Manchester United beat Leeds United 2-0 in a Premier League match at Elland Road on Sunday. Following Manchester City’s victory in the other Sunday game, United remained in third place on 46 points.
Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho scored for the visitors in the 80th and 85th minutes, respectively. Now, a look at two things that stood out in the match.
Leeds United looked the more energetic and purposeful in the first half
Manchester United absorbed pressure and won the match through substitutes
Leeds started the second half in a strong manner, as well. They had four attempts within the first seven minutes of it. The visitors’ defense struggled to deal with Leeds’ intensity and aggression. However, Ten Hag then decided to take off Sancho and introduce Alejandro Garnacho and also threw in Martinez in place of Malacia.
As a result, Shaw started playing at left-back, as Garnacho became the left winger. Rashford moved to centre-forward and Weghorst adopted a withdrawn role. However, Wilfried Gnonto tormented the United defense through the inside-left channel. United replaced Dalot, whose only significant contribution was to take a shot that rattled the crossbar in the second half, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Martinez and Wan-Bissaka’s introductions gave United’s defense some much-needed solidity.
In the 80th minute, Sabitzer, who was very impressive throughout the match, played a ball across the pitch to an overlapping Shaw. The English international brought the ball under control with a great first touch. He then played a cross to Rashford inside the box as the latter scored his 21st goal of the season with a perfectly splayed header.
A few minutes later, Fred won a ball near the half-line before playing it to Weghorst. The Dutchman’s one touch pass found an onrushing Garnacho in the left. The Argentine winger ran into the box to finish with his right foot and ensure the visitors’ victory. Manchester United then succeeded in putting the ball into the net in two more times, but the flag was raised for offside on both occasions.
In the end, the score line probably flattered Manchester United, but Erik ten Hag’s side will accept it happily.