Substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga scored in the final 20 minutes as Manchester United survived a second-half scare to beat Leeds United 4-2 at Elland Road, here on Sunday.
United shot into a two-nil lead before the break thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes. But Leeds responded superbly in the second half to level the score.
Quickfire goals from both Rodrigo and Raphinha had pulled Marcelo Bielsa’s side level before Fred and Elanga ensured that the Red Devils secured all three points.
It was the hosts who carved open the first real chance of the game after just five minutes, as Mateusz Klich cleverly found Jack Harrison unmarked with a lofted through pass. But he failed to trouble David De Gea however, firing his effort wide of the mark, according to a report on Manchester United’s official website.
After Paul Pogba came close to scoring, Adam Forshaw then troubled United goalkeeper De Gea, before Pogba worked his magic down the left flank to get to the byline and pick out Cristiano Ronaldo just before the half-hour mark, but CR7 was denied superbly by Meslier to keep the scores level.
Fernandes tried his luck from the edge of the area in another attempt to test the Leeds’ ever-busy goalkeeper, forcing the 21-year-old to push his effort out for a corner.
And from the resulting set-piece the Manchester team took the lead, Shaw’s wicked out-swinging delivery was superbly met by his countryman Maguire as he headed home only his second goal of the season and United’s first from a corner of 2021/22.
As the half-time whistle approached it was Rangnick’s men who began to take a strong foothold in the game.
In the last minute of the six-minute added time, United scored their second goal. Slick build-up play involving both Victor Lindelof and Sancho allowed the latter to pick out an unmarked Fernandes, who nodded home.
But with just seven minutes gone, Leeds reduced the margin. Brazillian forward Rodrigo drove forward before his intended cross evaded De Gea and looped into the back of the net.
Just 60 seconds later, Leeds drew level. Dan James beat Aaron Wan-Bissaka, before picking out substitute Raphinha in the six-yard area to prod home Leeds’ equaliser, despite United’s claims for a foul on Fernandes in the build-up.
Bielsa’s side came forward once more on the hour mark, as teenage forward and half-time sub Joe Gelhardt found space in the area, forcing De Gea into another smart save.
But with 20 minutes remaining, Manchester United re-took the lead through Fred, who had just been introduced in place of the impressive Pogba.
The Brazilian no.17 galloped forward and after playing a clever one-two with Sancho, his powerful left-footed drive flew past Meslier, much to the delight of the travelling away contingent.
Gelhardt again attempted to drive the home side forward following United’s third, as the 19-year-old forced De Gea into action following his surge into the area. Klich then drew De Gea into yet another top save with a long-range strike.
With Leeds aiming to surge forward, Rangnick’s men made sure of the points thanks to Elanga’s second goal of the campaign.
The teenager raced on to a smart pass from Fernandes to safely ensure the Reds extended our impressive run to seven top-flight games unbeaten away from home.