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Premier League: Leeds holds Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Man Utd 2 2 Leeds
Manchester United forwards Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford celebrating a goal in the match. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • Manchester United hosted Leeds United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Wednesday night
  • The Reds needed a win to reach level on points with second-placed Manchester City
  • They were, however, in need of a comeback to salvage a draw ahead of Sunday’s clash at Leeds

At Old Trafford, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford saved Manchester United in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Leeds United, preventing the managerless visitors from pulling off a historic victory.

The Red Devils were aware that a victory would tie them with Manchester City for second place in the Premier League standings, but Wilfried Gnonto shocked them by giving Leeds the lead after just one minute.

Following Raphael Varane’s own goal, United faced an uphill battle. However, in-form attacker Rashford gave them hope with a superb header, setting up an electrifying finish.

Sancho, who had been out for a while, levelled the score as a second-half substitute, but United was unable to force a winner in a thrilling conclusion.

After a quick pass and exchange with Patrick Bamford, Leeds exploded out of the gates and scored after just 55 seconds as Gnonto hammered into the bottom-left corner.

 

 

Wilfried Gnonto

Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto celebrates after scoring the opener against Manchester United in the Premier League at Old Trafford. | PHOTO: Sports Illustrated |

For the remainder of the first half, the hosts besieged Leeds’ goal. Alejandro Garnacho first shot wide before Maximilian Wober cleared the goal line to save him.

Illan Meslier made a stunning stop on Marcel Sabitzer from 25 yards, and just after halftime, the Red Devils found themselves even further behind.

Varane deflected the superb Gnonto’s cut-back past David de Gea after he had connected with substitute Crysencio Summerville on the underlap.

Just after the hour mark, Rashford soared to head Diogo Dalot’s cross into the net, giving United a chance to get back into the game. Twenty minutes later, their continued pressure paid off.

Sancho was in Sancho’s way when Shaw’s cut-back deflected, and Sancho saw his meek effort escape Meslier’s grasp to level the playing field.

Man Utd 2-2 Leeds: Sancho

Manchester United forward Jadon Sancho celebrates after scoring against Leeds United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday, February 8 2023. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |

Varane nearly turned from villain to hero with a strong header as United pressed, but Meslier made up for his own earlier mistake with a stop to keep Leeds in the game.

Manchester United Old Trafford win streak comes to an end

After this thrilling encounter, United’s extraordinary home winning streak, which had reached 13 games across all competitions, came to an end. A gallant comeback was not enough to extend it.

Ten Hag will be glad to have averted the first home league loss to Leeds since 1981, but United looked weak without suspended midfielder Casemiro, and the title battle currently appears to be too much for this young team.

Gnonto continues an impressive run

Though Leeds ultimately fell short of a huge win at the home of their old rivals, caretakers Michael Skubala, Chris Armas, and Paco Gallardo will have been delighted by Gnonto’s impact.

His goal, coming after 55 seconds, was the second-earliest scored by an away player in the Premier League at Old Trafford, after Edin Dzeko’s March 2014 effort for Manchester City (43 seconds).

These two sides will do battle again on Sunday, with United heading to Elland Road for the second instalment in a rare Premier League doubleheader.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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