Manchester United have not managed to continue their winning streak, as the trip to Elland Road proved to be a really tricky one, returning from Leeds with just a point in their pocket. The Red Devils drew 0-0 against Marcelo Bielsa’s side in a match which had seen Man United create more than their opponents, but not simply enough more for it to be enough to seal the win.
After a series of wins, it is Leeds who stop United now, ultimately ending that slim hope of the chance to fight for the title, if there was any. Leeds have managed to stay unbeaten in their sixth consecutive game, during which four matches they played against the Big Six sides. After drawing against Chelsea and Liverpool and beating Man City, the Whites have managed to stop United in their tracks as well. Here is everything you need to know.
Bielsa And Leeds Make Changes
The last time these two sides met, we had seen a crazy match in which Man United ran a riot at Old Trafford. The Devils won 6-2 against a Leeds side which stubbornly stuck to their way of playing. They were open and ready to play out of the back, they were progressive, but also often too careless, and that resulted in a huge win for Man United. That was the game in which Leeds conceded the most goals this season and apparently, Marcelo Bielsa was not so rigid with his style of play – he decided to adjust and prepare his team in a different way.
This was a different Leeds. They were more measured than they were at Old Trafford. They still pressed high up the pitch, but with less players than usual, keeping more of a structure behind the players pressing. Man United had a chance through Rashford early on and it seemed that Bielsa’s idea was a good one. It ended with a clean-sheet for the hosts, who have learned their lessons from the last meeting, while Bielsa has shown he can adjust his incredible style of play when necessary.
United Want Pace But It Is A Different Game
When we had seen the starting lineup, one thing was obvious – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was to prioritise pace once again, the way he did the last time these two sides met. That is in fact often one of the best things about this team, that they can break up an opponent much easier when they need to use that space, rather than positional play against deep sitting defences. But it was a different game due to Bielsa’s approach. Solskjaer decided to put Rashford and Dan James on the wings, with Mason Greenwood up front. The back four would offer the usual full-backs of Shaw and Wan-Bissaka, but with the way this match went, we could have seen Paul Pogba enter the fray earlier than he did after 75 minutes of play.
Solskjaer’s Promise Is Broken
After the match, many have rushed to point out the quotes Solskjaer had put out ahead of the match, promising that this game will not end 0-0 as both of these sides want to score goals as quickly as possible. While for Leeds that meant pressing high up the pitch and suffocating the opponent – of which they did less than usual, as mentioned above – for United that only means hitting teams on the break. This time it was not to be and Solskjaer’s United did not manage to adjust properly to differring circumstances.