scored a goal.
90+6 min Leicester are now without their entire first-choice back four.
90+5 min I’m sure Evans will apologise to McTominay after the game. Truly, I don’t think he’s that sort of player. But it was a disgraceful tackle.
JONNY EVANS IS SENT OFF!
He has been given a straight red for a poor tackle on Scott McTominay. My first thought was that it was a second yellow but Martin Atkinson brought the red card out straight away. Replays show why – it was a scandalous tackle, a potential legbreaker. Evans knew it and walked straight off the field.
90+4 min “Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “So Matt Dony is in ‘a friends garden’, is he? Next he’ll be telling us he’s a devilishly handsome twenty-something who paints, plays the piano, has two degrees, does part time modelling, and looks after sick animals in his spare time. Like me.”
Dundee isn’t it?
90+3 min Evans is penalised for fouling Maguire as they jump for Gray’s free-kick.
90+2 min Williams is booked for fouling Gray, who has been excellent since coming on as substitute. Kasper Schmeichel has come forward for the free-kick.
90 min Leicester are running out of time. It’s been a miserable end to the season for them, but it shouldn’t disguise how well they have done. Nor we should forget they are without three of their usual back four and James Maddison today.
85 min The corner is headed away by Maguire. When the ball is tossed back in, Evans is penalised for fouling Pogba, who ends up carrying him on his back at the far post.
84 min Gray’s free-kick hits the top of the wall and goes behind for a corner.
84 min Maguire fouls Vardy 25 yards from goal, slightly to the left of centre. Gray wasn’t booked a moment ago; Matic was for a foul in the build up.
83 min They almost got one of those goals through Demarai Gray. He cut inside from the right and drove a good low shot that nicked off Maguire and whistled just wide of the far post. The referee gave a goalkick, and I think Gray was booked for his protests.
82 min United are happy to pass down the clock down. A reminder that Chelsea 2-0 up against Wolves, so Leicester need two goals.
79 min: What a chance for Wes Morgan! Thomas’s cross found him in an absurd amount of space on the penalty spot, but his attempted volley connected only with the freshest Leicester air. Moments later, Vardy heads onto the roof of the net from a right-wing cross. That wasn’t much of a chance; Morgan’s was.
78 min “Can we talk about Fernandes’s penalty style?” says Matthew Richman. “It’s been beautifully predictable: watch the keeper move, roll it into the other corner. Le Tissier, Cantona, Hazard all had the same approach and I don’t think I ever saw them miss five between them.”
It’s also more extravagant than those three, with the skip beforehand, which increases the potential embarrassment if you miss.
77 min United make their first change. Jesse Lingard replaces Mason Greenwood, who has worked hard on the right wing without having any opportunities to bust the net from 20 yards.
75 min: Chance for Barnes! A low cross from the right takes a couple of deflection and drops in no-man’s land on the six-yard line. Barnes gets there first and hits a shot on the turn, but it’s a meek effort that goes straight into de Gea’s grasp.
74 min Evans was booked the penalty incident, so Martin Atkinson must have decided it was his foul. It’s the right answer but with the wrong working.
73 min Leicester make a triple change before kicking off. Dennis Praet, Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes replacing Tielemans, Albrighton and Choudhury.
It was a really cool penalty from Fernandes. Schmeichel danced left and right but Fernandes still did his little jump and then send Schmeichel the wrong way.
PENALTY GIVEN! Bruno Fernandes will take it.
Evans definitely got the ball but Morgan fouled Martial a split-second before that, so the penalty should stand.
PENALTY TO MANCHESTER UNITED! Evans has been penalised for a lunging tackle on Martial. I think Evans got the ball, on reflection, but Martial may have been fouled first by Morgan. It’s a tough one for VAR to overturn, certainly, as I can’t see a clear and obvious error.
68 min “Wales, reporting in,” says Matt Dony. “Socially distanced in a friends’ garden, with beer and pizza. Not exotic. Keeping it real.”
67 min Bruno Fernandes muffs a relatively straightforward pass to put Rashford through on goal. Fernandes has been really poor today; I’m sure it’s fatigue.
65 min “Hi Rob,” says Peter Oh. “This match has Vardy winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time written all over it.”
With a VAR controversy, probably.
64 min If United do lose, and whether it’s fair or not, they will be slaughtered for their passive performance.
63 min United look like they have unconsciously settled for 0-0. Lindelof is booked for a needless lunge at Vardy.
62 min To the relief of all at PGMOL, the corner comes to nothing.
61 min Thomas’s angles a cross towards Tielemans, who mistimes a difficult volley onto his standing foot and behind. The referee gives a corner. We’ll hear plenty about that if it leads to a £50m goal…
60 min: Vardy hits the bar! Tielemans curled a flat free-kick towards the near post, where Vardy twisted his neck to help the ball on towards the far post. It looped over everyone and dropped onto the angle of post and bar.
59 min Greenwood commits a needless foul on Perez, 20 yards from goal on the left wing. Tielemans will take the free-kick…
58 min Leicester’s first change: Ayoze Perez replaces Kelechi Iheanacho.
58 min Greenwood slips a through pass to Martial, and Schmeichel hares from his line to claim the ball just in front of Martial. That was superb goalkeeping.