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Manchester United 2-2 Leeds United: Three talking points as the Red Devils fail to go level with Man City

Manchester United and Leeds United shared the points after playing a terrific game of football at Old Trafford which ended 2-2 last night.

The visitors enjoyed a perfect start, with Wilfried Gnonto scoring a sublime goal before the clock hit the first minute.

Bruno Fernandes put the ball on the plate twice for Alejandro Garnacho to find an equaliser, but the youngster failed to score on both occasions.

Right after the break, Leeds doubled their lead after creating sustainable pressure on United.

Raphael Varane tried to block a drilled cross from Crysensio Summerville but deflected it into his own net.

Marcus Rashford gave Man United a lifeline by planting a header past Illan Meslier. 

With the home crowd lifted, Erik ten Hag’s side continued to attack and Jadon Sancho brought the score to parity after coming off the bench.

Leeds held onto the scoreline to ensure they took a point from the Theatre of Dreams.

The Red Devils remain in the third position in the Premier League table but could drop down to fourth if Newcastle United win their game in hand.

Here is what we made of this enthralling derby.

Leeds United started both halves more aggressively

The Yorkshire-based club took just 55 seconds to silence the Old Trafford crowd. They started with a spring in their step, pressing high up the pitch.

Marcel Sabitzer and Fred seemed disconnected with the latter operating in a more attacking role, leaving acres of space in the centre of the park.

This was readily exploited by Leeds throughout the game, with the visitors moving the ball quickly and running with more intensity.

After the break, they came out with the same vigour, earning two corners within the first two minutes. 

With Man United failing to clear the ball, Summerville’s cross was deflected into the net by Varane.

Erik ten Hag’s substitutions made the difference again!

Wout Weghorst and Garnacho were subbed off at the hour mark for Sancho and Facundo Pellistri. Both wingers played crucial roles in Man United’s goals. 

Pellistri gathered a long switch pass cleanly and found Diogo Dalot, who whipped in a delightful cross into the six-yard box where Rashford’s glancing header halved the deficit. 

Sancho scored the equaliser after getting fortunate with the ball ricocheting in his path. 

The young Englishman is coming back after taking a break from football on Ten Hag’s recommendation. 

He is looking sharp and determined to prove himself, which will be music to the ears of the Red Devils supporters.

A game to forget for Fred

With Casemiro, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek sidelined, Fred was required to step up. However, he was poor throughout the game.

He gave away free kicks, lost ball possession and failed to contribute in attack.

Even the Old Trafford crowd couldn’t stop itself from groaning about his poor ball distribution, which had a success rate of only 67%. He lost half of his duels and gave away the ball 24 times.

Fred is better when coming off the bench, which should be his role when Casemiro returns after suspension.

His energy is admirable and might pay dividends, but only when the opposition is tired and an hour into the game.