Manchester United held off a spirited Leeds fightback as Ralf Rangnick’s side secured a thrilling 4-2 victory at Elland Road on Super Sunday.
After wins for Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday, Man Utd knew they could not afford to drop points in the race to finish in the Premier League’s top four, and after withstanding plenty of early Leeds pressure, the ferocious Elland Road atmosphere and the sodden conditions, the visitors grew into the game.
And they should have been ahead in the 26th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo wasted a glorious chance to open the scoring. Paul Pogba beat Adam Forshaw and fired in a low cross to set up what looked like a Ronaldo tap in, but Illan Meslier showed brilliant reactions to keep the scores level.
However, Man Utd soon silenced the home fans as they finally scored from a corner at the 140th time of asking. Harry Maguire got the better of Diego Llorente with the under-pressure United skipper powering home a header and wheeling off to celebrate in front of the Leeds fans.
The visitors would be celebrating again deep into six minutes of stoppage time as Jadon Sancho’s superb cross teed up Bruno Fernandes to head home to make it 2-0 at half-time.
Leeds, who had already replaced Robin Koch with Junior Firpo after the defender had picked up a head injury, made a double change as Raphinha and Joe Gelhardt replaced Jack Harrison and Llorente as they looked to get back into the game, and it burst into life for the home side.
Rodrigo’s hopeful left-footed cross in search of Raphinha somehow ended up beating David de Gea as Leeds grabbed a much-needed lifeline.
United had not even caught their breath when the hosts stormed forwards once again, with Daniel James driving a low cross to the far post for Raphinha to turn home just 24 seconds later. The video assistant referee checked for a Forshaw foul on Fernandes in the build-up, but the goal stood to send Elland Road wild.