Manchester United are in desperate need of a home win and would love to break their duck at Old Trafford with a derby win against rivals Leeds United. They did so with an incredible 6-2 win, playing one of the games of the Premier League season against a spirited Leeds side.
The Red Devils started the game in emphatic fashion, with Scott McTominay drilling a real thunderbolt into the bottom corner under 70 seconds of kick-off to put his side in the lead. The midfielder then doubled the lead two minutes later, moving past the Leeds backline to slot home United’s second in rapid fashion! Bruno Fernandes then made it 3-0 in the 19th minute, drilling a powerful attempt into the net to maintain his side’s dominance.
Leeds were leaky as a faucet and the Red Devils were not letting up, scoring another in the 37th with Victor Lindelof finishing off a clever set-up routine. But the visitors pulled one back four minutes later, with Liam Cooper powering in a header past David de Gea. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side weren’t to buckle under pressure, adding a 5th in the 66th minute thanks to Dan James clever finish from close range.
United were not letting up and earned a penalty in the 69th minute, which Fernandes slotted home with ease to make it 6-1! This game wouldn’t stop flowing with goals and Stuart Dallas then added another three minutes later with a wonderful finish from outside the box. Well it was just a complete bonkers game which just didn’t let you get off your seat.
Leeds dominated possession & ran their socks off, but were defensively terrible and Man United were unforgiving. This is a statement of intent from United, who can now maybe actually start dreaming to be genuine Premier League title challengers this season!
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Leeds United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (9.0) –
Solskjaer took some risks with his selection. He dropped an in-form Pogba, started James (who hadn’t started in months) and went with a ‘defensive set-up’. But it worked perfectly, with the academy lad McTominay running the show. Ole had really motivated his side to get a big win and ensured they capitalized on Leeds’ weakness perfectly.
That was the most entertaining game under Ole’s reign and he’s finally bringing the belief in the squad that they can hang among the top spots in the league. Of course, needs to maintain this consistency going forward, but that was a 5-star performance from Ole & co.
David de Gea (6.5) –
De Gea is back after sitting out in mid-week. Makes a fantastic save in the 33rd to deny Raphinha’s shot from inside the box. Very unlucky to concede Cooper’s goal as he did get a finger to his powerful header, only to see it slither into the net. Then makes another incredible reflex save to deny Raphinha’s powerful attempt from close in the 50th.
Denies Raphinha again with a solid dive in the 64th. Very unlucky to concede the second too, which was a fantastic finish into the top-corner. A pretty good showing nonetheless.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5)-
Wan-Bissaka is getting more support defensively thanks to James today and seems more comfortable keeping Leeds from causing mayhem in his side. Started the second half poorly, letting a cross go over him and losing complete mark of Raphinha, but was bailed out by De Gea. Should’v done better for Dallas goal, allowing him to take the shot too easily for his strike.
A bit error-prone and again seemed frustrating going forward, but got the job done eventually.
Harry Maguire (7.0) –
Despite his apparent struggles against pace, Maguire did reasonably well in the first-half, making some key challenges to stop Leeds from causing real danger inside the box. Made a brilliant goal-saving block to deny Harrison in the 80th. Had a few shots on target saved late on, denying him a goal in this bonkers game.
He defended admirably well against the all-out attack style of Leeds, making some clutch challenges and winning the key duels aerially to fend off their threat.
Victor Lindelof (7.5) –
The Swede looks well suited to deal with Leeds blistering attacking style and did well to keep them out in the first half-hour. Gets his first PL goal of the campaign by sneaking into the far-post to slot in from close. Kept things pretty disciplined alongside Maguire at the back, keeping Bamford quiet throughout the game and maintaining his cool through the 90 mins.
Luke Shaw (7.0) –
Luke’s back into the team and starts strongly, making the interception to kickstart the fastbreak for the opener. Doing some really good work on the left, making key interceptions to stop Leeds’ flow through his side. His crossing from set-pieces was superb today too and Shaw ensured Leeds couldn’t create anything through his side before being subbed out.
Fred (7.5) –
Fred seems to be absolutely brimming with energy today, making some clever forward runs to add more in the attack. Carried the ball forward and played a clever pass for Bruno’s strike. Makes a brilliant interception in the 86th before going through on goal, but his solid shot forced a brilliant save to deny him a goal.
That could’ve capped off another impressive display from Fred, whose dogged nature allowed him to break down Leeds’ counter-attacks, get the ball forward and helped United go toe-to-toe with their rivals.
Scott McTominay (9.5) –
What an incredible start for his game, hitting an absolute piledriver into the bottom corner from close in the second! Then doubles it with some brilliant movement and clean finish minutes later! Gets an assist too with a brilliant whipped pass to send James through for his strike. Should’ve had another after sending Martial through in the 72nd.
McTominay played like he had 3 lungs today, being the driving force for United with his forward runs and being all over the park to match Leeds’ intensity. Ended up overworking himself and picking up an injury late on, which hopefully isn’t serious because he seems to be in some form. His best performance in a long, long time.
Bruno Fernandes (9.0) –
Bruno starts the game really well, picking out McTominay cleverly for his opener. Then he adds one for himself, cleverly finding the ball inside the box before drilling a powerful attempt through Luke Ayling’s legs for his first goal from open-play at home in the PL this season. Then doubles his tally with a cool penalty in the 69th.
He was all over the attack today, getting into all the right areas to open up opportunities. Created 4 scoring chances, put in admirable work defensively and left the opposition spell-bound. Another A-class performance.
Anthony Martial (8.5) –
The Frenchman picks up from what he left off against Sheffield, showcasing impressive holdup-play before teeing up McTominay for his second. Then did well to free up Bruno for his goal. Gets another assist with a brilliant flick-on for Lindelof’s strike. Botches a huge chance to score in the 47th after slithering into the box well, with his shot going wide.
But somewhat makes up for that by earning Bruno’s penalty cleverly. Then goes onto miss another sitter from close range in the 71st! Sigh. Moved to the left after Cavani’s introduction and looked too comfortable moving forward, creating a great chance for Edinson in the 84th. Will be gutted not to get a goal, but Martial created 6 (!) scoring chances and ran rings around Leeds defenders.
Dan James (7.5) –
James gets his first start in the league since that boring draw to Chelsea in October. Put in a lot of hard work defensively and looked a severe threat in counter-attacks. Very unlucky to be booked for simulation early in the second half but justifies his selection with a solid left-footed finish through Meslier’s legs to score his first league goal of the campaign.
Almost gets another one, but his rebound attempt off Cavani’s attempt was saved. Makes a solid case to start more regularly with his impressive performance.
Marcus Rashford (6.0) –
Rashford wasn’t as clinical as his other mates in the wild first-half, lacking proper decision making on occasions. Did get one solid shot on target in the 44th to test Meslier. He was able to make some delightful dribble runs, but just lacked that clinical touch in the final third today.
Alex Telles (6.0) –
Telles gave another good showing for himself in the half-hour, keeping Leeds quiet through his side, making some good challenges and looking good going forward. Managed a vicious shot on goal late on but that was saved.
Donny van de Beek (N/R) –
Van de Beek initially looked a bit taken aback by the intensity of the game, but did pretty well to create a few decent chances towards the end.
Edinson Cavani (N/R) –
El Matador got a big chance to score in the 84th, but saw his shot saved well by the keeper. Then tried another shot on goal later on, but that was saved too.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno, McTominay & Martial were all brilliant in their respective roles and made a huge impact today. But as Gary Neville said, McTominay played like a combination of Roy Keane & Paul Scholes today. He deserves the MOTM for his brace & assist.