Manchester United vs Leeds United Summary
Wow. An amazing game took place last evening as Manchester United thrashed Leeds 6-2 at Old Trafford. Early strikes from Scott McTominay set the tempo for a dazzling football game as Fernandes and Lindelof added two more before the end of the first half. Cooper quartered the deficit with a great header at the end of the half to give Leeds hope.
United smashed that hope away with a brilliant goal from Dan James and an emphatic penalty from Bruno. Dallas had the final say as he scored a screamer but United won’t care with the performance they had. The win took them clear of City and Spurs and ahead of Everton on goal difference as they pushed to third. United are a point below Leicester and five behind Liverpool, both of whom they are yet to play.
Another great tactical performance and some beautiful football played at Old Trafford. United scored their first open goal at home since their opening fixture in the Premier League. It is a big statement but more have to be made down the road.
Manchester United vs Leeds United Player Ratings
David de Gea 8.5/10
Back to his best after a little break! The competition Henderson is giving him has clearly had an effect. Two stunning saves to deny Raphinha especially the one onto the post. He looked confident and his distribution showed it.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 8/10
A little overrun at times but he did play out excellently. His runs made space for others and his linkup with James was fantastic.
Victor Lindelof 8.5/10
Great movement for his goal and great play for most the game. Lost Bamford once or twice but for most of the game he was very composed and focused.
Harry Maguire 8/10
Dealt with the pace Leeds have very well and Bamford’s strength too. Since the Spurs game, he has been almost faultless.
Luke Shaw 8.5/10
A lot to do for Shaw. He had the overlap of Raphinha and Dallas and did brilliantly in both attack and defence. A strong performance and needs to stay fit throughout the campaign.
He was brilliant at everything we expected. His energy, his counter-attacking play and his pressing. He was wasteful at points and gave the ball away cheaply but that is something we knew he is weak at.
Scott McTominay 10/10
Sensational. This was one of his best performances I have ever seen and there have been some quality games for the Scotsman. Two beautiful finishes and just everything about his game was exceptional.
Bruno Fernandes 9/10
What else can we say about this man? A few poor passes here and there but bagged two goals and an assist and crucial in every attack United made. I am running out of different ways to describe this man. The best way is of course, the Portuguese Magnifico. That will always remain the same.
Marcus Rashford 7/10
His passing was pretty excellent and the runs he made caused so many problems for Dallas and Ayling. So much that Shackleton came on to add more pace against him! The final product was missing as he had a few chances but dallied with them. Only criticism on what was a solid performance.
Daniel James 8.5/10
Not wholly unsurprised with his inclusion when the linueps were released. When Ole said James is the best defensive winger in the world, he might be on to something! Truly an exceptional performance from James. He was far better in his decision making and his pace and movement made Leeds worried. Should have won a penalty. A stinker by Anthony Taylor in my opinion. Took his goal brilliantly though. If that was Eden Hazard making that touch, people would talk about it for months! Hope he kicks on from this.
Anthony Martial 8/10
He could have had a 9 or even a 10 if he hadn’t missed two massive chances to score. A dynamic centre-forward’s performance from Martial. Two assists and won a penalty from excellent movement, smart passing and strong play. People forget how important he is even when he doesn’t score.
Alex Telles 7/10
Decent cameo as he had a lot to do in 25 minutes. Dealt with Harrison pretty well, and even had a chance to score. Some good crosses from set-pieces too.
Donny van de Beek 7/10
Quieter than some but dealt well with the Leeds pressure. A few crunching challenges and his movement on the counter was brilliant at points. Desperately want him to score another soon.
Edinson Cavani 6.5/10
Great movement and denied his fourth in red by Meslier. Good performance after an injury. I expect him to be rotated in during the tough winter period.
Man of the Match: Scott McTominay
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 9/10
Everyone knew how Leeds would turn up to this game. The only questions were how United would set up to beat them and if they even could. A lot of people thought the Leeds attack would overwhelm the leaky United defence who only have 3 league clean sheets this season and with the current home form, the attack has struggled. Context is crucial though as the games in which the home attack has struggled in when the away side has parked the bus.
This Manchester United team were kitted to rip Leeds apart on the counter, frustrating them in attack with an aggressive press and their merciless finishing in the early stages. Ole got his team ready and focused for this derby, most of whom were kids the last time United played Leeds. His tactics were spot on. Bringing in James, Shaw and McFred worked excellently as the robust and energetic press from the midfield allowed United to get numbers forward on the counter. Ole knew Leeds would create chances, United had to create more. And they did just that.
As I said, this is a massive statement. But more is needed if United are to truly compete with Liverpool. If they can remain unbeaten going into January, you’d expect their name to be in the hat around April/May.