After a turbulent week clouded by the Super League nonsense, Manchester United looks to continue their impressive run and do the Premier League double over old-time rivals Leeds United. They were unable to do so, playing out a frustrating 0-0 in what was a surprisingly lethargic derby game.
The Red Devils dominated more possession in the first half against a possession-based team and even got a couple of big goal-scoring chances via the many set-pieces Leeds gifted them, but just weren’t able to break the deadlock. A similar case transpired in the second half, with Man United dominating possession and getting a number of scoring chances but just weren’t sharp enough to score a goal against a sloppy Leeds side.
In a game between two teams involved in the most goals (for & against) in the league this season, this was the epitome of an anti-climatic finish. The Red Devils are now unbeaten in 24 PL games but will feel frustrated & perhaps blame the Super League fiasco for dropping two points to basically accelerate Man City’s claim to the title.
Manchester United player ratings vs Leeds
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5.0)–
Not starting either Pogba and Cavani was perhaps understandable from Solskjaer because of the Europa League semi-final on Thursday, but effectively costed his side from winning the game. While his team probably played better than they did for the majority of the game against Burnley last week, Solskjaer’s inability to make important changes and subs at the right time cost him.
Should’ve made the subs much earlier and his blind faith in James & Greenwood – who were both failing to impress – was unwarranted. Will hope his decision to rest key players for this one pays off with a big win in mid-week, or else this horrible 2 points being dropped will feel even worse.
Dean Henderson (6.5) –
Henderson only had one real save to make in the first half, holding onto Stuart Dallas’ powerful shot smartly. Made a few smart saves in the second half & earned his clean sheet with impressive distribution of the ball too.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (8.0) –
Wan-Bissaka was really sharp in this one, making some great tackles to help regain possession and moving forward smoothly to help create some chances. Creates a big chance for Fernandes with an impressive low pass.
After being a bit sloppy in recent weeks, AWB produced his best performance in a long time today – winning a lot of defensive challenges & dribbling forward superbly to put in a complete full-back’s performance.
Harry Maguire (5.5) –
Should’ve scored in the 12th, failing to convert a brilliant set-piece from yards out. Then again hits powers one clear header over the bar before half-time. His defensive work was really solid and relatively faultless (apart from that one foul that earned him a BS yellow card) but Maguire surely needs to do better in attacking set-pieces because he could’ve easily won United the game today.
Victor Lindelof (7.0) –
The Iceman makes a fantastic pass beyond the entire Leeds’ defence to create Rashford’s early chance. His distribution was really impressive and so was his defensive work, as he kept Patrick Bamford at bay & came up with clutch challenges to keep Leeds from getting in space.
Luke Shaw (7.5) –
Shaw was very efficient figure on the left, making impressive forward runs and defending strongly to keep that side dominated for United in the first half. Put in a lot of work all game long, creating 5 scoring chances and progressing moves superbly down the left – but his teammates robbed him off at least one assist.
Scott McTominay (6.5) –
McTominay scored an unbelievable brace in 3 minutes against Leeds last time but not as explosive this time around in the early minutes. Got a big chance to do so via a set-piece in the 39th but couldn’t get in a header from close. Threw his weight around to bully Leeds’ midfielders and keep them from counter-attacking but his attacking output was a polar opposite of what it was in the last game against them.
Fred (6.5) –
The Brazilian midfielder’s at his energetic best in the middle, helping progress the ball forward smoothly and regain possession with his stern pressing. His passing and defensive work was really good again but his inability to create anything really special saw him subbed late on.
Bruno Fernandes (6.0) –
Fernandes is proving his set-piece danger here, creating two big chances in the first 12 minutes with his brilliant delivery but unable to see neither converted. Got a big chance to score in the 57th but powered an attempt inches wide of the post.
Hits another one wide from close in the 75th. Looked frustrated with having to rotate positions towards the end and just couldn’t create that something special to spark up a derby.
Mason Greenwood (4.5) –
A bright start from Greenwood, getting a shot on target in the 2nd minute. Still doesn’t seem clutch enough to thrive as a no.9, often losing sense of position to frustrate his teammates. Gets behind the defence at the hour mark but struck a shot straight at the keeper. He got involved in attacking moves a lot, but just wasn’t as clinical as he was in recent games. Looked tired late on as well.
Dan James (5.0) –
James starts against the side he nearly joined in 2019 before arriving at Old Trafford. His flicks and one-touch passing has helped move United forward but unable to create anything definitive in the first half. He was played through on goal in the 48th but wasted a chance after being confused with Fernandes beside him.
Then again gets a big scoring chance in the 62nd in an open space but doesn’t take a shot on goal. Despite his decent link-up play and pace, James’ indecisiveness & sloppiness cost him today.
Marcus Rashford (6.5) –
After his heroics against Burnley, Rashy looks menacing in this one and even went behind the defence in the 7th, but his scuffed shot was not good enough to test the keeper. Struck a venomous free-kick before half-time, forcing a top save. Got in behind the defence expertly in the 62nd but couldn’t see James convert his clever spot-out in the middle.
Made a lot of promising runs nobody could spot and his movement really tormented Leeds all game long. Had to be subbed late on as he still doesn’t look 100% fit.
Paul Pogba (6.0) –
Brought on with 15mins to play, Pogba needs to produce something special to get United the winner. His distribution was slick but unable to make a real difference late on.
Edinson Cavani (N/A) –
Came on with less than 10 minutes to play and his teammates couldn’t spot him in key areas to make a real difference.
Donny van de Beek (N/A) –
Again, subbed in with like 2 minutes left and understandably – couldn’t make a difference at all.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Aaron Wan-Bissaka played like a warrior today and won absolutely everything on the right. In a game the attackers flopped in, he gets my MOTM.