Pogba and Bruno Batter Leeds in Season Opener

Manchester United marched to a resounding 5-1 victory over Leeds United in their Premier League season opener on Saturday afternoon. Old Trafford welcomed back fans and the Red Devils treated them to a dazzling display comprised of excellent gameplay and goals from Mason Greenwood, Fred, and a hattrick from Bruno Fernandes. The rival teams went blow for blow during the majority of the game till Manchester United stepped on the gas and knocked Leeds out of the park.

Starting XI

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer handed David de Gea the goalkeeper’s spot. Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, and Wan-Bissaka made up the back four. McTominay and Fred were the holding midfielders behind Bruno, Pogba, and James. Mason Greenwood was the sole striker on the day. The bench comprised of Martial, Matic, van de Beek, and new boy Jadon Sancho. The game was preceded by the unveiling of United’s newest signing Raphael Varane, who reveled in the applause and cheers from 70,000 fans while holding up his #19 shirt. 

First Half – Back to Work

Manchester United started the game with a spring in their step. Mason Greenwood fired a shot at the goal that showed United’s quick movement and passing. Greenwood had another chance minutes later after a loose pass from Leeds’ Raphinha but Leeds’ goalkeeper got a fingertip save to keep the ball out of the net. Greenwood set up Paul Pogba for an easy one-on-one with the goalkeeper but the French midfielder could not keep his shot on target. On the other end, David de Gea palmed away a shot from Klich. 

Manchester United’s front players displayed some excellent movement and positioning as they carved out chance after chance. Their work rate was rewarded in the 29th minute after Paul Pogba played an excellent pass into the path of Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese starlet took a touch and struck the ball right under Meslier. Although the goalkeeper got a touch, the ball floated into the far corner, sending Old Trafford into raptures. Manchester United looked to open the floodgates and pile on the misery as Wan-Bissaka and Shaw peppered forward and looked to create more chances. The home side came close but were limited to a one-goal lead at halftime. 

Second Half – Bruno Bruno Bruno

Leeds United stormed back into the game moments into the second half after a thundering strike from Luke Ayling. A throw-in allowed Leeds to find space in the attacking half, as Ayling got set up on the edge of the box. It was a typical Manchester United goal to concede- switching off and ball-watching only to concede a senseless goal. Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood cut Leeds’ celebrations short as he restored the lead after only 3 minutes. Pogba played yet another magnificent pass into Greenwood’s path who sprinted towards the goal with blistering pace. Mason’s left-footed finish in the far corner underlined his talent and furthered the hype surrounding him. Excellent vision, excellent movement, and an excellent finish to make it 2-1 for Manchester United.

After that, Manchester United did not look back as they added a third goal. Paul Pogba played Bruno into the box who dummied the shot and left Meslier frozen in his tracks. Bruno shot at the center of the goal and although Ayling got a clearance away, the ball had already crossed the goal line and prompted the referee to award the goal. 3-1 for the hosts as Leeds looked down and out. 

There was something very different about this United squad and that was their killer instinct. The hosts did not settle for a narrow win or a tense finish. Instead, they attacked relentlessly and punished Leeds. Bruno Fernandes underlined his importance to this team by sealing his hattrick with an emphatic goal in the 60th minute. A long pass from Lindelof found Bruno, who fired a rocket just under the bar giving Meslier absolutely no chance.

Minutes later, Fred got in on the act and fired a Pogba pass past Meslier and put the cherry on top to make it 5-1 and a happy return for fans at Old Trafford. Ole brought on Matic in the center of the park to replace McTominay as the three points looked assured. Ole also brought on Martial to replace Pogba as well as gave Sancho his first taste of Manchester United football as he replaced Daniel James. The hosts did get a bit quiet in the final minutes but did not need to push themselves too hard as Leeds forwards did not trouble the goalkeeper again. In the end, it was Ole’s midfielders trouncing Bielsa’s entire squad. 

Final Thoughts – Pog-Vision

Manchester United showed their class during this matchday. A classic unveiling for Raphael Varane, giving fans plenty of cheer and joy. A hammering of their rivals by their favorite midfielder was all that Manchester United fans could ask for. Ole’s faith in McFred paid off as they both performed remarkably offensively as well as defensively. With Sancho getting some minutes, a start for him doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Also, Varane looks ready to go and will certainly be looking to make his debut vs Southampton next weekend. 

About Deep Chadha 46 Articles
Hi, my name is Deep and I have been a Manchester United fan since I was 10 years old! This club means everything to me and I have spent many late nights and early mornings watching games, and then re-watching highlights. Hoping to see #21 in our trophy cabinet soon! GGMU

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