At full time, it was all smiles at Old Trafford. From Ole Gunnar Solskajer, Kieran McKenna, Michael Carrick, to the last Manchester United supporter across the Atlantic, it was all joy and satisfaction.
The Red Devils completely outclassed Leeds United on Sunday, thrashing Marcelo Bielsa’s side 6-2 at Old Trafford. This was a game talked about for weeks and a match against an old rival that was 16 years in the making.
However, Manchester United made light work of their opponents and used the occasion to announce their own title ambitions. It was a complete performance from the Reds and it was aided by Leeds United’s tactical naivety.
Manchester United have been criticised for their wastefulness and lethargy in front of goal this season, however, everything came together on Sunday evening. It was the day they finally found their attacking mojo and they made sure it rained goals at Old Trafford.
Manchester United goal-fest at Old Trafford on Sunday
Solskjaer’s side went ahead after just two minutes when Scott McTominay fired home from 20 yards, leaving Illan Meslier rooted to his post.
The midfielder doubled Manchester United’s lead a minute later when he channeled his inner Kylian Mbappe to control a pass from Anthony Martial before placing the ball at that far bottom-right corner.
By the time the referee blew his whistle for the half-time break, the scoreline read 4-1, with Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof adding to Manchester United’s goals. Liam Cooper managed to pull one goal back for the visitors.
There were more goals for Daniel James, Fernandes and Stuart Dallas in the second half, as the game ended 6-2 in favour of Solskjaer’s side. It’s been a long time since Manchester United scored this many goals in a single game, but Sunday’s performance was special.
Solskajer masterclass against Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds
Solskjaer intimated after the game that the game could have ended 12-4 and he was right. This was an entertaining clash, and more importantly, it was the game in which Manchester United finally discovered their attacking mojo after making a rather poor start to the season.
Solskjaer has often been criticised for adopting a conservative style of play but this was a total masterclass against one of the world’s most revered managers in the Premier League.
“It could have been 12-4. It was that kind of game. That was fantastic from the first minute – we had a plan to get after them, go forwards when we had the ball and Scott McTominay got two goals in the first three minutes,” the Norwegian said, as quoted by the Guardian.
“We found a way of getting them going – just imagine if there were 75,000 people in, it would have gone down in history as one of the great performances against Leeds. I enjoyed it, it was frantic, hectic. No matter what the score is they have a certain attitude or style, if they are 5-0 up or down," noted the Manchester United manager.
Whether United can maintain their current form in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but their attacking play against Leeds was commendable. They can trouble many opposition defences if they can recreate this form in their upcoming fixtures.Published 21 Dec 2020, 22:53 IST