Man Utd man gives imperious answer to crucial transfer question, amid Leeds star’s nightmare – players rated

Date published: Saturday 14th August 2021 2:29 - Jonny Whitfield

Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes celebrates

Bruno Fernandes was the standout Manchester United star, but Scott McTominay answered a crucial transfer question as Leeds were thrashed 5-1 at Old Trafford.

After a blistering opening half an hour, Fernandes opened the scoring, his shot trickling over Illan Meslier. Luke Ayling equalised with a stunning long-range effort as the visitors got back into it early on in the second half.

However, after Mason Greenwood made it 2-1 with a cool finish, Fernandes – relishing a rare outing in front of a full Old Trafford – completed his hat-trick in a fantastic display.

Fred then got in on the act to make it 5-1, before Raphinha spurned an opportunity to reduce the deficit.

Man Utd

David de Gea: Had a quiet first half, but did what he had to with shots from Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich. Barely featured in the second half amid United’s dominance. 6/10.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Trademark defensive contributions saw him keep Klich at bay in the first half. Also showed exciting attacking impetus by taking it round a Leeds player and setting up Greenwood, before contributing in the final third again after the break. 7/10.

Victor Lindelof: – Solid throughout. Mopped up an incoming Leeds counter-attack early on, intercepted well to deny Bamford, Raphinha and Rodrigo before holding it together when Leeds came back with chances late on. 7/10.

Harry Maguire (C): Quieter than his defensive partner in the first 45. Nonchalantly beat a racing Bamford to the ball, kept Raphinha at bay. 7/10.

Luke Shaw: Had a slow start but grew into the game with fantastic attacking contributions. He linked up twice with Fernandes in the first half, the first occasion resulting in a fierce shot hitting the side netting. 8/10.

Man Utd midfielder Scott McTominay

Scott McTominay: Man Utd’s best player in the first half and very good in the second half, quashing calls for another defensive midfield signing at United. Won the ball back on several occasions and also won fouls to control the tempo of the play. Headed two Leeds corners away, while having efforts blocked at the other end. Came off after 69 minutes. 9/10.

Fred: Similar in impact to McTominay and enjoyed working in the midfield. Took his second-half goal well to make it 5-1. 7/10.

Daniel James: Slow start after being flagged offside twice. However, he grew into the game with crosses and shots in the final third. 6/10.

Bruno Fernandes: Man Utd’s creator and goalscorer in chief. Started the first half with a through-ball to McTominay, carried on in the same vein. Run timed perfectly for the opening goal in which the power of his shot beat Meslier. In the second half, he netted two more fantastic goals, including one which just trickled over the line and a thunderbolt. 10/10.

Paul Pogba: A tale of two halves in the first 45 minutes. Should have opened the scoring but shot wide after 13 minutes. However, his first-time ball for Fernandes’ goal was exquisite. Should have put more pressure on Ayling before his equaliser, but his four assists proved enough to redeem himself. 9/10.

Mason Greenwood: Dangerous and free-flowing in attack. Fantastic dribbling including a first-half nutmeg. Good passing and a shot saved by Meslier. Finally got his goal in the second half, crashing the ball off the right-hand post after a breakaway. 9/10.

Substitutes:

Nemanja Matic (on for McTominay, 69): Came on after Fred had made it 5-1, so did well enough to control proceedings from the middle of the park. 5/10.

Jadon Sancho (on for James, 75): Fifteen minutes probably not enough to get a true taste of the England international in the Premier League, especially after coming on with his team four goals up. 5/10.

Anthony Martial (on for Paul Pogba, 75): Similar to Sancho. These were his first minutes in five months after a knee injury. 5/10.


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Leeds United

Illan Meslier: Followed up the signing of his new contract on Friday by being Leeds’ best player of the first half. Dominated his goal throughout with three clearances from corners. Had little chance with United’s three goals in the second half. 6/10.

Stuart Dallas: Struggled to affect proceedings and get forward as he did last season. 3/10.

Liam Cooper (C): Defended fairly solidly in the first half, taking the sting out of one or two situations. Struggled early on in the second half and picked up the first yellow card of the season for a foul on Greenwood. 3/10.

Pascal Struijk: His touch helped deny Greenwood’s shot in the first half, but struggled in the second half. 3/10.

Luke Ayling: Had a quiet start but grew into the game with his attacking influences. Indeed, he was one of Leeds’ best second-half performers, netting a rocket from way out which gave David de Gea no chance. He was also the man on the line doing all he could to stop Fernandes’ shot going over the line. 6/10.

Leeds United's Luke Ayling

Robin Koch: Tough afternoon in the centre of the park, struggled to assert his influence on the match. 3/10.

Jack Harrison: Leeds’ best attacker in the first half down the left. Won a free-kick on the edge of the area well after being nibbled by Fred and Wan-Bissaka. 4/10.

Mateusz Klich: Solid attacking influences in the first half, but not on par with McTominay and Fred. Had a shot saved by De Gea, while Bamford almost met his cross from the right. 4/10.

Rodrigo: Struggled in the first half apart from a header from a free-kick that went wide of the left post. Taken off by Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa at the break. 4/10.

Raphinha: Shaky start after almost letting Greenwood in with a poor back-pass. However, he grew into the game with a good free-kick and had a shot blocked by Shaw. In the second half, he offered little going forward as Leeds were pegged back. Had a chance to make it 5-2 later on in the second half but spurned the opportunity. 4/10.

Patrick Bamford: Completely ineffective in the first half, but had little service to work with from his fellow attackers. Came off after 77 minutes. 3/10.

Substitutes:

Junior Firpo (on for Rodrigo, 46): Had a nightmare first few minutes of his Leeds debut. One of his first touches saw him foul Fernandes, before he was beaten by the Portuguese’s spin for his later goal. 3/10.

Tyler Roberts (on for Bamford, 77): Played the pass for Raphinha’s chance late on. 3/10.

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