EPL

They deserve much better than this – Matic vows to repay Man Utd fans after Leicester loss

By Sports Desk October 17, 2021

Nemanja Matic says Manchester United supporters "deserve much, much better" from their side following Saturday's bruising 4-2 loss against Leicester City.

United conceded four times in a Premier League match for the first time since April 2019 as their English record of 29 successive away league games unbeaten came to an end at the King Power Stadium.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have collected only one point from the last nine on offer and are fifth in the table after eight matches, five points adrift of leaders Chelsea, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City up next.

Matic played 80 minutes of the defeat to Leicester and remains confident United can still challenge for the title, but the former Serbia international accepts a vast improvement is needed heading into a tough run of games.

"We are sorry for [the supporters]," he told United's official website. "They support us, especially away and they are top. They deserve much, much better than this.

"We will do our best to make them happy in the future. But we have 14 points – we are still in the title race. We don't want to give up until the end."

United have now lost three successive games against Leicester in all competitions for the first time since November 1901, having also been defeated 2-1 in their most recent league meeting prior to Saturday and 3-1 in last term's FA Cup quarter-final.

In a thrilling encounter at the King Power Stadium, Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu put Leicester ahead after Mason Greenwood had opened the scoring with a spectacular opener.

Marcus Rashford equalised for United on his first appearance since the Euro 2020 final, but Jamie Vardy restored City's lead just 54 seconds later and Patson Daka bundled in a fourth in stoppage time to seal the points.

In doing so, Daka became the first Zambian player to score in the Premier League, making it 105 different nationalities to have now netted in the competition.

Matic, who has appeared eight times for United in all competitions this season, had no complaints about the scoreline and called for unity.

The defeat and recent form means pressure is inevitably building on boss Solskjaer.

"They created a lot of chances. So we have to be honest; we have to say that they deserved to win," Matic said. "One minute after scoring [to make it 2-2] we conceded the third goal. Of course, the frustration was there.

"But sometimes you have to say when the opponent was better, and to see where we can improve, what we have to do better. I'm sure our team is much better than this."

Matic, who has emerged as a rumoured transfer target for Barcelona, added: "Everyone is sad, everyone is with their head down at the moment. But when you play for Man United, if you don't win the game of course you are disappointed, but we have to stick together."

Atalanta in the Champions League is the next test for United. Ahead of that game on Wednesday, Matic said: "It's also going to be hard. We are very disappointed, but I think that, in the future, we will show we are much better than this.

"Every next game is the most important; every next game is a new challenge, an opportunity to show your qualities. We're going to take responsibility; we're going to step up and see what we can do. I'm sure that we can do a lot."

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