Premier League
Man UtdManchester United6LeedsLeeds United2

Manchester United 6-2 Leeds United: Hosts up to third after thumping win

By Matthew HowarthBBC Sport
Scott McTominay, Manchester United
Scott McTominay's strike after 67 seconds was Manchester United's first home league goal from open play since the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their first match of the campaign

Scott McTominay became the first player to score twice inside the first three minutes of a Premier League game as Manchester United climbed to third in the table with a remarkable victory over old rivals Leeds at Old Trafford.

The midfielder found the bottom corner with a ferocious drive after just 67 seconds, before doubling his tally moments later with a clever finish from Anthony Martial's pass.

Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof increased the home side's lead, with Liam Cooper's header reducing the arrears at the end of a pulsating first 45 minutes.

Daniel James broke clear of the Leeds defence to restore the hosts' four-goal advantage 20 minutes into the second half, before Fernandes added his second of the game from the penalty spot after Martial had been tripped by Pascal Struijk.

Stuart Dallas curled home a stunning second consolation for Leeds - a fitting end to one of the games of the season that included 43 shots.

The victory lifts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side above fourth-placed Everton on goal difference, while Leeds remain seven points above the relegation zone in 14th.

Analysis - why Man Utd are title contenders again

Red Devils find their feet at home

'What a game of football!' - Solskjaer praises 'fantastic' Man Utd

Manchester United's success on their travels has been in stark contrast to their poor Premier League form at Old Trafford, where they had won just once in the league all season coming into this game.

Remarkably, Solskjær's team had managed just three league goals at home this term - despite netting at least three in all six away wins.

The Norwegian could not have wished for a better start from his team on Sunday, however, as McTominay stunned the visitors with two marvellous early goals.

The Scotland international, who had only netted six in his previous 68 appearances for the club, broke the deadlock with a fierce drive into the bottom corner after being teed up by Fernandes - the hosts' first home league goal from open play since the first weekend of the campaign.

Barely a minute later, the midfielder latched on to Martial's through ball before producing a finish the Frenchman would have been proud of.

It was 3-0 on 20 minutes, Fernandes reacting quickest to Luke Ayling's challenge on Martial before slamming a powerful strike past Illan Meslier.

Lindelof capitalised on some dreadful Leeds defending from a corner to rub further salt into the visitors' wounds, before Cooper's header from a corner reduced the arrears.

James and Fernandes added gloss to the scoreline after half-time, but the hosts could have won by an even greater margin had Martial not spurned two one-on-one chances with Meslier prior to Dallas' late strike.

United remain five points behind champions Liverpool at the top of the table, but Solskjaer's team still have a game in hand on their Merseyside rivals.

Bielsa's Leeds continue to entertain

Leeds had obligation to keep fighting - Bielsa

There is rarely a dull moment with Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds this season.

The Yorkshire club have had no problems creating chances - only champions Liverpool had registered more shots in the Premier League coming into this game - and they were not without opportunities here as they registered 17 attempts at De Gea's goal.

With the score still 2-0, Bamford dragged a shot wide from a good position before having a goal correctly ruled out for offside.

Leeds' defending left a lot to be desired - particularly when Lindelof was allowed to ghost in at the far post to slot home the hosts' fourth - but even at 4-1 Bielsa's side refused to let their heads drop and twice went close to reducing the arrears prior to James' second-half strike for 5-1.

Raphinha's volley from Rodrigo's cross was brilliantly parried onto the woodwork by De Gea, who was forced into another fine one-handed save from the Brazilian as the visitors continued to put pressure on the home side. However, James' goal all but ended Leeds' hopes of an unlikely recovery.

Jack Harrison should have made it 6-3 in the final stages, but somehow missed the target from close range.

Unwanted first-half record for Bielsa - the stats

  • Manchester United have played more home Premier League games against Leeds without losing than against any other club (P13 W9 D4).
  • Manchester United scored six goals in a single Premier League game for the first time since their 8-2 win over Arsenal in August 2011.
  • This is the first time a club team managed by Marcelo Bielsa has conceded six goals in any competitive match since his Newell's Old Boys side lost 6-0 to San Lorenzo in the Copa Libertadores in February 1992.
  • Leeds conceded four goals in the first half of a Premier League game for the first time.
  • Leeds have conceded more set-piece goals (including penalties) than any other Premier League team this season (14).
  • Since the start of last season, Manchester United have taken (32) and scored (27) more penalties in all competitions than any other side in Europe's top five leagues.
  • Leeds' Raphinha is the first away player to assist two goals against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a Premier League game since Tony Hibbert for Everton in a 4-4 draw in April 2012.
  • Since his debut in February, Bruno Fernandes has both scored and assisted a goal in seven different Premier League games; only Matt Le Tissier in 1994 (8) and Mo Salah in 2018 (9) have done so on more occasions in a single calendar year in the competition's history.

