- United scored four times in difficult conditions in front of a hostile Elland Road crowd to earn three precious points and make it two wins in a week, hence consolidating fourth position in the Premiership and opening a gap of four points on fifth place. It was an important win following the results of Spurs and Arsenal yesterday in what has been a difficult fixture along the years. United broke the deadlock from a corner by Shaw, which Maguire headed past Meslier in the Leeds goal just after the half hour mark, to stop a negative record of not scoring from 140 consecutive corners. Bruno doubled the lead just before half time, as Lindelof broke from his own half and exchanged passes with Sancho, with the latter chipping an exquisite cross for Bruno to head home from five yards out. Leeds roared back early in the second half and within one minute they levelled the match. Their first from Rodrigo was extremely lucky as he tried to deliver a cross only to mishit the ball which flew over De Gea and ended in the net. The second was well worked and it was Dan James who crossed low for the onrushing Raphinha to squeeze in the net. United started to recover from the shock and on the seventieth minute managed to move in front again, as Fred fed Sancho on the flank and went for the return pass. The latter slid a perfect ball to him and Fred hit a left foot shot hard past Meslier. United continued to create chances and it was no surprise that Elanga rounded the score when put through by Bruno in the last minutes.
- One of the complaints of Rangnick when he arrived at Old Trafford as interim manager was that the squad was too big and too difficult to manage disappointments of players that were not playing. United let go a few in January and this must have improved the ambience. Then, it is up to the Manager to try to rotate the squad and give all personnel some playing time. This is easier said than done though and many have failed in the task. Rangnick is doing pretty well in this area and his substitutions against Leeds did the trick for him and United. We were still on level terms with Leeds when the Manager brought in Fred and Elanga for Pogba and Lingard. The substitution of Pogba was maybe a bit surprising but I am sure that the Manager had in mind to protect the player for the Champions League match in midweek. Whatever the motivation, the changes worked to great effect as United earned a new impetus, took control of the match and both the players coming on managed to put their name on the scoresheet. This was not the first time that Rangnick got his substitutions right in the three months he’s been on the job. Some might say it’s luck. I prefer to say that the Manager is making use of his knowledge of the game and tactical nous.
- Bruno was excellent today, as were Maguire and Lindelof. Special mention goes to Jadon Sancho though for another inspiring performance and two assists. After a tough couple of months, Sancho has found his feet in the last few matches. He looks dangerous and unpredictable when on the ball and works hard off it. The best thing about him is that he looks to have more room to improve his game on a tactical and technical perspective.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.