FootballManchester United

Opportunity wasted

Man United draw 0-0 with Leeds

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Manchester United failed to gain much ground in the Premier League title race as they played to a frustrating 0-0 draw with Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday.

It was a largely dull game with chances few and far between for either side.

With Manchester City away for the Carabao Cup, United missed a chance to trim their lead atop the table down to single digits as they are now 10 points behind them with five games remaining.

Game Story

Man United looked the livelier side early on.

A Bruno Fernandes free-kick early on found Mason Greenwood, but his header was straight at Illan Meslier.

Leeds had a good chance in the 20th minute.

Jack Harrison curled in a cross in the United box towards Patrick Bamford, but Luke Shaw got there ahead of him and cleared the danger.

Dean Henderson was called into action in the 34th minute.

Some excellent work from Kalvin Phillips getting in behind Fernandes before squaring it to Stuart Dallas, but his effort was straight at Henderson.  

At the end of the half, Marcus Rashford curled a lovely free-kick towards the goal, but Messlier again got across in time and tipped it over.

The Reds looked the more dominant side in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.

In the 61st minute, Mason Greenwood was able to peel away from his defender and tried to catch Messlier out at the near post, but the Leeds keeper made the save once again.

A minute later, Leeds came close as Helder Costa cut inside from the left, finding Luke Ayling, but his effort took a slight deflection off Aaron Wan-Bissaka and went over.

The last good chance came to the Peacocks in the 74th minute.

A quick break caught the Reds off guard as Mateusz Klich got away from Luke Shaw, with support from Bamford.

The substitute took too long to play him through however as the Reds defence got back and cleared the danger.

The final 15 minutes plus injury time proved uneventful as the match ended in a draw.

Man of the Match

In a match with very few chances created, it’s fitting that a defender should be the man of the match.

Luke Shaw was solid as ever for United; even when Leeds got in behind him a couple of times, he was always there to clear the danger and recover.

He was positionally sound and did his best the create chances from the back.

All in all, a solid performance by the Reds fullback.

Still intact

A draw does little to help Man United in the standings, but it does move them a step closer to a top-flight record.

With another result, the Reds are now unbeaten in their last 24 matches away from home in the Premier League.

They are five shy of the all-time mark set by Arsenal.

Failure to generate offence

Both teams failed to generate many good chances, which we aren’t used to seeing out of Leeds at home.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side only had six shots in this match.

That’s the joint-fewest in a league game under the Argentine.

Bielsa will be happy about how well his team defended however.

His side made 30 tackles on Sunday, which is the sixth time in the Premier League this campaign that one team has tackled another at least that many times.

Drawing Blanks

Sunday was Man United’s seventh 0-0 draw in the league this season.

The only time they’ve had more in a top-flight competition was in 1980-81 when they had eight goalless draws.

Managers Words

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his team didn’t get the breaks they needed in this game.

“There’s no guarantees in football, that’s for sure. I thought we played well, dominated the second half, just didn’t have the ball to fall correctly for us in the moments we had.

“When two teams meet, you create problems, you solve problems, they give you things to think about, and we made them adjust to us. We put a really big shift in. I have seen Leeds run over teams in the second half, and it was the opposite.”

Next Up

The Reds battle Roma in the semi-finals of the Europa League beginning on Thursday.

The kickoff for the first-leg from Old Trafford is at 8 pm. (JSL).

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