Player Ratings: Manchester United 4- 2 Leeds United

Its been 19 years since Manchester United faced Leeds United at Elland Road, so there was always going to be tension throughout the match when the two met on Sunday.

United started reasonably well, having the bulk of the possession and knowing the way Leeds play in their high-intensity style United were quick to realize the space to prosper in behind. The Red Devils had their chances with the Portuguese pair of Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo lacking the composure to finish either of their big chances and the rainy conditions didn’t help.

But the deadlock was broken when Harry Maguire headed in United’s first set piece goal from 139 attempts (Yes, 139 ATTEMPTS). The goal just gave United more confidence in extending the scoreline and that’s what they did when Victor Lindelöf went on a mazy run through the Leeds team before releasing it to Jadon Sancho, and the Englishman delivered a teasing ball that was headed home by Bruno Fernandes and seemed like United would be heading home with 3 points (no pun intended).

But in typical United fashion, the second half begins and Leeds started to pile on the pressure and their goal came with a bit of luck Rodrigo seems his cross-cum-shot loop over the head of David de Gea and not even minutes later Leeds find themselves equalizing after former United player Daniel James crossing in a wonderful ball for surprise substuite Raphinha to tap into a open net.

But it was United who were victorious at the end after grabbing two goals near the end to take away all 3 points and position themselves nicely in the Champions League positions.

Goalkeeper

David de Gea – 5/10

United’s no.1 wasn’t as troubled as he has been this season but he did make some routine saves to keep United at arms length throughout the game but his positioning as to be called up for question to see a Rodrigo initial cross turn into a goal.

Defenders:

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6/10

He was back into the starting lineup today to provide defensive solidity that his renowned for against a team with some threatening wide players and that’s what he did. Wasn’t a constant attacking outlet but when he did get forward he played it simple and defensively solid.

Victor Lindelof – 7/10

He was a stand out on the ball from the back and the second goal highlighted his quality. Defensively he was reliable and helped in minimizing the threat of Leeds’s wide players

Harry Maguire – 7/10

For a player who is occasionally labeled as a liability, he was arguably United’s most reliable defender and his goal was a well-taken finish.

Luke Shaw – 5.5/10

It wasn’t the best game from the left-back, even though he got the assist for the first goal apart from that he wasn’t noticeable on either end. His progression from the back was sub-par and this coincided with his poor decision making on defending.

Midfielders:

Scott McTominay – 6.5/10

He seemed to be all over the pitch, sometimes for good and bad. McTominay lived up to his perception as a ‘hard grafter’ today with the Scottish international seeming to play up with the occasion and that was seen in every challenge he went into. Off the ball, he was significant in United’s ability to regain possession but on the ball he lacked the quality his other midfield partner showed.

Paul Pogba – 7/10

In the first half, he was phenomenal – creating chances, driving the team forward and retained possession really well. He slowed that in the second half just like his teammates and was eventually taken off with the belief that he is being rested for midweek trip to Spain in the Champions League. Its very likely he leaves in the summer but its clear to see that Pogba head and heart is still at United and performances like this prove that.

Bruno Fernandes – 7.5/10

Similarly to Pogba, in the first half it was clear to see he was an another level to his opposition man and capped off the a good half with a nicely taken goal. Second half, he showed liability on the ball that wasn’t seen on the first 45 and he was punished on the edge of his box after having the ball pinched off him for Leeds’s second goal. But he made up for it with an assist to close out the game. 5 goal contributions against Leeds this season, the Leeds’s players must hate the sight of him.

Forwards

Jesse Lingard – 4/10

It was his first start for United in the league for 2 years and it was clear to see why. Looked completely off the pace and showed little quality on the ball when he got it and was rightly hooked off after 66 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 4/10

Similarly to Lingard, he was the invisible man for the majority of the game and after his goal during the week there was san expectation for him to kick on but he didn’t do that today.

Jadon Sancho – 8/10

Sancho seems to be getting better with every game he plays. Once again today he looked the most threatening attacker and importantly the smartest – grabbing 2 assists. If United are to finish strong, Jadon Sancho will definitely be at the heart of it.

Substitutes

Anthony Elanga – 7/10

Elanga came on and immediately showed the much-needed energy. His movement in behind gave Leeds a new problem to worry about and his goal was brilliantly taken.

Fred – 7/10

Just like Elanga, he brought energy that United were lacking especially in midfield and he even got himself what looked to be the winner.

Raphaël Varane – N/A

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