Manchester United

Leeds 2-4 Man Utd: Player ratings as Red Devils win frantic derby classic

Jude Summerfield
Fred got the winner
Fred got the winner / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Manchester United secured three points to keep themselves in pole position for fourth spot in the Premier League as they held off a spirited Leeds in a classic at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon.

In a frantic encounter, headers from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes had United 2-0 up at half time, but two goals in a second-half minute from Rodrigo and Raphinha had Leeds back on level terms.

However, substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga struck as Marcelo Bielsa's side became more open to end the hosts' resistance and keep United within four points of third-place Chelsea.

Leeds went close early on as they countered before Mateusz Klich picked out Jack Harrison, but the winger could only send his shot sailing over the bar at the back post. Adam Forshaw then raced into the penalty area and tested David de Gea with a central strike.

Forshaw was losing his midfield battle with Paul Pogba and the Frenchman skinned him in embarrassing fashion out on the wing, squaring for Cristiano Ronaldo whose miss was even more embarrassing, seeing it cannon back off Illan Meslier from point-blank range.

United's dominance eventually turned into an advantage on the scoreline as Luke Shaw's inswinging corner was met by Maguire's header to make it 1-0.

Leeds continued to look suspect at both set-pieces and crosses and it was down that avenue that the Red Devils doubled their lead as Jadon Sancho's clipped ball in found Fernandes, who nodded in from close range.

United looked to be cruising but two goals in a minute from the hosts squared things up in double-quick time.

Rodrigo got down the left and sent a cross into the box, only for it to catch De Gea unawares and arch into the far corner to give the home fans something to shout about.

Ralf Rangnick's side were shell-shocked and threw away their lead soon after as substitute Raphinha popped up at the back post to poke in Daniel James' cross.

Rangnick's decision to bring off Pogba - arguably their best player - raised eyebrows, but the German's decision was vindicated when Fred smashed in Jadon Sancho's lay off to make it 3-2.

Leeds' rally came to an end when a Pascal Struijk error handed the ball to Fernandes, who played in Elanga to put the final seal on a riveting derby fixture.

Leeds player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Illan Meslier
Meslier was kept busy / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Illan Meslier (GK) - 5/10 - Brilliant, instinctive save stopped Ronaldo from opening the scoring. Distribution was wayward.

Luke Ayling (RB) - 5/10 - Fouled Fernandes for a yellow card. Saw plenty of the ball as Leeds' play went through him.

Pascal Struijk (CB) - 4/10 - Tripped Fernandes to pick up a booking. Probably should have been more proactive in the build-up to Fred's strike. His error led to Elanga's goal.

Diego Llorente (CB) - 4/10 - Beaten in the air by Maguire for the first goal. Tough first half and was brought off at the break.

Stuart Dallas (LB) - 6/10 - Popped up on both flanks. Indefatigable as always.

2. Midfielders

Mateusz Klich
Disappointment for Leeds / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Adam Forshaw (CM) - 6/10 - Got royally mugged off a few times by Pogba in the first half. Snapped into Fernandes before Raphinha's strike and was later cautioned for a separate incident.

Robin Koch (CM) - 5/10 - Took a whack to the head and needed bandaging up. Made it until the 31st minute before he was subbed off.

Mateusz Klich (AM) - 7/10 - Good in a first half where most of his teammates struggled. Deserved a goal but a great strike was denied by De Gea.

3. Forwards

Rodrigo Moreno, Adam Forshaw
Rodrigo got Leeds back into the game / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Daniel James (RW) - 7/10 - The threat of his pace was there fleetingly in the first half but he didn't see much of the ball. Came alive in the second period and did excellently to fire in the ball which Raphinha converted.

Rodrigo (ST) - 7/10 - Didn't get much possession in the opening 45 but got a stroke of fortune when an intended cross went over De Gea for Leeds' first.

Jack Harrison (LW) - 5/10 - Couldn't hit the target with a good chance at the back post. Not at his best and taken off for Raphinha.

4. Substitutes

Junior Firpo (LB) - 7/10 - Won the ball and charged upfield before Rodrigo's goal, getting the assist.

Joe Gelhardt (ST) - 6/10 - Raced around with intent, unsettling United's backline.

Raphinha (RW) - 7/10 - Got a run on Shaw to prod in the equaliser at the back stick. Booked for trying to get McTominay sent off for a second yellow.

Manchester United player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

David de Gea (GK) - 5/10 - Alert to deny Forshaw's strike. Had a bit of meltdown for Rodrigo's goal, being caught out as the ball sailed over him and in.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) - 6/10 - For a 'great one-on-one defender', Wan-Bissaka was suspiciously statuesque in allowing James to get a cross in for Raphinha's strike. In all fairness, he was OK aside from that.

Harry Maguire (CB) - 7/10 - Got up to nod in the opener, his first goal in the Premier League this season.

Victor Lindelof (CB) - 7/10 - Brilliant play in the build-up to Fernandes' header, bringing the ball out from the back to the edge of Leeds and combining excellently with Sancho.

Luke Shaw (LB) - 6/10 - Great corner for Maguire to nod in. Caught sleeping as Raphinha got a run on him to bag the equaliser. An embodiment of Rangnick's 'Jekyll and Hyde' comment the other day

6. Midfielders

Bruno Fernandes, Victor Lindeloef, Jadon Sancho
United celebrate Fernandes' goal / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Scott McTominay (CM) - 4/10 - Careered around the pitch clattering into anything that moved. At least he knew it was a derby. Eventually got yellow carded for a reducer and really should have been sent off.

Paul Pogba (CM) - 8/10 - Skinned Forshaw on the touchline to set up the glorious Ronaldo opportunity. Completed five dribbles and was arguably United's best player, but brought off for Fred.

Bruno Fernandes (AM) - 8/10 - Took a few knocks and mouthed off to the referee about it. Charged into the box with expert timing to nod in Sancho's cross. Laid on the assist for Elanga.

7. Forwards

Cristiano Ronaldo
Another average display from Ronaldo / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Jesse Lingard (RW) - 4/10 - Did little of note on his first Premier League start of the season and taken off in the 67th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - 5/10 - Had a tap in saved by Meslier. Booked for having a bit of a moan. Few nice moments of link-up play but couldn't get that involved.

Jadon Sancho (LW) - 8/10 - Delightful clip into the box put Fernandes' goal on the plate for the Portugal international. Not great defending alongside Wan-Bissaka for Raphinha's strike but made amends with a perfect ball for Fred to smash in. Perhaps his best game so far for United.

8. Substitutes

Anthony Elanga
Elanga got United's fourth / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Fred (CM) - 7/10 - Arrived on the scene with perfect time to put United ahead.

Anthony Elanga (RM) - 7/10 - Looked to be struck by an object from the crowd but was OK to continue. Kept his composure to score United's fourth and seal the points.

Raphael Varane (CB) - N/A - Brought on as United looked to shut up shop.

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