And Just like that, they bring us all back in. Finally a 90 minute performance (literally) that oozed classic Fergie era United. For the first time in years, United came out determined to decide the outcome for themselves, and not wait and see what would be available to them. This is the type of performance that makes one agree with Roy Keane that this could be the year for 21.
Ole Gunner Solksjaer – Boy did the baby faced assassin get this one right. The team selection was one we had (mostly) seen before, but for the first time in a long time, it looked like the pre-match team talk hit the mark. The lads came out firing, and never relented. A classic United decision of “We’re just going to score more than you” played out to perfection. As the only remnant from the era where Leeds vs. United was a bloodthirsty barn burner, he sure made it appear his team knew how much this game means to the side whose rose is red. 8.5.
David De Gea – Sure seemed like he was motivated after being dropped for the Sheffield match. Made a few big saves early, though could have done better on Cooper’s header that gave Leeds life. Top drawer save on Raphinha’s close range volley was vintage De Gea. 8.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – May be going through a bit of a slump on both sides of the ball. Seemed a bit indecisive defensively, and Leeds pressured his flank early and often. Still offers too little in attack to warrant a world class rating. 6.
Victor Lindelof – Started a bit nervy, and Bamford should have done better to punish a hole he left when it was only 2-0. His partnership with Maguire still raises the heart rate a bit, but was right on the money for his well composed finish. 7.
Harry Maguire – Showed a captain’s mentality to urge the boys on and not let off the gas. Read several Leeds counter attacks well, and broke them up accordingly. Slowed the progress of a few attacks, but his safe not sorry approach was the right one with the pitch firmly tilted in United’s favor. 7.5.
Luke Shaw – Varied between turned on, and switched off a few times to make things unnecessarily nervy. Still doesn’t maraud forward enough for Bruno’s liking, forcing Rashford to exclusively provide width in attack. 6.5.
Scott McTominay – On another level today. Grabbed the game by the horns from the off, pressuring effectively, and making driving runs that both got the goals they deserved. His motor never faltered, and Leeds were soundly bullied in midfield. If he can consistently perform at this level, United have found Scholsey 2.0. 9.
Fred – A perfect example of why his Red card against Paris was so costly. Defended impeccably, and drove passes into the final third with ease. His decisiveness was crucial to United’s quick attacks, and didn’t have any of his normal turnover issues to recover from. 8.5.
Bruno Fernandes – Played puppet master for his tenure on the pitch. His subtle passes and permeating movements proved too much for an outclassed Leeds. Deftly set up McTominay for the opener, pounced on the third, and clinically slotted home the pen. 8.5.
Dan James – Put in a shift. Constantly gave the Leeds back line something to think about as he ran them ragged without the ball. Harshly booked for simulation, but should have played the ball earlier to avoid the situation. Got a bit lucks for his goal, but hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. 7.5.
Marcus Rashford – Absolutely had Leeds for lunch, swapping sides with Dan James on occasion to make sure they never got a bead on him. Got a well deserved rest towards the end, and his effort deserved a mark on the scoresheet. 8.
Anthony Martial – Tony Tony Tony. By far his best performance of the season, and still missed a pair of sitters. His lack of a finishing edge this term will be costly eventually in the League, as it was in the Champions League. His assists for McTominay and Lindelof showed what he can do when he’s on, but he needs to be a killer if he wants to earn the 9 shirt. 7.
Alex Telles – Defended well to give Luke Shaw a rest. Eager to push forward, and seems to be adapting well to the Premier League. 6.
Donny Van de Beek – Still searching for a role to really carve out as his own. With Bruno securly the number 10, he may need to build some chemistry with either McTominay or Fred in order to be more effective from deeper. Time is on his side, as he is not needed to play at the highest level week in week out. 6.
Edinson Cavani – Squandered a golden chance late on, as he looked to be easing himself back from a muscle injury. His efforts will be crucial for the Christmas period, and it was good to let him knock off the rust in a game already won. 6.