Leeds United hosted Manchester United at Elland Road to a 0-0 draw in the Premier League fixture. It was the visitors with better half-chances but they failed to break Leed’s defence. Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made one change to the starting XI that played last week.
Daniel James was drafted into the team in place of Paul Pogba. The France international would have been rested due to midweek fixture against Italian outfit AS Roma. On the other hand, Raphinha was deemed unfit and failed to make the matchday squad. Helder Costa started on the right flank in his absence.
Here are the five talking points from Leeds United vs Manchester United
5. Unexpected scoreline!
A game involving Leeds and Manchester United could have never ended in a 0-0 drab draw but it did today at the Elland Road. The last time when the two sides met, we saw eight goals inside 90 minutes. It was an end-to-end fascinating game. Today we saw a complete opposite to it.
Leeds United was wary of leaving themselves too much open at the back. Thus, they committed fewer people forward. They weren’t intimidated by the big names in the red shirts and put on a dogged performance to earn a very valuable point.
4. Kalvin Phillips redeems himself
In December, when United ran riot over Leeds in the 6-2 win, Kalvin Phillips was withdrawn at half-time. He was dreadful in defending and failed to provide any composure to his side. Today, he put a great performance and showed how improved a player he is.
Not only defensively, but he was also the most effective creator for his team. He created the most chances (3) and made the most successful long balls (6). Coming back to his defence, he was all over Bruno Fernandes. He didn’t give any opportunity to the Portuguese international to run with the ball or have the time to find a runner. Man of the match performance, without a doubt.
3. Solskjaer’s subsitutions
Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, and Donny Van De Beek, three of them started the game on the bench. It was very clear after the hour mark that United needs some freshness on the pitch. The attacking players were not just able to go past Leeds’ defence.
Greenwood, who played as the striker, also failed to hold the ball. Yet, Solskjaer opted to wait till the 76th minute to make his substitution in the form of Paul Pogba. Edinson Cavani came off the bench only when four minutes were left in the clock. Preserving players for a vital semifinal clash after three days is important, but they would have been given 25-30 minutes to have a crack against their arch-rivals.
2. Marcelo Bielsa has a plan B
Everyone is aware of Leed’s attacking talent but it was always believed that the side can only play in a one-dimensional way. But things have been slightly tweaked by Marcelo Bielsa since their thumping at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture.
In their first season back in the English top-flight after so many years, Leeds United has not been beaten by any of the top six sides at Elland Road. Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea all have drawn at Leed’s home ground whereas Spurs are yet to make a trip. The last year’s Championship side has shown that they have the talent to stay up. With the addition of this defensive trait, Leeds United will become even stronger for next season.
1. THE 12TH MAN Opinion ft. Glazers’ out protest
The European Super League saga seems to be over after the six English clubs involved in it pulled out within 48 hours of the league’s announcement. But the protest from the fans has continued. Chelsea’s fan started it last week and Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool supporters continued it this week.
Now Manchester United fans have stepped up as their team clashed against Leeds. They floated the banner over Elland Road which read “£2billion stolen Glazers out”. This won’t be the last we hear from the Red Devils’ supporters.