Manchester United vs RB Leipzig – Five Things We Learned

Manchester United players celebrate during 5-0 win over RB Leipzig


What. A. Performance. Manchester United have absolutely taken apart RB Leipzig. The team that smashed their way to the Champions League Final last season, that dominated Mourinho’s Spurs side, that are top of the Bundesliga have been found out. Julien Nagelsmann didn’t just look starstruck, he looked dumbfounded come the final whistle. And it is no wonder. His Leipzig side crumbled completely under the weight of trying to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United out.

Let’s be honest, who needs Dayot Upamecano? He was made to look like a Sunday-league defender in the back five tonight. There was literally no stopping our attack in the last five minutes. It was only five, but it could even have been more. I’m Millsy’s View for The United Devils, and it is a pleasure to bring you the 5 things we learned from Manchester United vs RB Leipzig:

Manchester United Can Still Compete With The Best

Coming into the season there was a lot of doubt surrounding Manchester United. Once the group draw was made, many didn’t believe Manchester United could still compete with the best. Right now, we are showing everyone that we can do exactly that.

The first half was a little messy, then Rashford turned into a little Messi (sorry, had to!) All in all, it capped a fantastic week for the side as we comprehensively beat half of last year Champions League semi-finalists. It will force the footballing world to step up and take note of the side that Solskjaer is building. Hopefully, the board will take note to, to invest in the tactical genius we have in our hands. The last two victories were purely outplaying the sides with superior tactics, that was the key.

Marcus Rashford Is Absolutely Indispensable

To be fair, we didn’t learn tonight that Marcus Rashford is absolutely indispensable. Merely, it was just something one has to repeat over and over again. The man spends all week running round making sure the poorest in our society still have something to eat. Then, he goes out and destroys Champions League opponents. We might be 15th in the Premier League as it stands, but this result will rock football to its very core. The fixture against Arsenal at the weekend is going to be a very different game now. Mikel Arteta must have been shaking watching this performance from the young man. After all, Marcus Rashford has history against Arsenal…

Marcus Rashford receives the match ball for his performance vs RB Leipzig
Marcus Rashford received the match ball for his performance vs RB Leipzig

Negative Paper Talk May Be Having An Effect On Donny Van De Beek

When I saw Donny Van De Beek in the starting XI I was excited. I thought that Manchester United vs RB Leipzig was his chance to impress. As it turned out, he put in an overall lacklustre performance for me. He may well be lacking match fitness, he hasn’t started a Premier League game yet. However, his performance wasn’t dominating. Manchester United fans have been expecting more.

I believe that all of the negative paper talk surrounding Donny Van De Beek might well be having an effect. He looked like a man with a real weight on his shoulders that he was carrying around the pitch with him. He showed glimpses of being able to play with our boys, but he still has some fitting in to do. Sure, he hasn’t been integrated into the system the same way Bruno was, so maybe he just needs some time. I for one am hoping for more from him than tonight.

Manchester United’s Front Three Are Still On Fire

Manchester United’s front three have not started the season as they ended the last. Mason Greenwood has had an in and out time of things. Anthony Martial got that red card against Tottenham to leave him out of the side. Marcus Rashford is probably the only one banging them in at the same rate to be honest. Meatloaf once sang “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” but one out of three ain’t good enough.

That’s why, then, it was great to see all of them getting on the scoresheet tonight. It showed the closeness of the partnership when Rashford so gracefully gave up his penalty. It showed he understood how badly Martial will have wanted needed to get on the scoresheet. Indeed, Martial needed it. That soon paid off too. Martial then gave Rashford his hattrick goal. Add that to Greenwood’s opening goal and it shows that Manchester United’s front three are on fire and looking deadly again!

Ole Has Manchester United’s Players Hungry Again

One thing that I really loved about this performance, aside from taking apart the Bundesliga leaders, was the hunger shown by our players to get the ball. It was a drab performance against Chelsea in the Premier League on the weekend. There was no real fight in the players or that sense of urgency. Ole must have had a word in the players ears then, because here they looked like a different team.

Sure, the first half wasn’t the greatest, as we defended our lead to half time. But, following that, we battled for every single touch and every single ball. In the days at the end of the Mourinho era, the players looked disinterested. They were doing the bare minimum and I hated it. Now, though, we were 5-0 up and cruising and our players were still hunting the ball down trying to win possession back. This is the Manchester United that I know and love. We were fighting tooth and nail to get on the ball and do something. Ole deserves credit for getting the players hungry again.

Author: Nicholas Mills