Man United battle back vs. Leeds but still drop points in title race

MANCHESTER, England – Manchester United bounced back with two goals to draw 2-2 against Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday at Old Trafford.

– Broadcasts on Sportzshala+: La Liga, Bundesliga and more (USA)

Wilfrid Gnonto opened the scoring for Leeds just 55 seconds before Raphael Varane’s own goal doubled their lead shortly after half-time. Marcus Rashford’s 12th goal in his last 14 games for United put the hosts back in the game before Jadon Sancho came off the bench to give Erik ten Hag’s team a point, scoring his first goal since September.

GO TO: Best/worst performers | Highlights and Notable Moments | Post match quotes | Key statistics | Upcoming matches

Fast reaction

1. United fight back but lose points against Leeds

When Varane crossed Crisensio Summerville past David de Gea to give Leeds 2-0 in the 48th minute, the away fans in the Old Trafford corner were dreaming of their first away win against United in the top flight since 1981. Second-half goals from Rashford – his 20th of the season in all competitions – and Sancho ensured that Ten Hag’s side didn’t suffer their first Premier League home defeat since August, but it was still a far better result for Leeds. who is well prepared. dominated by the firing of manager Jesse Marsh on Monday.

United missed the suspended Casemiro in midfield and it wasn’t until Sancho and Facundo Pellistri came in for Wut Weghorst and Alejandro Garnacho that they looked like they had scored. With Casemiro suspended for the next two league games and Scott McTominay out with injury, it’s likely that Ten Hag will have to use the same midfield at Elland Road on Sunday and that will be cause for concern after seeing how Leeds dominate big periods of the game.

However, Leeds will cherish their chances after coming so close to a famous victory against arch-rivals from across the Pennines.

2. Adams and McKenney play for Leeds

Leeds were able to start the US men’s national team duo Tyler Adams and Weston McKenny together for the first time since McKenney’s January transfer from Juventus. For the first 30 minutes they dominated United in midfield.

The Ten Hag midfield trio of Marcel Sabitzer, Fred and Bruno Fernandez could barely take the ball during Leeds’ fast start, with Fernandes in particular struggling with Adams’ attention. It didn’t help that Sabitzer, who made his debut in full force after the last day of the transfer from Bayern Munich, took some time to get used to the pace of the game, but the fact that United looked so hurried was the merit of Adams and McKenney.

Adams was all over the place, demonstrating tactical intelligence to rush into the back four when needed, and also threw in some tough challenges, including one on Fred.

Without a Premier League win for over three months, Leeds arrived at Old Trafford with more hope than expectation. However, their play based on Adams and McKenney in midfield suggests they have players who will keep them in the English top flight until they get their next managerial appointment just as they are looking for a successor to Marsh. .

3. Sancho comes off the bench to help turn the game

With Anthony out of action, Sancho would likely have started had he not been battling illness, but he still managed to get off the bench to help United get back in the game. Taking a 2-0 lead at Leeds, he gave the visitors problems on the left flank almost immediately before scoring the decisive second goal.

Ten Hag admitted that Sancho’s dwindling confidence was one of the reasons the £73m winger spent time away from the club during the World Cup break, but this was not the case against Leeds. He took risks with the ball in the attacking zone and scored well, creating an opportunity himself with a dart into the penalty area.

United have refused to put any pressure on or expect Sancho’s return, knowing they need to be managed carefully – at least in the short term – but it will be a relief for Ten Hag to see the former Borussia Dortmund striker make a positive contribution. . With Anthony and Anthony Martial out of action and Weghorst struggling for form, Sancho will be needed at a busy end to the season.

Best and Worst Performers

BEST: Tyler Adams, Leeds The U.S. midfielder looked comfortable around McKenney and covered so much ground that it ruined United.

BEST: Wilfrid Gnonto, Leeds. The Italian youth scored Leeds’ first goal with a brilliant run-up and helped set up the second goal.

BEST: Marcus Rashford, Manchester United. It wasn’t his best game in terms of all-round contribution, but he scored again.

WORST: Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United. He has been in great form lately but has struggled to make any impact and passed the ball in Leeds’ first leg.

WORST: Wut Weghorst, Manchester United. Ten Hag defended the Dutchman’s contribution at his press conference on Tuesday, but he again ran into trouble and was substituted early.

WORST: Alexandre Grenache, Manchester United. Came close to scoring in the first half but caught the ball in Leeds’ second goal.

Highlights and Notable Moments

A Leeds goal in the first minute starts with the pressure that everyone has come to expect from Adams.

If Brenden Aaronsohn’s free kick had flexed just an inch or two further inward, how different could this game look?

Was United thrilled to be back on track, or did they express their joy at seeing Sancho score for the first time since September? Why not both?

After the match: what the players/managers said

Ten Hag: “Of course, in the end we were happy to win a point, but we lost two points. This is a very bad start, unacceptable. Especially in the derby, you have to be ready to fight and take responsibility. We didn’t. .”

Leeds interim manager Michael Skubala: “I think [the result] gives players confidence that they are good enough at that level. They know it and we know it and we just have to watch every game until the end of the season.”

Key statistics (provided by Sportzshala Stats & Information research)

– Gnonto’s goal was only the second goal that Manchester United conceded in the first minute at Old Trafford. Edin Dzeko scored in the first minute for Manchester City on 25 March 2014.

– Manchester United’s last home loss to Leeds was on 28 February 1981.

– Rashford became the first Manchester United player to score in six consecutive Premier League home games since Wayne Rooney between February and April 2012.


Sunday’s return match will see Leeds host Manchester United at Elland Road in a Premier League game. Starting at 9 am ET.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker