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14th Aug 2021

Paul Pogba masterclass sees Man United cruise past Leeds in 5-1 rout

A Bruno Fernandes hat-trick and four assists from Paul Pogba saw Manchester United cruise past Leeds at Old Trafford in a thrilling encounter

Reuben Pinder

An impeccable performance from Solskjaer’s side

Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes guided Manchester United to an emphatic victory over rivals Leeds United, racking up four assists and three goals respectively in a 5-1 rout at Old Trafford.

The mood was giddy well before kick-off, as Raphael Varane’s move to United from Real Madrid was confirmed, and the player was unveiled to a packed out stadium.

It was always going to take something special for the match to replicate that feeling of excitement, and the home side exceeded all expectations, running through Leeds at will to score a flurry of goals early in the second half, putting the game to bed before 70 minutes had passed.

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring after he latched onto a delicately chipped pass from Pogba with a deft touch, before slotting the ball past Illan Meslier on his weaker foot.

Bruno Fernandes with Manchester United teammates Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba after scoring their side’s first goal against Leeds United. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

United’s lead didn’t last long though, as Leeds defender Luke Ayling took advantage of being given time and space to unleash a rocket from outside the box that flew past a helpless David De Gea just two minutes into the second half.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were not shaken by the equaliser, and quickly bit back through an assured finish from Mason Greenwood, aided by another inch perfect assist from Pogba.

Just two minutes later, Pogba picked up his third assist as Luke Ayling tried and failed to prevent another Fernandes shot from crossing the line. United were in control and didn’t intend on letting their foot off the gas.

Fernandes’ third came from a neatly threaded pass from Victor Lindel├Âf – who will surely have to sacrifice his place in the starting XI soon – through the lines and in behind the Leeds defence. As the ball sat up for Fernandes, he finished the move in emphatic fashion, completing his hat-trick.

Pogba’s fourth assist – which took him above his previous total of league assists from last season within just 68 minutes – was more straightforward, as he cut the ball inside from the left wing for Fred, who finished with an almost insulting level of calmness. It was the first time in 30 Premier League seasons that a United player registered four assists in a game.

Leeds were… Leeds. They fought and scrapped and ran and ran some more, creating the odd chance, but in what felt like a repeat of last season’s fixture between the two sides, the gap in quality showed.

United go straight to the top of the table with a goal difference of four and the mood around the club as positive as it has been for a long while. To think they played this well without any of Rashford, Varane or Sancho in the starting XI too, is mightily impressive.


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