Leeds United 2 - 4 Manchester United - Whites suffer roses derby defeat despite spirited second-half comeback

Manchester United came out on top of a tightly-contested Pennines derby as old rivals entertained the Elland Road crowd with six-goal thriller on Sunday afternoon.
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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick's double change rescued all three points for his team after Anthony Elanga and Fred, both 66th-minute substitutes, found the net to restore the Reds' lead after a lively second-half comeback by Leeds looked set to spoil the visitors' party.

Raphinha and Rodrigo both scored within a 24-second period to make it 2-2 early in the second half, after headers from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes sent the visitors into the interval with a two-goal lead.

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The result leaves the Whites five points clear of the drop zone after 18th-placed Watford earned three points against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Marcelo Bielsa surprised fans by dropping Raphinha, the Whites' top-scorer this season, to the bench in favour of Adam Forshaw, before bringing the Brazilian on to great effect at the half-way point.

Jack Harrison was handed the first big chance of the game. Mateusz Klich surged forward and lofted a ball towards the back post, where the winger lashed his shot wide.

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Quick reactions by Illan Meslier denied Cristiano Ronaldo an easy tap-in the 25th minute. Paul Pogba got the better of Adam Forshaw on the left wing and rolled the ball through the six-yard box toward the Reds' number 7, but the Whites goalkeeper got down in time to deny an opener for the visitors.

Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich at the final whistle. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich at the final whistle. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.
Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich at the final whistle. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.
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In front of a hostile home crowd in the pouring rain, the match got off to a very physical start. Robin Koch suffered a heavy barge from Scott McTominay which forced the Whites centre-back to depart the field with suspected concussion to be replaced by Junior Firpo.

Reds captain Maguire made it 1-0 to the visitors around the half-hour mark, getting the better of Diego Llorente to thump home a header from a corner.

The visitors doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time as tidy link-up play between Jadon Sancho and Victor Lindelöf punished the hosts on the counter-attack. With space in the Leeds box, Sancho chipped the ball to the back post for Fernandes to nod home the Reds' second. The teams went into the break with the score 2-0 to Manchester.

For the second week in a row, Bielsa opted for a double substitution at the interval in the hopes of changing his side's fortunes in the second half, with Harrison and Llorente making way for Raphinha and Joe Gelhardt.

Robin Koch receives treatment for a head injury following a collision with Scott McTominay. Pic: Paul Ellis.Robin Koch receives treatment for a head injury following a collision with Scott McTominay. Pic: Paul Ellis.
Robin Koch receives treatment for a head injury following a collision with Scott McTominay. Pic: Paul Ellis.
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Rodrigo reduced the Whites' deficit soon after half time. Firpo won the ball back to set off a Whites counter attack, with Rodrigo charging clear down the left wing and lifting his head to find Raphinha in the box. Instead of finding his teammate, the Spaniard's cross sailed straight into David de Gea's top corner, well beyond the reach of Rodrigo's compatriot.

With the spirit of the home crowd behind him, Forshaw bullied Fernandes off the ball on the edge of the visitors' box and passed to Dan James, who invaded the area and played a dangerous ball through to Raphinha at the back post. The winger poked home with ease to make it 2-2.

Rangnick made a double substitution with half an hour left to play, with Pogba and Jesse Lingard replaced by Anthony Elanga and Fred.

The change quickly bore fruit as Fred restored the visitors' lead within minutes of coming on, finishing off a neat one-two with Sancho to beat Meslier at his near post.

Mateusz Klich goes to block Paul Pogba at Elland Road. Pic: Shaun Boterill.Mateusz Klich goes to block Paul Pogba at Elland Road. Pic: Shaun Boterill.
Mateusz Klich goes to block Paul Pogba at Elland Road. Pic: Shaun Boterill.
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Tempers flared in the final ten minutes, with Raphinha earning himself a yellow card for confronting McTominay who, on a yellow, stepped on Firpo's foot to concede a free-kick 30 yards from the Manchester goal. When then winger's delivery rebounded, Klich struck the ball on the volley from range to force a smart save from de Gea.

Rangnick's tactics came up trumps again as Elanga made it 4-2 to Manchester in the game's dying minutes. Turning Pascal Struijk with a clever flick, Fernandes played through Elanga, who slotted the ball through Meslier's legs to seal three points for the Reds.

Leeds United XI: Meslier, Ayling, Llorente (45 - Gelhardt), Struijk, Dallas, Koch (31 - Firpo), Klich, Forshaw, Rodrigo, Harrison (45 - Raphinha), James.

Unused subs: Klaesson, Roberts, Bate, Cresswell, Shackleton, Kenneh.

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Manchester United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba (66 - Fred), Lingard (66 - Elanga), Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo (85 - Varane).

Unused subs: Henderson, Mata, Rashford, Dalot, Telles, Matic.

Raphinha scores Leeds United's second goal. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.Raphinha scores Leeds United's second goal. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.
Raphinha scores Leeds United's second goal. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.

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