5 talking points as Fred and Elanga save Man Utd in fiesty win over Leeds

Goals from second half substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga proved decisive for Manchester United in a fiesty win over Leeds in a pulsating Elland Road encounter

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Ralf Rangnick explains tactical change at half time after Brighton win

Manchester United recovered from conceding two goals in the space of a minute to run out 4-2 victors against Leeds United in a pulsating Elland Road encounter.

Goals from second half substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga proved decisive for Ralf Rangnick’s side, who secured an important three points in their pursuit of a top four place.

Fred’s goal was a moment that swung the game back to the visitors after Leeds United had recovered a two-goal deficit after first half goals from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes.

In a game played out to the backdrop of heavy rain which increasingly slowed down the pitch, Leeds showed no shortage of resilience and remarkably netted twice within the space of a minute shortly after the break.

Rodrigo Moreno’s cross looped over an unsuspecting David De Gea before Raphinha – a half-time substitute – netted at the back post as the home fans went wild.

Mirror Football take a look at the five main talking points from a pulsating encounter in Yorkshire.

Second half subs decisive

Fred restored United’s lead with a fine finish from Jadon Sancho’s assist


Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Three of the four second half goals in this clash came from substitutes – Raphinha scored within ten minutes of coming on for the hosts, before Fred and Elanga made the difference for the visitors.

It was a particular moment of vindication for United boss Rangnick, who introduced his two players as replacements for the influential Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.

With United spurning so many advantages in recent weeks, as they did early in the second half here, their resilience in the final 20 minutes will be most pleasing for the German boss.

United end corner drought

Maguire heads home Man Utd’s first goal from a corner this season


Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

After 139 attempts – Manchester United finally scored a goal from a corner kick this season!

Luke Shaw’s inswinging delivery was nodded home by United captain Harry Maguire, in less than convincing defending from the home side and goalkeeping from Illan Meslier.

The last time Manchester United had scored a goal from a set piece was 27 January 2021 – when Maguire was also the scorer, as his side slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against Sheffield United.

Leeds spirit

Leeds substitute Raphinha remarkably levelled the score for Leeds just a minute after Rodrigo’s goal


Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

While Leeds United have endured plenty of difficulties and adversity this campaign, little can be in doubt regards to their spirit and belief in boss Marcelo Bielsa.

That was on show again today – netting twice within the space of a minute to salvage a two-goal deficit against a significantly more able team.

Rodrigo’s goal – which made more than an element of fortune – predictably whipped up the atmosphere in Elland Road to fever pitch and the team fed on that to score against moments later through Raphina.

Leeds may yet be involved in a relegation battle this campaign but this is a group of players who will never lose confidence in what they are being instructed to do.

Pogba masterclass

Pogba was the standout performer against Leeds for Man Utd at Elland Road


Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

The first game of the Premier League season saw Paul Pogba provide a hat-trick of assists as Manchester United demolished Leeds 5-1 at Old Trafford.

The Frenchman was similarly influential in this game, even if he did not replicate that number of goal involvements for the Red Devils.

Pogba was the standout performer in the opening half for Ralf Rangnick’s side as he pulled the strings and continually got the better of his Leeds counterpart Adam Forshaw.

Pogba’s best moment was when he skipped past Forshaw in the 25 th minute before putting the ball on a plate for Cristiano Ronaldo, who was denied at point-blank range by Leeds goalkeeper Meslier.

Pogba’s influence waned significantly in the second half, and he was replaced by Fred midway through the second period.

Lingard’s rare start

Lingard made his first Premier League start for Man Utd since 1 January 2020 vs Arsenal


Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The most notable selection from Rangnick was that of Jesse Lingard – who started his first Premier League match under the German and his first for Manchester United since New Year’s Day, 2020!

Lingard – who netted nine goals during a 16-match loan spell at West Ham last season – had been a peripheral at Old Trafford all season but was selected for his energy for this trip to Elland Road.

Explaining the selection ahead of the match, Rangnick explained: “He looked sharp in training, he’s got a lot of experience. He’s a player who covers a lot of the pitch.

“He’s ready, he’s looking forward to the game. That’s what it’s all about.”

Lingard did not make a direct impact on the scoreline, but he showed that he has enough to help make a difference in United’s season run-in.

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