Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a rare positive for Manchester United, as they were held to a goalless draw by Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday.
Unlike the reverse fixture, which saw Manchester United open the scoring in no time, the chances did not flow as freely this time around, although it was still an open affair in the early exchanges. In fact, neither goalkeeper was made to sweat in the first half, bar one fine stop by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier to deny Marcus Rashford, with both the defences cutting out the danger superbly.
It was more of the same post the interval, as the game meandered along without any major opening as Leeds United took points off of another erstwhile European Super League club. The result meant Manchester United did close the gap to Manchester City to 10 points, but the league leaders are now nearer to clinching the Premier League title. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Dean Henderson: 6/10
A quiet first half saw Henderson make just a couple of saves while being precise when playing out from the back. Hardly made to sweat post the interval either, but the fact that he looked more assured in collecting the ball in aerial situations was a major positive after a nervy display last weekend.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 8/10
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s game by numbers vs. Leeds United:
80% pass accuracy
7 ball recoveries
6 attempted take-ons
5 successful take-ons
A very solid performance. 🕸 pic.twitter.com/qaCQZZPyYV
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 25, 2021
A solid effort by Wan-Bissaka, who had the measure of Jack Harrison for the most part. As always, though, the 23-year-old carried little threat going forward, but he did have some decent exchanges with Bruno Fernandes, including at the end of a brilliant turn and cut-back towards the Portuguese playmaker. Solid work on the day.
Victor Lindelof: 7/10
Lindelof produced one of the moments of the game, playing a wondrous defence-splitting long pass to Marcus Rashford, only for the Englishman to control the ball poorly. Usually looked confident on the ball, although there was one moment when he cheaply gave it away but came off unscathed. Hardly troubled by Patrick Bamford, winning 4 duels while completing 3 clearances.
Harry Maguire: 7/10
A solid effort by Maguire, who marshalled the backline superbly, which meant Bamford was a non-factor for the most part. Won 5 duels in the game, looking imperious in the air in the defensive phase but missed the target with a couple of headers in the Leeds box. Frustration boiled over late on in a verbal altercation with Fred.
Luke Shaw: 7/10
As is usually the case with Shaw, he looked confident when striding forward and combined decently with Marcus Rashford. However, that did not mean he shied away from his defensive duties, as he completely negated the influence of Helder Costa and won 4 duels. Hardly misplaced a pass, with a 91 percent completion rate a testament to that, while also playing a game-high 5 key passes.
Luke Shaw has created more chances in the Premier League in 2021  than any other player.
Continues to be one of his side’s most important players. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/3WmGO5nFMb
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 25, 2021
Scott McTominay: 6/10
For a second successive game, Solskjaer made use of a double pivot of McTominay and Fred in the middle of the park, which seemed to be an overkill. McTominay, though, essayed his role quite well, winning 7 duels while hardly misplacing a pass. Just does not have that creative nous that was needed to make a telling difference
As was the case with McTominay, Fred played his part well and even pressed superbly higher up the pitch. However, he does not bring that creativity to the plate to help out the attack when they are faltering, though he did set up a decent enough chance for Mason Greenwood.
Daniel James: 5/10
A surprise selection on the right flank, perhaps with one eye on the UEFA Europa League game against AS Roma, James started ahead of Pogba. As is usually the case with him, though, the Welsh winger was full of running on the flanks, albeit without much in way of end product. Has to step up a great deal to have a long-term future at Manchester United.
Bruno Fernandes: 5/10
As ever, Bruno Fernandes was purposeful in his display and constantly looked to make things happen, although his teammates were not really on the same wavelength as him at times. Some of his long passes were hopeful rather than accurate an penetrative. Frustrations seem to be getting the better of him.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
Passed fit to start against Leeds, Rashford got into some dangerous areas, but could not manage to make the most of the half-chances. Came close to scoring once with a swerving free-kick, only to be denied by Illan Meslier. For the most part, though, the Englishman seemed to have his shot blocked while losing possession a staggering 20 times.
Mason Greenwood: 5/10
The Player to Watch in our preview, it was a frustrating game for Greenwood. First touch deserted him at times, which meant a couple of promising opportunities went awry. Did not shy away from putting in the hard yards, but he just seemed to be lacking the cutting edge in the final third. A game that showed that he still needs quite a bit of refinement.
Paul Pogba: N/A
There were one or two positive moments for Pogba after he replaced James, but none that could influence the game positively enough to get a win for Manchester United.
Edinson Cavani: N/A
Sent on in place of Rashford, Cavani was sent in too late for him to make a difference.
Donny van de Beek: N/A
A late introduction, van de Beek barely had any time to make an impact.