Manchester United beat Leeds United 4-2 at Elland Road in the Premier League. Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes put United 2-0 up in the first half but Rodrigo and Raphinha erased that early in the second half. Fred restored United’s lead with Anthony Elanga scoring a fourth.
United started well against Leeds. The home side got the first chance of the match though, which was off target. Paul Pogba then had a shot on goal which was saved. Adam Forshaw had another chance in the 22nd minute, which was saved.
United then had two chances, Paul Pogba in the 24th minute which was off target and Cristiano Ronaldo in the 26th minute, which was saved. Leeds were then forced into a substitution in the 31st minute with Junior Firpo replaced Robin Koch, who earlier suffered a head injury.
Bruno Fernandes had an attempt blocked, then another saved in the 32nd and 33rd minutes of the match. In the 34th minute, United opened the scoring through Harry Maguire with Luke Shaw sending his cross from the corner into the captain with United scoring a set-piece goal.
Ronaldo had a shot blocked in the 38th minute with Jadon Sancho missing the target a minute later. Forshaw had a chance for Leeds in the 41st minute, but he was off target. Mateusz Klich had a shot blocked in the 45th minute – six minutes of time were added at the end of the half.
Fernandes doubled United’s lead in the fifth minute of added time with Sancho getting his first assist for the club this season. United were cruising to victory and looked like a team that were capable of doing something for the first time in weeks. A very consistent first half for United.
At the start of the second half, Leeds made a double substitution with Joe Gelhardt and Raphinha replacing Diego Llorente and Jack Harrison. Just eight minutes into the second half, Leeds had a goal back through Rodrigo with De Gea unable to make the save.
A minute later, everything United had worked for had gone as Leeds were level. Raphinha scored the equaliser with United’s defence sleeping with Shaw at the back post unable to beat his man. There was a VAR review but the goal was given. United had let a 2-0 lead slip.
Leeds seemed to be inspired with their goals and who could blame them. United started the second half terribly. In the 67th minute, Rangnick made a double substitution with Fred and Anthony Elanga replacing Pogba and Jesse Lingard. Fred, assisted by Sancho, put United 3-2 up three minutes later.
After the goal, it seemed that Elanga had something thrown at him from the Leeds crowd. Just goes to show that nothing ever changes with that club. Bitterness to the core. Scott McTominay was booked in the 77th minute for a foul, becoming the second player to be booked for United.
United made their third substitution in the 85th minute with Raphael Varane replacing Ronaldo and changing the formation to try and keep their 3-2 lead to win the match. With United travelling to Madrid this week, the substitution makes sense to keep Ronaldo fit and retain this lead.
United scored a fourth goal with Elanga getting his second of the season, Fernandes earning his 13th assist of the season. Shaw and Firpo were both booked after the goal with tempers flaring, more for Leeds though. Three points on the road and a convincing victory.
David De Gea: Had a great first half, making a good save from Forshaw at 0-0 but at the start of the second half, with two goals in two minutes for Leeds, De Gea did not have a chance. United endured a hard-fought match, scoring twice to get the win. ★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: First start in weeks and rustiness was bound to be a part of it. It was not a great performance. Dalot will start against Atletico Madrid. His positioning was not the best and some of his challenges were mistimed. ★★★★
Victor Lindelof: There were some rather panicky moments for him against Leeds, especially when they scored twice in two minutes. He broke forward very well for Fernandes’ goal at the end of the first half but was under the cosh when Leeds got back into the game. ★★★★★★
Harry Maguire: He needed this performance. His form is starting to return. Scored the opening goal of the game with a great finish. He was defensively astute for the entire match and shows a massive amount of fight. He needs to keep this form. ★★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: It was not the best match for him as he was sloppy at times, especially for Leeds second goal. He will need to be in much better form against Atletico Madrid, if he starts. The crowd were against United from the start – he needs not be spooked for that. ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Forced a save from Meslier. Met a great ball from Sancho to make it 2-0 at the end of the first half. He regressed a little as Leeds got two goals back. Got back to the challenge as he assisted Elanga’s goal as United restored a two goal cushion. ★★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: He showed a lot of aggression, especially when Leeds had a purple patch at the start of the second half. He did get booked and had to watch himself for the remainder of the match. It is good to see this McTominay. He does not step down from a challenge. ★★★★★★
Paul Pogba: It was another impressive first half for the Frenchman, but he faded in the second. He might need more time to step up his fitness. He was one of the stand out players throughout the match, despite fading in the second half. Replaced by Fred. ★★★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Played well against Leeds. Played on both the left and the right, which is where he was when he got his first assist for Fernandes’ goal at he end of the first half. Got a second assist for Fred’s goal as United’s lead was restored. He’s a player in great form. ★★★★★★★★
Cristiano Ronaldo: Had the chance to open the scoring for United but hit the goalkeeper instead of the back of the net. He had a good performance but did not follow up with another goal following the one he scored against Brighton. Replaced by Varane. ★★★★★★
Jesse Lingard: First league start in about two years. Made absolutely no impact in the match and will be lucky to get involvement in the Champions League. He will be frustrated but he needs to provide something to play more. Replaced by Elanga. ★★★★★
Fred: Replaced Pogba 67′. Made a big impact three minutes after he came on, restoring United’s lead once again. Cracking performance for the goal. As an impact substitute, it worked for the Brazilian today. He will be pleased. ★★★★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Replaced Lingard 67′. Had a chance on goal which was wasted, but scored with a second opportunity. Had something hit him from the crowd too, which seemed to inspire him to score as it happened before he did. Great up and coming young player. ★★★★★★★
Raphael Varane: Replaced Ronaldo 85′. Came on late in the game to get some minutes and change the formation with United aiming to keep their 3-2 lead. United scored again to restore a two-goal cushion and win the match. Decent cameo. ★★★★★★
Goals: Rodrigo 53′, Raphinha 54′; Harry Maguire 34′, Bruno Fernandes 45+5′, Fred 70′, Anthony Elanga 88′
Assists: Junior Firpo 53′, Daniel James 54′; Luke Shaw 34′, Jadon Sancho 45+5′, 70′, Bruno Fernandes 88′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fernandes, McTominay, Pogba (Fred 67′); Lingard (Elanga 67′), Ronaldo (Varane 85′), Sancho
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Dalot, Telles; Mata, Matic; Rashford
Bookings: Pascal Struijk 61′, Luke Ayling 68′, Adam Forshaw 76′, Raphinha 81′, Junior Firpo 90+2′, Mateusz Klich 90+5′; Cristiano Ronaldo 56′, Scott McTominay 77′, Luke Shaw 90+2′
Written by John Walker