Manchester United’s win over Leeds was another positive step in the right direction for Ralf Rangnick’s side. Performances have been improving and, days after they beat Brighton, they overcame Marcelo Bielsa’s side to claim all three points during a frantic contest at Elland Road.
United opened the scoring through skipper Harry Maguire in the 34th minute, with the 28-year-old heading home from a corner.
Bruno Fernandes then doubled the Red Devils’ lead before Leeds responded with a quick-fire brace from Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha.
After that, however, United regained their composure to claim victory.
Fred, on for Paul Pogba, fired them ahead.
And Anthony Elanga then struck, with the young Swede finishing expertly after some stunning work from Fernandes in the build-up.
While it was a good performance for United, however, there are now four players who will find it difficult to get back into the team.
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While Tim Sherwood’s claim that Raphael Varane has been ‘terrible’ is definitely wide of the mark, Maguire and Victor Lindelof both impressed against Leeds.
And, given they’ve had a few years of playing together, that partnership may be required to keep Atletico Madrid at bay on Wednesday night.
Lindelof’s composure on the ball is his best trait and, with United needing to move things quickly in the Champions League, it’s feasible he’ll keep his place.
That would mean Varane having to settle for a place on the bench.
It would be a bold call but Rangnick hasn’t shied away from making them throughout his time in the dugout so far.
Diogo Dalot was left on the bench against Leeds.
But Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s brilliant performance means he now has a genuine chance of getting back into the team at the Portugal international’s expense.
Wan-Bissaka is always going to be good at defending. That, after all, was why United were so sold on his signing in 2019.
Yet it’s going forward where he needs to improve and, against Leeds, he certainly impressed in that regard.
Dalot, therefore, may soon find himself spending more time on the bench in the future.
Alex Telles had been forcing his way into the United team ahead of Luke Shaw prior to the winter break.
But Shaw’s improvement now poses a problem when it comes to the Brazil international.
Shaw was back to his best against Leeds, posing problems with his speed in attack and successfully nullifying the threat of the likes of Raphinha and Daniel James.
On his day, he’s one of the best full-backs on the planet.
It’s hard to see Telles ousting him if the former Southampton star gets back to the undroppable asset he was under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last year.
Marcus Rashford has struggled for form this season, under both Rangnick and Solskjaer.
And the fact he didn’t play a single minute against Leeds, and that Elanga was thrown on instead of him, speaks volumes.
On the left wing, Jadon Sancho is unplayable at present – with the former Borussia Dortmund star regaining his mojo.
And, on the right, Elanga seems a better option given his form.
Rashford has all the talent required to be a United legend but, for now, he’s not been playing at a high enough level to become a mainstay in the side.
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