Manchester United beat Leeds United 6-2 at Old Trafford on Sunday in their first Premier League since 2004, thanks to an impressive first-half performance in which they scored four goals.
Scott McTominay scored twice within the first three minutes, Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof added third and fourth places. Daniel James scored the fifth goal before Fernandes converted his second of the evening after Anthony Martial won a penalty.
Liam Cooper managed to retire one for Leeds at the end of the first half and a moment of individual brilliance from Stuart Dallas secured them a second.
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The two teams have a historic rivalry but have not met since Leeds were relegated from the top division.
The game marked the first time United had scored six goals since beating Arsenal 8-2 in 2011 during Alex Ferguson’s tenure.
“Imagine if 75,000 people were in attendance it would have gone down in history as one of the great performances against Leeds,” said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the game.
“We had to earn the right by running as much as they did, that’s a challenge. It could have been 12-4! It was such a game.”
United’s dream start came in two minutes when Fernandes crossed the ball into the penalty area for McTominay, whose shot went straight into the lower right corner.
Less than a minute later, he added another, and Martial picked up his run into the box perfectly.
Patrick Bamford put the ball in for Leeds in the 19th minute, but replay showed he was offside and the goal was not allowed.
Fernandes aggravated Leeds’ ailment a minute later when United caught them on break. The ball was delivered to Martial in the area Leeds cleared, but only as far as Fernandes, who hit it into the net from 10 meters away.
Lindelof added United’s fourth with a close-range shot in the 37th minute before Liam Cooper walked home from a corner five minutes later to pull one back for Leeds.
Leeds was caught again by the counterattack after 66 minutes when McTominay threaded a long pass to James, who hit the ball through Meslier’s legs.
Pascal Struijk conceded a penalty four minutes later, which Fernandes hit on Meslier’s left.
Dallas scored Leeds’ second goal with a curling shot from the edge of the box in the 73rd minute.
“I’m almost glad the fans weren’t allowed to watch because it would have felt worse to send them home after watching,” said Bamford after the game.
“It’s tough because 6-2 – it could be 6-6 if you’re an optimistic Leeds fan, or it could have been 10-2. We couldn’t live up to each other.”