'What a game of football' - what the managers said

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "What a game of football. Unfortunately there was no crowd to watch it. This will go down as one of the great Manchester United v Leeds games.

"Leeds play the same way whether they're 4-0 up, 4-0 down or at 0-0. They do that every three days, every game. You have to run until the whistle goes.

"It's one third of the season gone. You can't start talking about league positions. We'll keep carrying on, working hard. Maybe when we get to March or April we can take a look [at the table]."

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa: "We could have come back throughout the game, there were always opportunities to come back into it.

"We lacked efficiency; they scored their opportunities and we didn't. In the second half we played on an even keel until the 80th minute. After that they created chances easier than we could. We fought all game, that's an obligation."

What's next?

Solskjaer's team travel to Everton in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, 23 December (20:00 GMT) before a visit to Leicester City in the Premier League three days later on Saturday, 26 December (12:30).

Leeds welcome Burnley to Elland Road in their next league fixture on Sunday, 27 December (12:00).

Player of the match

McTominayScott McTominay

with an average of 8.47

Manchester United

  1. Squad number39Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating

    8.47

  2. Squad number18Player nameBruno Fernandes
    Average rating

    7.86

  3. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating

    7.06

  4. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating

    7.04

  5. Squad number21Player nameJames
    Average rating

    7.01

  6. Squad number2Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating

    6.78

  7. Squad number5Player nameMaguire
    Average rating

    6.76

  8. Squad number9Player nameMartial
    Average rating

    6.69

  9. Squad number1Player namede Gea
    Average rating

    6.68

  10. Squad number29Player nameWan-Bissaka
    Average rating

    6.45

  11. Squad number23Player nameShaw
    Average rating

    6.33

  12. Squad number27Player nameAlex Telles
    Average rating

    6.33

  13. Squad number34Player namevan de Beek
    Average rating

    6.21

  14. Squad number7Player nameCavani
    Average rating

    6.05

Leeds United

  1. Squad number15Player nameDallas
    Average rating

    5.52

  2. Squad number18Player nameRaphinha
    Average rating

    5.46

  3. Squad number1Player nameMeslier
    Average rating

    5.45

  4. Squad number20Player nameRodrigo
    Average rating

    5.08

  5. Squad number6Player nameCooper
    Average rating

    4.93

  6. Squad number2Player nameAyling
    Average rating

    4.85

  7. Squad number22Player nameHarrison
    Average rating

    4.82

  8. Squad number9Player nameBamford
    Average rating

    4.80

  9. Squad number46Player nameShackleton
    Average rating

    4.77

  10. Squad number10Player nameAlioski
    Average rating

    4.64

  11. Squad number24Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    4.63

  12. Squad number21Player nameStruijk
    Average rating

    4.57

  13. Squad number43Player nameKlich
    Average rating

    4.47

  14. Squad number23Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    4.38

Line-ups

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5Maguire
  • 23ShawSubstituted forTellesat 60'minutes
  • 39McTominaySubstituted forat 90+1'minutes
  • 17Fred
  • 21JamesBooked at 52mins
  • 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forvan de Beekat 71'minutes
  • 10RashfordSubstituted forCavaniat 71'minutes
  • 9Martial

Substitutes

  • 3Bailly
  • 6Pogba
  • 7Cavani
  • 8Mata
  • 11Greenwood
  • 26Henderson
  • 27Telles
  • 31Matic
  • 34van de Beek

Leeds

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 15Dallas
  • 2Ayling
  • 6CooperSubstituted forDavisat 72'minutes
  • 10Alioski
  • 23PhillipsSubstituted forStruijkat 45'minutes
  • 18Raphinha
  • 20Rodrigo
  • 43KlichSubstituted forShackletonat 45'minutes
  • 22Harrison
  • 9Bamford

Substitutes

  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 11Roberts
  • 13Casilla
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 19Hernández
  • 21Struijk
  • 24Davis
  • 46Shackleton
  • 49Casey
Referee:
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home26
Away17
Shots on Target
Home14
Away4
Corners
Home11
Away13
Fouls
Home6
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 6, Leeds United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 6, Leeds United 2.

  3. Post update

    Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Fred (Manchester United).

  5. Post update

    Scott McTominay went off injured after Manchester United had used all subs.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Donny van de Beek.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Stuart Dallas.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Maguire (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alex Telles with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Illan Meslier.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fred (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Harry Maguire (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Telles with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Illan Meslier.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alex Telles (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Anthony Martial.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Daniel James (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Anthony Martial.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luke Ayling (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Raphinha with a cross following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

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