Manchester United thrashes Leeds United 5-1 at Old Trafford
Manchester United thrashed Leeds United 5-1 at Old Trafford in the English Premier League’s early kick-off to make a statement in their season-opener.
After finishing second to rivals Manchester City last season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret that his side are targeting the title this campaign, with his squad bolstered by the high-profile additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
Despite that, though, the manager had to wrestle with several absentees for his side’s curtain-raiser. Varane has not yet been registered due to small details of his contract that remain to be finalised.
Sancho only came off the bench in the second half, while Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Dean Henderson were all ruled out.
But that did not stop Man United from running riot in front of a returning capacity crowd, with Bruno Fernandes netting a hat-trick as Fred and Mason Greenwood rounded out the scoring for the hosts. Paul Pogba, meanwhile, recorded four assists along the way to rival man of the match Fernandes.
Luke Ayling hit a stunning strike early in the second half to pull Leeds level – very briefly – but it was nothing more than a consolation, with Man United responding immediately with three goals to add to Fernandes’ opener. Fred soon added the final finish for Solskjaer’s side.
Fernandes' last hat-trick was for Sporting Lisbon in an 8-1 hammering of Belenenses in front of just over 5,000 in May 2019.
Although the Portuguese has assumed hero status since moving to England, this was only the fourth time he had played a Premier League game in front of capacity crowd at Old Trafford.
After a disappointing Euro 2020, any concerns about his impact at domestic level have been completely dispelled.