Manchester United 2 Leeds 2

Wednesday 08 February 2023 22:31

Manchester United fought back from being two goals down to take a point against Leeds United at Old Trafford.

Strikes from Marcus Rashford and substitute Jadon Sancho levelled Wilfried Gnonto’s first-minute strike and Raphael Varane’s own goal to move Erik ten Hag’s men three points ahead of Newcastle United in the Premier League table.

The Reds managed to fight back from the deficit with well-worked counter-attacks and a never-say-die attitude, epitomised by Luke Shaw, who was instrumental in Sancho’s goal to level the clash.

Erik's men travel to Elland Road for the reverse fixture in just four days’ time, and with the heart shown on display in the latter stages, United will look to be ready for the away trip and aiming for maximum points.

Talking points: United v Leeds


Here are some of the key talking points as United were held to an entertaining 2-2 draw with Leeds.


Leeds started the game on the front foot, and managed to convert from the first attack of the game. Bruno Fernandes was dispossessed by Tyler Adams after just 30 seconds and that allowed Italian winger Gnonto to break away at pace. With a little give-and-go from Patrick Bamford, Gnonto moved around the United defence and his low shot beat David De Gea to open the scoring, after a VAR check that Bamford was onside.

Ten minutes later, the visitors came fingertips away from doubling the advantage. Maximilian Wober's header from a corner fell into the path of Pascal Struijk, who got enough contact to force an instinctive save out of De Gea to keep the game at 1-0.

United looked to reply with a quick counter. Rashford's pressure on Struijk allowed the Reds to regain possession and give Fernandes the opportunity to cross the ball to the feet of Alejandro Garnacho. The young winger took a touch before firing narrowly wide of the post. The best chance of the half fell to Garnacho midway through. Fernandes's pass found the Academy product, who rounded Meslier and looked to bring the game level. However, his goalbound shot was headed off the line by Wober.

Moments later, Marcel Sabitzer, who made his first start for Erik ten Hag's side, sprung into action. After a clearance from a corner, the Austrian controlled the ball, shifted it onto his left foot and fired a shot from outside the box which forced Meslier to pull off a great save to deny him.

Despite eight minutes of stoppage time, after Struijk was forced off with a head injury and Gnonto needed treatment, resulted in few scares for the visitors.


 Leeds began the second half just how they started the first, with a quick counter-attack that resulted in a goal. Garnacho lost out in the centre of the pitch, despite an appeal for handball, allowing the Whites to break through Gnonto. His pass found the substitute Crysencio Summerville, whose cross ricocheted off the boot of Varane and past De Gea to make it 2-0.

United responded quickly, with Wout Weghorst receiving the ball from Fernandes on the right wing, the Dutch forward picked out a long weighted pass to Rashford. The in-form forward cut inside and tried to fire a shot towards goal, but the resulting strike fizzed wide of the post.

Ten Hag made two substitutions just before the hour mark, taking off Weghorst and Garnacho and bringing on Sancho and Facundo Pellistri, with the Uruguayan making his Premier League debut. And, moments after coming on, United struck back. Latching on to a Sabitzer pass, Pellistri got the better of Junior Firpo on the right-hand side and laid the ball off to Diogo Dalot. His cross found the head of Rashford and the England forward guided the ball over Meslier to bag his 20th goal of the season to give the fans hope.

Rashford's strike means he is the first United player to score in six consecutive appearances at Old Trafford in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney in April 2012. And after that, United refused to lose as Sancho managed to bring the game level. Starting from Shaw winning the ball back in the middle of the pitch, he drove forward and linked up well with Sancho. The pair exchanged some brilliant passes in the area before the recently returned Sancho fired a low driven shot past Meslier to bring the Stretford End to its feet and take the scoreline to 2-2.

Varane's header brought the best out of Meslier and the keeper's goal lived a charmed life at times, with Fred and Fernandes also having efforts that could have brought the house down. Instead, Leeds held out for five minutes of stoppage time, doing well to kill our momentum on occasion, and will be the more pleased of the two sides with the outcome.


United: De Gea, Dalot (Malacia, 81) Varane, Martínez, Shaw, Fred, Sabitzer (Lindelof, 81) Garnacho (Pellistri, 58) Fernandes, Rashford, Weghorst (Sancho, 58).

Unused subs: Heaton, Maguire, Mainoo, Iqbal, Elanga.

Goals: Rashford, 62' Sancho, 70'

Booked: Sabitzer.

Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Wöber, Struijk (Firpo, 22) McKennie, Adams, Sinisterra (Summerville, 8), Harrison (Aaronson, 63) Gnonto, Bamford (Rutter, 63).

Unused subs: Robles, Gyabi, Kristensen, Greenwood, Fernández.

Goals: Gnonto, 1' Varane (og), 48'

Booked: McKennie, Adams, Firpo.