Manchester United 4-0 Leeds United: Red Devils hit four against old rivals in Australia pre-season friendly

Manchester United thrashed Leeds 4-0 in Perth
Manchester United thrashed Leeds 4-0 in Perth

Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford put Manchester United on course for a 4-0 pre-season win against Leeds in Australia.

Just 37 miles separate Old Trafford and Elland Road, but it was Perth's mammoth Optus Stadium that played host to these sides' first meeting since September 2011.

Marcelo Bielsa's Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds showed flashes of quality but were eventually rolled over, with Man United winning 4-0 despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completely rotating his side at half-time.

A fine move involving the impressive Paul Pogba and new boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka led to 17-year-old Greenwood's first senior goal, with Rashford doubling that advantage with a fine strike after a dizzying turn.

Rashford and Daniel James - so nearly a Leeds player in January - hit the post in the first half and United continued in the ascendancy after the break, with Phil Jones heading home before Anthony Martial slotted home a spot-kick in front of 55,274 fans.

The atmosphere and competitiveness was unlike most friendlies, which United follow by heading to Singapore to face Inter Milan - the side attempting to sign striker Romelu Lukaku.

The 26-year-old was again conspicuous by his absence after picking up a new knock on the eve of the game, but the striker was not missed in Perth.

Bielsa, who took his place on his trusty blue bucket after arriving Down Under on Tuesday, saw his side overawed for the most part, with Rashford hitting the woodwork inside two minutes.

Solskjaer's side required just five more to open the scoring as Pogba's defence-splitting pass found Wan-Bissaka, whose first-time cross was prodded home by Greenwood.

Pogba bossed the midfield in the first half and had several attempts to score, while Sergio Romero - in for the ill David De Gea - somehow kept out Patrick Bamford with his feet in a positive period for Leeds.

That spell jolted Man United into life. Greenwood went close before Scott McTominay surged forward and fed Rashford, whose stunning drop of the shoulder left Gaetano Berardi on the deck and was followed up by a cool 28th-minute finish.

James hit the post after Rashford and Pogba linked up well, with Solskjaer's side continuing strongly despite 11 half-time changes.

Andreas Pereira saw a shot from distance tipped over but Jones scored from the resulting corner after losing Kalvin Phillips to head home in the 51st minute.

Angel Gomes had an attempt as the match became a little stop-start, with the Leeds fans in fine voice despite seeing their side fall further behind.

Tahith Chong's turn fooled Liam Cooper and earned a penalty that Martial dispatched in the 69th minute, sending Kiko Casilla the wrong way.

Jesse Lingard directed wide and tempers frayed following an Ashley Young challenge as United's 100 per cent start to pre-season continued.

Post-match reaction

Ole Gunnar Solskaer: "We're delighted with the goal he's (Mason Greenwood) scored. It's important for strikers to get that goal, even though we've said, and we know, he's capable of scoring goals. But that first goal is maybe going to be a weight off his shoulders.

"I think his movement, his cleverness.... he's going to be a very good player, the young boy.

"He can play all front-four positions: he can play 10, seven, 11, nine, so he's a natural footballer, and with his left foot coming in, he can play anywhere along the frontline.

"He's a natural and when he takes a penalty (he can take it) with his right, he takes it with his left, free-kicks right, free-kick left, so he's almost what you call 50-50.

"Maybe 51-49 left-footed, and you see a talented boy there. He has got every opportunity to make it as a Man United player.

"Of course, it's also going to be about luck, staying clear of injuries, being professional, and I'm sure he's going to grab his chance because he's got everything there for him."

Asked if Greenwood could start next month's Premier League opener against Chelsea despite his age, Solskjaer said: "He's got a chance to start that one. Yeah, definitely.

"He's capable, more than capable, and he'll always be there, in and around the box creating chances, and I won't say that's not a possibility.

"No, it's a good possibility if he keeps going as he does. Difficult to keep players out that perform well."

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa did not attend the post-match press conference so assistant coach Diego Flores said: "I think it was a difficult match. "There is a difference in quality in the players.

"They play better than us. We tried to do it. Maybe we had some moments that we could score but I think in the end they were superior to us."

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Harry Kane celebrates his goal against Crvena Zvezda1

Spurs put in five-star performance

Tottenham gave their season a much-needed shot in the arm with a 5-0 demolition of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Raheem Sterling2

City ease past Atalanta

Manchester City continued their perfect start to their Champions League campaign as they beat Atalanta 5-1 at the Etihad.

Read our Champions League preview as Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona return to action3

Wednesday's Champions League tips

Best bets and stats for Wednesday's Champions League group stage action, including Liverpool and Chelsea's clashes.

Sol Campbell has been appointed as the manager of Southend4

Campbell watches new side lose 7-1

Sol Campbell watched nine-man Southend lose 7-1 just hours after being appointed as their new manager.

Matheus Pereira5

Championship: Baggies stay top

West Brom maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with bottom side Barnsley.

Most Read Football

Harry Kane celebrates his goal against Crvena Zvezda1

Spurs put in five-star performance

Tottenham gave their season a much-needed shot in the arm with a 5-0 demolition of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Raheem Sterling2

City ease past Atalanta

Manchester City continued their perfect start to their Champions League campaign as they beat Atalanta 5-1 at the Etihad.

Read our Champions League preview as Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona return to action3

Wednesday's Champions League tips

Best bets and stats for Wednesday's Champions League group stage action, including Liverpool and Chelsea's clashes.

Sol Campbell has been appointed as the manager of Southend4

Campbell watches new side lose 7-1

Sol Campbell watched nine-man Southend lose 7-1 just hours after being appointed as their new manager.

Matheus Pereira5

Championship: Baggies stay top

West Brom maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with bottom side Barnsley.

Football Tips

Read our Champions League preview as Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona return to action

Wednesday's Champions League tips

Best bets and stats for Wednesday's Champions League group stage action, including Liverpool and Chelsea's clashes.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.