Man Utd could miss out on the Champions League in a play-off vs Leicester City

  • Kobe Tong

Manchester United made a big step towards Champions League qualification on Thursday.

It was imperative that the Red Devils regained their composure after conceding a 96th-minute equaliser against Southampton, especially with Leicester City defeating Sheffield United 2-0.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men hit back by matching the Foxes' result, running away 2-0 victors at Selhurst Park with goals courtesy of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Man Utd vs Leicester vs Chelsea

As a result, United go into the final two Premier League game-weeks level on points with Leicester, who they face on the last day of the season to potentially secure fourth place.

It means that, while the Red Devils are currently in fifth with a weaker goal difference by three, it's within their hands to turn things around at the King Power Stadium on July 26.

That's not to mention the fact that Frank Lampard's Chelsea are also not guaranteed a place in the Champions League despite sitting in third place and one point above the chasing pack.


A Premier League play-off?

The Blues have an equally tough fixtures on their hands, though, as they make the trip to champions Liverpool who have only dropped points six times in the league this season.

But United can only focus on themselves in the mean time and victories over West Ham United and Leicester will be enough to launch them back into the Champions League.

We all know that life isn't that easy, however, and there could be major implications for the Old Trafford side if they don't win their remaining two fixtures.

In fact, everything could come down to a dramatic Champions League play-off if results go against the Red Devils...


What needs to happen?

According to the BBC, the crazy scenario would require Leicester and United to be placed in fourth and fifth respectively as well as being level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

Their head-to-head record would also need to be identical which means, considering United secured a 1-0 home win in September, Leicester would have to run away 1-0 victors this time around.

That's pretty realistic, right? Well... with only one other fixture each aside from that do-or-die game in Leicester, it would require some absolutely mental results in the other games.

Tottenham Hotspur 4-3 Leicester City

Manchester United 8-4 West Ham United

It was all going so well until the 8-4, wasn't it?

The above results, combined with the obligatory 1-0 Leicester win over United, would leave them both on 65 points with a goal difference of +31 and tantamount goals scored of 71.  


Just imagine...

In our defence, though, Spurs beating Leicester 4-3 isn't from without the realms of possibility because that exact scoreline transpired in the Premier League as recently as four years ago.

A scoreline of 8-4 isn't impossible either - Borussia Dortmund vs Legia Warsaw, cough cough - but it would be the highest-scoring game in Premier League history, overtaking Portsmouth 7-4 Reading.

So, reassure yourselves with this United: unless you're planning on a 12-goal frenzy at Old Trafford, only to lose a one-goal borefest in Leicester, you probably won't have a play-off on your hands.

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