ARTICLES Player Ratings

Player Ratings: Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United

Manchester United kicked off the season in sublime fashion with a 5-1 win over bitter rivals Leeds United. Before the game kicked off, fans were introduced to new signing Raphael Varane, who made his way onto the pitch, being greeted with an incredible reception. During the game, Old Trafford witnessed a first United hattrick for Bruno Fernandes, in which he scored three excellent goals, as well as fine goals from Fred and Mason Greenwood. Paul Pogba also came to the party, grabbing four outstanding assists. Victor Lindelof got the other with a lovely long-range pass. The 75,000 fans at Old Trafford had the chance to see new signing Jadon Sancho make his debut 75 minutes into the game. Luke Ayling’s impressive long-range effort could not even put a dampener on United fan’s spirits.

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Goalkeeper

David De Gea – 6/10

This is not a reflection on a bad performance from De Gea, but more so on the fact he didn’t really have anything to do. When called upon, the Spaniard made routine saves, and never really looked uncomfortable at all. There was one instance when he didn’t leave his line to collect a loose ball, leaving his captain Harry Maguire in a footrace against Leeds striker Patrick Bamford. Aside from that, a solid showing from De Gea.

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6.5/10

A solid showing from Wan-Bissaka today. Going forward, he looked bright, without creating any substantial chances. Defensively, it was another good performance, and he never really looked in trouble. Very positive signs.

Victor Lindelof – 7.5/10

The Swede provided the assist for Fernandes’ third goal with a magnificent pass over the top. Aside from that, he was confident on the ball, and he never really looked in any danger defensively. A solid showing overall.

Harry Maguire – 7/10

The United skipper has a lower rating than his defensive partner purely because he didn’t get an assist. Once again, Maguire showed why he is one of the best centre-backs in the league. He won everything in the air and was very assured on the ball. Another commanding performance.

Luke Shaw – 7/10

Another great performance from Luke Shaw. He grew into the game as time went by and became a big threat down the left-hand side. He tried his luck with a shot in the first half, which went wide. Although he didn’t register a goal or assist, Shaw seemed as dangerous as ever going forward and defensively.

Midfielders

Fred – 6.5/10

The Brazilian midfielder scored a well taken goal from close range, a great sign for United. In the first half, Fred struggled slightly, losing the ball in midfield quite regularly. However, he also found his feet in the game, and capped off a decent second half showing with his goal.

Scott McTominay – 7.5/10

It was a dominating performance from the midfielder today, who has barely kicked a ball since the Euros. His excellent range of passing was once again on show, and he controlled the pace of United’s play well. Hopefully the first of many good performances from McTominay this season.

Bruno Fernandes – 10/10

People will soon start running out of superlatives for Fernandes. He scored first United hattrick, hopefully of many, and what a hattrick it was. All three goals were exceptional finishes, most notably his third. This, coupled with his all-round performance, warrants him full marks. Manchester United and Bruno Fernandes were a match made in Heaven.

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Forwards

Paul Pogba – 10/10

After a poor miss early in the first half, Pogba bounced back exceptionally well and registered four assists, already more than his Premier League total last season. Today, he seemed to pick passes that most other players in the league would find impossible. To choose a standout assist would be nigh on impossible, but the pass to find Greenwood was delightful. If Pogba carries on playing this way, United’s attackers will have a lot to thank him for.

Mason Greenwood – 8.5/10

The teenager topped off an excellent performance with a superb goal in front of the Stretford End, just as Ayling equalised for Leeds. Greenwood radiated confidence and never once shied away from taking on a defender or attempting a pass. His ability to go on either his left or his right foot with no difference caused the Leeds defenders troubles all day. A great start to the season for Greenwood.

Daniel James – 6.5/10

The Welsh winger struggled to properly get into the game, on a day United’s attackers flourished. James will never give up, and that showed today; he chased every loose ball and constantly pressed the Leeds defence, but unfortunately to no avail, as he didn’t register a goal or assist. Either way, his work rate was relentless and his attitude excellent.

Substitutes

Nemanja Matic – 6/10

The midfielder replaced McTominay in the 69th minute and didn’t really put a foot wrong. Although he has got slower over the years, his awareness has not declined, and most of the time he was able to slow down any Leeds attacks. A solid afternoon by Matic.

Jadon Sancho – 6/10

This was the moment all United fans have been waiting for. Jadon Sancho made his debut in a brief 15-minute cameo in front of 75,000 fans at Old Trafford. For the duration he was on the pitch, Sancho seemed confident on the ball. He took a few defenders on and made some good passes, much to the delight on the onlooking fans. I, like every United fan, relish the day he starts his first game.

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Anthony Martial – 6/10

Before today, the Frenchman had played just 45 minutes of football since his injury last season, so it was great to see him get a runout at Old Trafford. Like Matic and Sancho, Martial didn’t really put a foot wrong. Hopefully he can build up his fitness after suffering such a bad injury.

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