6-2 win over Leeds as Manchester United go third: Premier league

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær described Manchester United’s 6-2 victory over Leeds as one of the “great performances” against their cross-Pennines rivals, with his team rising to third in the Premier League.

United have been slow-starters this season but were 2-0 up inside three minutes, Scott McTominay scoring twice. Further goals by Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelöf and one from Liam Cooper for Leeds made it 4-1 at the interval. A second from Fernandes, Daniel James’s first league goal since August 2019 and Stuart Dallas’s fine finish for the Yorkshire club completed the scoring.

Solskjær said: “It could have been 12-4. It was that kind of game. That was fantastic from the first minute – we had a plan to get after them, go forwards when we had the ball and Scott McTominay got two goals in the first three minutes. We found a way of getting them going – just imagine if there were 75,000 people in, it would have gone down in history as one of the great performances against Leeds. We had to earn the right by running as much as them, that’s a challenge. I enjoyed it, it was frantic, hectic. No matter what the score is they have a certain attitude or style, if they are 5-0 up or down.”

Solskjær was asked if United really could have reached double figures. “I’m very happy with the way we created chances – our skill, some fantastic moves,” he said. “But yes, sometimes you look at it and think: ‘Put the ball in the goal.’ But I can’t be greedy, Mason [Greenwood], Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] didn’t get on the scoresheet and they’re our main strikers, so this is good.”

United are unbeaten in seven league games, winning six of them, and have 26 points, placing them five behind Liverpool with a match in hand. Their 28 goals is second in the division only to the champions.

Asked about the title race, Solskjær said: “We are not even at the halfway point. The league position is not something we look at – we look at the improvement of the team. Now we are getting fitter and stronger. Our fans needed that one.”

Next up for United is a Boxing Day trip to Leicester, who are second with a point more after winning at Tottenham.

McTominay, who limped off, and Luke Shaw are doubts for the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Everton on Wednesday. “Luke has been ill for a few days and only passed fit this morning – he didn’t train on Saturday,” the manager said. “Scott seems like he has a groin issue, hopefully it won’t be too long.”

Marcelo Bielsa, the Leeds manager, said: “It’s very difficult to take. We’re very sad and we regret we weren’t able to make more of the game.”

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