Manchester United – Leeds: Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes each scored twice and added an assist as Manchester United pummeled Leeds United 6-2 at Old Trafford in the first Premier League meeting between the rivals since 2004.
McTominay scored within 90 seconds of kickoff and added a second before the match was three minutes old, building a 4-0 lead.
Daniel James and Victor Lindelof scored the Red Devils’ other goals, pushing the hosts third on the table with a match-in-hand on Leicester City and Liverpool. Man United is a point back of second and five back of the lead.
Leeds got goals from Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas, the latter a righteous curler, and Leeds’ 17 points are seven clear of the bottom three despite conceding a league-high 30 goals.
Three things we learned from Manchester United – Leeds
1. The quietest title push? Manchester United’s match-in-hand on Liverpool and Leicester City is away to Burnley, and the Red Devils will likely be heavily favored to win it. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite bombing out of the Champions League, has Man United in the title picture. That feels crazy, but see how nuts it feels if the Red Devils can manage a result at Anfield on Jan. 17 after playing Wolves, Leicester City, and Aston Villa first. This is proving ground time.
2. Leeds concedes and concedes, concerns: Marcelo Bielsa’s men are a lot of fun to watch but their league-worst goals allowed is a major worry. Thirty times Leeds have allowed goals and that’s in spite of goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who has often been quite good. Leeds kept two-straight clean sheets in drawing Arsenal and beating Everton but have since allowed 18 goals between losses to Chelsea, West Ham, and Manchester United and a 5-2 defeat of Newcastle.
3. Feel-good finish from James: McTominay created James’ goal to make it 5-1 in the 66th, but the Welshman’s first touch was brilliant in setting himself into the box to spin a shot between the legs of Illan Meslier. It’s James’ first Premier League goal after 32 matches without one.
Man of the Match: McTominay
Just for the power on the opener. That’s a bad man right there.
Manchester United – Leeds recap
Bruno Fernandes set up the first goal, a vicious rip by McTominay, then scored the match’s third marker with a drive through the legs of a defender.
McTominay’s second was a dart into the box to slot past Meslier and Lindelof added a goal at the back postto make it 4-0.
Liam Cooper pulled one back to give Leeds a modicum of hope heading into the break, but James made the most of a good McTominay feed to restore the four-goal advantage.
It was 6-1 minutes later when Martial was fouled by Struijk and Fernandes converted the penalty, but Dallas quickly responded with Leeds’ second via a terrific curling shot from outside the box.