Manchester United vs Leeds
One of the weekend’s marquee Premier League ties played out a short time ago.
Manchester United welcomed Leeds to Old Trafford for the first time since the Whites secured promotion earlier this year.
The duo, of course, have a long, historic rivalry, with big things, in turn, having been expected this evening.
Man United headed into the match in fine form, having won four and drawn one of their last five in the league.
It was also worth noting, though, that the Red Devils have typically struggled at home this term.
But, when all was said and done in Manchester, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side came away with a convincing win.
Man United dominate
The tie, unsurprisingly, opened in explosive fashion, as both sides aimed to get at one another.
It was the hosts, though, who took less than two minutes to open the scoring.
Bruno Fernandes drove forward before playing a simple pass to Scott McTominay on the edge of the Leeds box.
The Scotsman then had plenty of time to pick his spot, unleashing a strike into the bottom corner of the away side’s net.
Then, amid a simply staggering start to the game, McTominay added both his and United’s second just a minute later.
The midfielder made a driving run into the Leeds box, before being slipped in by Anthony Martial, and firing past Illan Meslier:
WHAT A START 💪
Scott McTominay scores TWICE inside five minutes!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 20, 2020
Patrick Bamford then had a great chance to pull one back for Leeds seven minutes in after slipping behind the hosts’ backline, but guided his effort wide.
Man United, though, continued to carve out chances, with a superb block having been required to quell another Reds counter-attack just minutes after.
Liam Cooper then put in a superb tackle to deny Marcus Rashford a great chance.
The Red Devils, however, looked almost unplayable during the opening exchanges at Old Trafford, with both Fred and McTominay having caused the Peacocks all sorts of problems from midfield.
And, with less than 20 minutes gone, United made it three.
Fred drove forward and played in Martial, with the loose ball having eventually found Fernandes to smash home into the Leeds net:
Ruthless Manchester United 🔥
Bruno Fernandes makes it three and the Red Devils are rampant!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 20, 2020
The visitors’ next chance fell to Raphinha, whose effort was well saved by David de Gea.
Despite their solid attacking endeavours, though, Leeds continued to look pretty poor at the back, eventually resulting in the Whites conceding a 4th from a set-piece 36 minutes in.
Martial flicked on a United corner, with the ball having fallen to an unmarked Lindelof to stab home, all but killing the game off inside the opening 40 minutes.
Leeds, to their credit, didn’t give up, though, and Cooper pulled one back 41 minutes in, outjumping Fred to head in from a corner.
Bielsa then opted to make a pair of changes at the break, in an attempt to regain some sort of foothold in proceedings.
The Argentine’s efforts made little difference, though, as Martial came close to adding a 5th just two minutes after the break.
As proved the case during the opening 45 minutes, the away side did still manage to create some chances of their own, with another solid de Gea stop having denied Leeds 49 minutes in.
And the Spaniard was at it again shortly after the hour-mark to once again deny Raphinha.
The game, though, was well and truly killed off just moments later.
Another United counter saw McTominay play in Dan James, whose powerful effort proved too much to handle for Leeds’ no.1.
Martial then won a penalty 68 minutes in, which Fernandes stepped up to convert.
Leeds did pull one back with just over 15 minutes remaining, but it did little to impact the eventual outcome.
The final whistle blew with the score at 6-2 – a result which will no doubt thrill Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially when taking into account United’s prior struggles at home of late.
Man United end Old Trafford woes
Prior to facing Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Man United’s record in Manchester this term had proven quite concerning.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had picked up all 3 points in just one of their Premier League games at Old Trafford in 2020/21. And even that came in the form of a scraped 1-0 victory over a poor West Brom side.
Against their old rivals, though, United looked a completely new team, with the likes of Fred, McTominay, Rashford and Fernandes having put on starring displays.
Both the Red Devils’ dominance on Sunday, and the extent of their previous struggles, meanwhile, can be summed up perfectly by the stat showcased below.
After going 3-0 up against Leeds, it was confirmed that United had scored as many goals in the opening 20 minutes on Sunday as they had previously managed across all of their Premier League games at Old Trafford this season combined:
⚽️⚽️⚽️ Man Utd have scored as many goals in the opening 20 minutes today as they had in the other 540 minutes of PL action at Old Trafford this season pic.twitter.com/QXCMQIxKwz
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 20, 2020
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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