Man Utd v Leeds: Match in pictures
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he wants to mould Mason Greenwood into a fluid forward following the youngster’s heroics against Leeds on Saturday. The England international led the line in the absence of Edinson Cavani, with Anthony Martial left on the bench. And he didn’t disappoint, notching as the Red Devils took all three points.
Manchester United went into the match against Leeds looking to get their Premier League campaign off to a positive start.
And they did just that, producing a wonderful display to put Marco Biela’s side to the sword.
United and Leeds exchanged blows early on, with Luke Ayling cancelling out Bruno Fernandes’ opener.
But United turned the screw and retook the lead through Greenwood, who now has seven goals from his last nine Premier League appearances.
Fernandes then bagged two more goals before Fred added the icing on top of the cake by striking in the 68th minute.
It was a positive day for the Red Devils, with Fernandes and Paul Pogba particularly outstanding.
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But Greenwood was great too and, speaking to The Athletic after the game, the Norwegian revealed what his ‘ultimate aim’ for the youngster was.
“I think you can see, the forwards we’ve got into the team with Mason, Jadon (Sancho), Marcus (Rashford), Anthony (Martial) — they can play multiple positions,” he said.
“Edinson (Cavani) is probably the only one who is fixed in one position.
“So the rest of them I think we should just leave them to enjoy developing in their careers.
“I remember Wayne (Rooney), Carlos Tevez and Ronaldo playing together.
“Good players can always play together. And we need movement, and that is what we have today.”
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Solskjaer also insisted he didn’t necessarily see Greenwood as a centre-forward, admitting he wants the 19-year-old to play with fluidity.
“Who said I want him to be a striker?” he said.
“I’ve got forwards who can play different positions. He (Greenwood) scored a goal from the left-wing position.
“He’s so effective from the right. He can still be a number nine and centre-forward when he drops in.
“He’s a natural footballer and the way he’s developed the last couple of seasons, you can see the way he burst away for that second goal.
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“That’s a man compared to a boy that was in the first team two years ago.
“I’m delighted with what he has done in pre-season to get his fitness up.”
At times, United have been inconsistent under Solskjaer. Hot one day, then cold the next.
But the 48-year-old felt the performance against Leeds was the ‘real’ version of the club, claiming it was a ‘magical’ day for his side.
“This is Man United, this is the real Man United, this is how I sold Man United to Edinson (Cavani) for example, that you can’t leave after one season with no fans,” he said.
“It was electric, absolutely magic.
“It does mean a lot for the players. This atmosphere gives you the extra edge and energy.
“You can’t replicate that from a team-talk. When you run down that end and you score four goals like we did second half, it’s just the best feeling in the world.
“There’s always the next game, but this is a great start.
“This is, for me, the way I want to see my team play, not just because it is Leeds. I want to see them running going forward, taking risks, and we looked fit – some of these players have not played more than 45 minutes.”
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