Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United - Midfielder's big moment, Robin Koch's nightmare and a taste of Elland Road

Leeds United's first game of the new Premier League season at Old Trafford did not exactly go according to plan.

Sunday, 15th August 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Sunday, 15th August 2021, 11:24 am
TURNING POINT: Luke Ayling's stunning strike sent the travelling Leeds United contingent wild at Old Trafford, above, but the game quickly turned on its head. Picture by Tony Johnson.

After witnessing the 5-1 blitz inside the Manchester United press box, the YEP's chief football writer Graham Smyth picked out who had a good day, who had a bad day, the number of the day and key moment.

Good day

Adam Forshaw

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Almost 23 months since he was last part of a matchday squad, Adam Forshaw made the trip to Old Trafford to sit on the bench. He won't have enjoyed what followed, but before the game he was given an ovation from the Leeds fans that will have meant the world. Even getting to the stage of being considered an option by Bielsa is huge given his injury, surgery and complications.

Bad day

Robin Koch

Marcelo Bielsa insisted individual performances were not to blame and he even went so far as to praise Koch for elements of his display, but this was a rough ride for the German international. Bruno Fernandes' movement was too much for him and he couldn't get near him when it really mattered. A chastening experience.

Number of the day


What a difference an away support makes. The game has been missing its soul and its soundtrack and the Leeds fans helped create a memorable atmosphere. Still singing long after the final whistle, the 3,000 Whites served up a taste of what can be expected from Elland Road next week. It will be spine-tingling.

Turning point

Ayling's goal

As good a goal as it was, it almost seemed to anger the beast and provoke a fierce backlash from Manchester United. As Ayling himself said, Leeds found themselves 3-1 down before they could get their breath. The minutes that followed his goal were painful as the hosts took full control of the game.

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Thank you Laura Collins