Manchester United continued their winning run in the Champions league by defeating RB Leipzig by 5 goals at Old Trafford. The Reds were in scintillating form as their forwards tore apart Leipzig’s defence to romp home with a comfortable win.
Donny Van de Beek started alongside Pogba for the Reds, as Solskjaer decided to go for a midfield diamond with Fred and Matic. Rashford dropped to the bench as Martial and Greenwood were named in the starting lineup. The visitors made four changes to the side that defeated Hertha Berlin at the weekend, with Konaté, Halstenberg, Olmo and Poulsen starting.
The hosts had an early sight of goal when Fred’s shot following a foul on Pogba was pushed out by Gulasci. Both teams continued to push with intensity as half-chances were created at both ends. Fred was at the centre at most of the United’s attack as he pinged the ball around flanks for the full-backs to get forward. Manchester United took the lead in the 21st through Mason Greenwood after being slipped through by Pogba. The attacker finished the chance with precision, shooting low across the goalkeeper into the far corner. Leipzig cranked up the pressure in search of an equaliser, as David de Gea was called into action to push Nkunku’s shot away. United camped in their half for the remaining minutes of the first 45 as Leipzig found it difficult to break United’s disciplined defence.
Matic, who was booked in the first half for a flailing arm was lucky to be warned off by the referee for a similar foul. Leipzig continued to dominate possession and pressure United as they pushed men forward in search of an equaliser. Solskjaer replaced Greenword and Matic with McTominay and Rashford, while Leipzig withdrew Henrichs and Nkunku for Sabitzer and Sorloth. De Gea was called into action in the 64th minute to palm Poulsen’s looping header over the bar from a set-piece. The ineffective Van de Beek was finally replaced by Bruno Fernandes as Manchester United tried to preserve their lead. The substitution had an immediate impact as Bruno’s first time pass allowed Rashford to run from his own half and finish smartly to give United a 2 goal lead.
Manchester United scored their 3rd goal in the 78th minute when Fred forced Leipzig to surrender possession, which allowed Rashford to run at goal and rifle a low shot beyond the goalkeeper and into the net. Pogba, who had an excellent game was replaced by Cavani, and Tuanzebe replaced Aaron Wan-Bissaka as Solskjaer decided to shut out the game. Leipzig’s night went from bad to worse as Sabitzer brought down Martial in the box to concede a penalty. Rashford selflessly asked Martial to take the penalty, and the attacker duly obliged to score United’s fourth of the night. The night got sweeter for United and Rashford when the forward completed his hat-trick in the stoppage time after being set up by Martial to cap off a fantastic performance.
Solskjaer was delighted by his team’s collective performance and stated, “Rashford came on and did well. We want that from the subs. That’s only possible, though, when the others have laid the ground work. What a shift they put in, because Leipzig do make you work. We had to really dig deep and work hard for each other. Spaces open up when you’re winning. Today we had to rest a few because this season is relentless so we had to use the squad …. This group is coming together. The more quality and spirit you have, the better chance you have of getting a performance.”
“We made some changes today because of Sunday because we’ve played a game less than everyone else in the league and we need to pick up points.“
Group H standings