Bruno Fernandes.

Talking points: United 6 Leeds 2

Manchester United and Leeds United served up a feast of football in our last Premier League outing before Christmas Day, with the rampant Reds winning 6-2 at Old Trafford.

Both goalkeepers pulled off some smart saves to keep the scoreline down a little, but there was no doubting the dominance of the hosts in an entertaining encounter between these historic rivals.

Scott McTominay scored twice early on before Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof also got in on the act. Liam Cooper pulled one back with a header before the interval, only for Daniel James and a penalty by Fernandes to extend the lead further. Stuart Dallas's strike somehow proved to be the last goal of the game as numerous other opportunites were passed up in the remaining 17 minutes. 

Here, we assess some of the big talking points...

REUNION WITH THE WHITES

This was an eagerly awaited encounter as the two clubs, traditionally fierce rivals from either side of the Pennines, met for the first time in the league in 16 years. On that occasion, it was 1-1 at Old Trafford, with Paul Scholes's opener soon cancelled out by an Alan Smith header. Smith, of course, would later join the Reds, much to Leeds fans' chagrin.

LIGHTNING START

McTominay became the first player in Premier League history to score twice in the opening three minutes of a game. The 170-second double meant this was the quickest a side had scored since the start of a game in the division since Arsenal, against Newcastle United in February 2011 (164 seconds).

GREAT SCOTT

McTominay became the first player to score twice in a match between these clubs in the league since the boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in March 2002. The last man to hit a brace in this fixture at Old Trafford was Dwight Yorke, early in his United career towards the start of the Treble-winning campaign.

FERNANDES FACTS

Bruno has now been directly involved in 29 goals from his 27 Premier League games (17 goals, 12 assists). No midfielder has scored more non-penalty goals than his five in the league this term and this is the seventh league outing where he has both scored and assisted since his debut in February. 

AVALANCHE OF GOALS

The Reds scored more goals in the first half than in our previous six home league games this term. It was the earliest we'd netted three times in a match since the clash with Fulham in August 2006. The 4-1 half-time lead meant it was the most we had scored in the opening 45 minutes since the win over Leicester City in September 2016. Furthermore, Leeds had never conceded four in an opening half in their 481 previous Premier League fixtures.

ROUGH JUSTICE FOR JAMES

James was very harshly booked for simulation after clearly being caught by Cooper, when in full flight racing into the Leeds box. That is particularly true when you consider this was only the second yellow card awarded for the offence all season in the top-flight, after Wolves' Adama Traore in a match with Arsenal.

Daniel James scores.
Daniel James fires in after being handed a start by Ole.

DYNAMITE DAN

James made the most of his inclusion in the line-up, his first minutes on the pitch since scoring late on against Istanbul Basaksehir, when firing through Illan Meslier's legs. The Wales international brilliantly latched onto McTominay's pass and capped an impressive display, with a strike against the club that was very close to signing him in his Swansea City days. It was Dan's first league goal since the curler at Southampton in August 2019.

IF ONLY FANS WERE HERE...

The 6-2 win is the first time we've scored six in the Premier League during Ole's reign. Indeed, the last occasion was the 8-2 triumph over Arsenal in August 2011. An evening to savour for all Reds fans, even if it was only witnessed via the television.

Victor Lindelof.
Victor Lindelof netted his first goal of the season during the rout.

REDS FINISH WITH 10 MEN

Premier League clubs are now allowed to have nine substitutes on the bench, but only three changes can still be made. This was unfortunate as McTominay came off in injury time, holding his groin, after a magnificent performance. Luke Shaw also withdrawn around the hour-mark and there will be a hope that everyone remains unscathed from this frenetic end-to-end affair.

HOW THE TABLE LOOKS

The victory moves United from seventh to third in the Premier League, ahead of Everton (our next opponents, in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday), on goal-difference. Liverpool are on 31 points, four clear of second-placed Leicester City, who won 2-0 at Tottenham on Sunday. Ole's Reds are a further point adrift, but with a game in hand. Our next league assignment? Away to Leicester on Boxing Day, with a 12:30 GMT kick-off.

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