Leeds United played out a goalless draw with Manchester United in their Premier League match at Elland Road today. The draw means that Manchester United remain in second place with 67 points from 33 matches, whereas Leeds moved up to 9th position with 47 points from the same number of matches.
The stalemate also implies that table-toppers Manchester City now need only a couple of wins from their remaining 5 matches to ensure the league title.
3 factors that stood out in today’s match
1. Luke Shaw remained the primary outlet of United’s attacks throughout the match
Shaw, United’s left back and arguably their most consistent performer this season, put up yet another spirited display today. He was tireless in his overlaps and combined well with Marcus Rashford in the first half. They exchanged passes down the left flank for United and also tried to cut in to the Leeds penalty box from the left.
Shaw continued his overlapping runs in the second half too, and played a number of crosses into the opposition penalty box from the left flank. One of his crosses found Bruno Fernandes in the penalty box, but the latter could not strike the ball properly. On another occasion, Mason Greenwood met one of Shaw’s crosses with his head, but could not find the goal.
Shaw was solid in defense too, and stopped Leeds’ overlapping right-back Ayling on a few occasions. It was a pity that his stand-out performance could not guarantee three points for the Red Devils.
2. United had a lot of attempts, but could not convert any of them
Aside from the ones already mentioned, United had quite a few other chances too, but could not convert any of them. They had around 20 attempts, but very few of them were on target.
After a slow start, Fernandes slowly came into his own and ventured into the opposition penalty box a number of times. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross found him inside the box in the second half, but he could not keep his shot on target.
Greenwood and Rashford also had their fair share of chances, but got no returns because of their profligacy near the opposition goal. United also got a number of free-kicks just outside the Leeds penalty box, but could trouble the Leeds defense on only one occasion, which saw Fernandes’ shot being saved by the Leeds goalkeeper.
3. Leeds put up a dour defensive display
The home side defended deep from the start and none of their centre-backs allowed any space to the United forwards inside the final third. The Leeds players also put their bodies on the line repeatedly and blocked a number of goal-bound shots. The Manchester United players were hardly given any shooting space around the Leeds penalty box and struggled to test the Leeds goalie.
The game also gradually got physical, as the Leeds players were compelled to commit fouls repeatedly inside their own half to stop the United attack. Four of their players saw a yellow card, but they did not give up, and succeeded in snatching a point from Manchester United.