Opinion

Leeds 2-4 Man Utd: 4 talking points

MUSC Red Devils NCR
Man Utd beat Leeds at Old Trafford
Man Utd beat Leeds at Old Trafford / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages
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In a game that had everything from torrential downpour to flaring tempers, Manchester United beat Leeds United in the battle of the roses to complete the double over them and gain the bragging rights in what was the perfect way to restart this fierce rivalry after almost 2 decades.

On a day where the heavens opened for the rain gods to witness this spectacle of a rivalry, the Red Devils started off as the better side of the two, keeping the ball better in conditions that were best described as slick.

Leeds were happy to concede possession to the visitors and were gamely matching the visitors until Harry Maguire put United in the lead with a thumping header from a Luke Shaw corner. The visitors then doubled their advantage as Bruno snuck past a sleeping defense to head past a helpless Meslier to go into the half with a 2-goal cushion.

Leeds made a couple of changes in the second half and those changes seemed to spark a new lease of life into the hosts, who stormed back into the game with 2 goals within a minute from Rodrigo and Raphinia. With the game being wide open, Rangnick threw on Fred and Elanga on and his decision was rewarded as both got on the scoresheet and ensured that the 3 points stayed with Manchester United at the end.

Let's have a look at the talking points from this game.

1. The end of the corner hoodoo

Harry Maguire
United have finally scored from a corner / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE SCORED FROM A CORNER!!!.

This is not a drill. The Red Devils have finally scored from a corner after what seemed like an eternity. It has been no secret that our boys have been downright abysmal from corners, sometimes even hilarious.

To put things into perspective, this goal was scored on the 140th corner taken by United this season. It was a long wait, but the monkey is finally off the back. Eric Ramsay can now breathe easy after finally seeing the ball bulge into the right net from an attacking set-piece. Let us hope that this is the start of more goals from corners. I mean, the only way from here is up, right?

2. The Paul Pogba Show

Paul Pogba, Mateusz Klich
Pogba shone yet again in back-to-back games / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

The last time these two sides met, on the opening day of the season, Paul Pogba absolutely stole the show with 4 assists in a 5-1 demolition.

While he wasn't able to replicate those lofty numbers this time around, he was absolutely brilliant in today's game.

Right from the beginning, Pogba approached this game with an assurance and a swagger that he is so well-known for.

He was responsible for all the good things in the attacking end, with everything running through him, pulling the strings from midfield, and opening avenues for runners.

Such was Pogba's brilliance today, that none of the Leeds midfielders were able to take away the ball from him.

Adam Forshaw, in particular, bore the brunt of the Frenchman's ire, with Pogba absolutely dominating him, passing through him like he were a training cone.

Pogba should have also had an assist, after skipping past Forshaw and laying it on a plate for Ronaldo, only for him to fluff his lines. All-in-all, this was an excellent outing for the Frenchman, and Rangnick will be hoping for more of the same in the coming months.

3. Subs do the job

Fred, Anthony Elanga, Scott McTominay
Fred scored a goal that handed United the lead / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Just when it felt like the Red Devils were on course for a routine win against the hosts, Leeds came barreling back into the contest by scoring twice in a minute that defied logic and belief.

With the game on a level rooting, the balance of power had begun to slightly shift towards the men in white.

But Rangnick had other ideas. He made a double change, bringing on Fred and Elanga for Pogba and an ineffective Lingard. The decision to withdraw Pogba in particular raised a few eyebrows, with the Frenchman being one of the best players on the up until then.

But, Rangnick's thinking was vindicated when Fred scored the goal that restored the lead for the visitors, a thumping strike that gave Meslier absolutely no chance.

To add gloss to his day, Elanga got on the scoresheet as well, and the German will be very pleased to see both of his changes doing the job for him.

4. The revival of a long-lost rivalry

Paul Pogba, Manchester United, Leeds United
It was a tough encounter for Manchester United / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

This was the first time that Manchester United and Leeds faced off in a Premier League setting in front of a packed Elland Road since 2003, and goodness me it felt like a proper derby.

The game had all the makings of a feisty encounter.

Torrential downpour. Charged atmosphere. Flying tackles. Yellow cards. Fraying tempers.

And most importantly, the football.

The game on offer was an absolute delight; two sides, putting everything on the line. Pride. sweat. and even blood, in the case of Robin Koch.

But, both teams played some brilliant football and played as though their lives depended on it. This is what the fans want, and seeing this on full display, both sets of fans got behind their teams, egging on their respective sides to keep taking the game to each other, vociferous in their voice and united as one.

There were a few unfortunate moments in the game, with fans appearing to throw projectiles and objects on the players, but make no mistake, this once-dormant rivalry has now added a brand new leaf into its ever-growing story, with these bunch of players leaving nothing at the end of it.

Long may this rivalry enthrall and amaze us.


Written by: Delwyn Serrao

Instagram: delwyn_reddevil

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