A few lessons learned as Manchester United comfortably see off Leeds in pre-season
Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates his goal during the match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Optus Stadium on July 17, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Manchester United continued their winning start to preseason as the Red Devils swept aside rivals Leeds United 4-0 in Australia.

They managed to take an early lead, as Paul Pogba played Aaron Wan-Bissaka down the wing, and his low cross was tapped into the back of the net by Mason Greenwood.

The advantage was doubled at the half-hour mark when Scott McTominay slipped in Marcus Rashford, who danced past two defenders before slotting his finish past the Leeds goalkeeper. United made it three soon after the halftime break, with Phil Jones heading home from a corner. The icing on the cake came in the 69th minute, as Anthony Martial calmly converted a penalty to make it 4-0 on the afternoon. 

Here is what we learned from the contest. 

Leagues apart

Leeds and Man United are still bitter rivals, but they haven’t been able to face off much recently due to Leeds getting relegated down to the Championship. This matchup was the first time these two sides played each other since 2011, and the difference in quality was clear for all to see.

Leeds were one of the best teams in the Championship last season, but they failed to achieve promotion and were dealt a reality check on Wednesday. The Red Devils took control early, and never really let go of it. Paul Pogba was especially impressive, as the Frenchman dictated the pace of play throughout. They created chance after chance, and could’ve had five or six on the afternoon if they were more clinical. Leeds could not say the same, as the few opportunities they did have were quite lacklustre. United fans might not be too happy with their team at the moment, but they can take some joy from the fact that they are still much better than Leeds. 

United’s youth put on a show

As it was a preseason matchup, plenty of youngsters got their chance against Leeds for the Red Devils, and they made the most of it.

Mason Greenwood had the biggest spotlight on him going into the contest, and he shined in it. He grabbed his goal in the opening few minutes, making a smart run into the area to get to the ball first and convert from close range.

Daniel James didn’t get on the scoresheet himself, but the Welshman demonstrated his insane speed on several occasions, and was unlucky to hit the post at one point. Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira both showed why they are worthy of more game time this season, which was proven by each getting an assist of their own.

Angel Gomes was quality in possession, and Tahith Chong did very well to win a penalty for the fourth goal. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that he’ll make sure to give youth a chance, and performances like these will only give United fans further hope for the future. 

Lukaku likely leaving

One man who didn’t see the field versus Leeds was Romelu Lukaku, and that might be the final indication that he’ll be leaving sooner rather than later.

The Belgian has been heavily linked with Italian side Inter Milan in recent weeks, and an announcement is seemingly imminent. With that in mind, there was no reason to risk Lukaku getting injured in a preseason match and potentially ruining the deal.

The likes of Rashford and Greenwood did very well in his place, and will have to take on the goalscoring responsibility if the Belgian leaves this season. Solskjaer has stated that they’ll try to sign a replacement in the transfer window if he does leave, but it’s impossible to tell who that might be at this moment in time. If this is the end for Lukaku, fans will look back at his time with the club with relative disappointment, as the Belgian did score plenty, but never quite did enough while at Old Trafford

VAVEL Logo