It was almost the perfect start for the visitors, with Fernandes clipping a lovely cross over for the unmarked Rashford, who somehow headed over from just yards out.

Vardy – passed fit after a knock that forced him off in the win at Tottenham last weekend – then volleyed over and dragged a shot wide from an offside position after being played clean through on goal moments after David De Gea was fortunate to get away with a weak pass inside his own box.

Leicester appeared to be targeting United’s right flank early, with Victor Lindelof pushed out to right-back and Eric Bailly making his first league appearance since October after impressing in the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Everton and with Aaron Wan-Bissaka sidelined.

Man United: 2020 in review

Rashford atoned for his early miss after 23 minutes, calmly slotting his 50th Premier League goal past Kasper Schmeichel after assist king Fernandes had managed to get a decisive toe to a pass that looked to have been played too far in front of him by Dan James after a throw-in on the far side.

Anthony Martial tried to pick out Rashford again soon after and Vardy’s shot was deflected into the hands of De Gea before Leicester pulled level less than 10 minutes after falling behind for the first time.

After Fernandes was caught in possession, James Maddison found Barnes and the former West Brom loanee took a couple of nice touches before shifting the ball onto his left foot and creating the necessary space for a blistering strike that flew past the unsighted De Gea and into the back of the net.

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Fernandes nodded over a Luke Shaw free-kick before the interval as Leicester were again fortunate not to pay the price for slack marking inside their own box.

United sent on Paul Pogba less than 10 minutes into the second half in a bid to find more creativity in midfield, though were lucky not to concede again after a farcical handball from Bailly allowed Maddison the chance to fire in a free-kick that was flicked behind by Rashford in the wall.

Barnes just failed to pick out Vardy with a swerving cross before Schmeichel denied Rashford one-on-one with a strong one-handed save. Martial then quickly had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside as United began to really ramp up the pressure.

Leicester were playing some nifty one and two-touch football as Maddison was unable to connect with Barnes’ inviting cross as United saw Lindelof limp off with a back injury.

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Jonny Evans made a crucial headed intervention to repel Fernandes’ cross with Rashford lurking and former Leicester star Harry Maguire headed over from a free-kick before Solskjaer threw on Edinson Cavani, who made a quick impact.

The Uruguyan threaded a perfect pass through for Fernandes, who expertly powered a low finish across Schmeichel and into the far corner.

However, Leicester proved their resilience again as Vardy levelled six minutes later, showing his trademark movement to evade the attentions of Bailly and guide the ball in off substitute Axel Tuanzebe, who may yet be credited with an own goal.

A Boxing Day draw that best suits leaders Liverpool, who will have a chance to extend their three-point lead at the summit when they face lowly West Brom on Sunday afternoon.

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League.

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