EPL

Manchester United 2-2 Leeds United: Sancho and Rashford rescue Red Devils

By Sports Desk February 08, 2023

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford rescued Manchester United in a lively 2-2 draw with Leeds United at Old Trafford, denying the managerless visitors a famous win with a second-half fightback.

United knew a win would move them level with second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League table, but Wilfried Gnonto stunned the Red Devils by firing Leeds ahead inside one minute.

Raphael Varane's own goal then gave United a mountain to climb, but in-form forward Rashford gave them hope with a fine header, setting up a grandstand finish.

Sancho – who recently returned to the fold after a period of absence – levelled things up as a second-half substitute, before United failed to force a winner in a captivating finish. 

Leeds came flying out of the traps and scored after 55 seconds as Gnonto drilled into the bottom-left corner following a give-and-go with Patrick Bamford.

The hosts then laid siege to Leeds' goal for the rest of the first half, with Alejandro Garnacho volleying wide before Maximilian Wober denied him with a goal-line clearance.

Marcel Sabitzer drew a spectacular save from Illan Meslier from 25 yards, and the Red Devils fell further behind shortly after half-time.

The outstanding Gnonto found substitute Crysencio Summerville on the underlap, and his cut-back was diverted past David de Gea by Varane.

United found a route back into the contest just after the hour as Rashford rose to head Diogo Dalot's cross home, and their pressure told once more with 20 minutes remaining.

Shaw's cut-back deflected into the path of Sancho, who saw his tame effort squirm through Meslier's grip to level things up.

Varane almost went from villain to hero with a powerful header as United continued to press, but Meslier atoned for his own earlier error with a save to preserve Leeds' point.

Related items

  • 'It hurts to see my players cry' - Italiano rues Fiorentina's Europa Conference League final heartbreak 'It hurts to see my players cry' - Italiano rues Fiorentina's Europa Conference League final heartbreak

    Vincenzo Italiano says Fiorentina "really believed we could have a different ending", after La Viola suffered Europa Conference League final heartbreak for the second year running.

    Italiano's side were beaten by West Ham in last year's showpiece, with Jarrod Bowen snatching a last-gasp winner in Prague.

    Fiorentina suffered a similar fate 12 months later, as Ayoub El Kaabi struck four minutes before the end of extra time to give Olympiacos their first title in a major European competition.

    La Viola embarked on a club record 13-match unbeaten run to reach their second successive Europa Conference League final.

    But Italiano, who will depart the club at the end of the season, admitted it counted for nothing, with his side once again left to wonder what might have been.

    "We really believed this time. It hurts," he told Sky Sports Italia. "It's disappointing for the second time.

    "It's disappointing because again we had many situations to score goals, but the players did everything they could. It hurts to see my players cry. We really believed this time we could have a different epilogue to this campaign.

    "Losing hurts; going all the way for two years running is something good, but naturally you have to lift a trophy, and we didn't manage it.

    "The journey feels ruined when you have to watch the others lift the silverware. At this moment, I feel too bitter, disappointed, let down, because I really believed we could have a different ending."

  • 'It is an honour' - Mendilibar revels in Olympiacos' historic Europa Conference League triumph 'It is an honour' - Mendilibar revels in Olympiacos' historic Europa Conference League triumph

    Jose Luis Mendilibar rejoiced "it is an honour to have made the fans happy" after leading Olympiacos to their historic Europa Conference League final triumph over Fiorentina.

    Thrylos became the first Greek side to win a major European competition, as Ayoub El Kaabi's extra-time winner snatched a dramatic 1-0 victory at AEK Arena.

    It provided a happy ending to an eventful season for Olympiacos, with Mendilibar their third different manager of the campaign having replaced Carlos Carvahal in February.

    Following his Europa League success with Sevilla 12 months ago, the Spaniard became the first coach since Rafael Benitez (2003-04 UEFA Cup with Valencia; 2004-05 Champions League with Liverpool) to win major European competitions in consecutive seasons with different clubs.

    "I am very happy and satisfied, and it is an honour to have made the fans happy," Mendilibar said. 

    "I am very happy that we achieved something that the club had not achieved before. We will celebrate, we will cheer, and then we will get back to work for what comes next."

    Olympiacos winger Giorgos Masouras added: "I have no words. It has not yet sunk in. We did it together. I was certain we would win it, and we held on and got it in the end.

    "We are now part of Europe's elite and have more responsibilities. We have to maintain this level now."

  • Olympiacos hero El Kaabi matches Messi feat in Europa Conference League success Olympiacos hero El Kaabi matches Messi feat in Europa Conference League success

    Ayoub El Kaabi will be the toast of Piraeus after his match-winning heroics secured Olympiakos' first-ever European trophy following their Europa Conference League success on Wednesday.

    The Olympiacos striker delivered the fatal blow against Fiorentina, bundling home with four minutes remaining of extra time to snatch a 1-0 victory at the AEK Arena.

    El Kaabi is the first player to score 11 goals in a single knockout stage campaign in major European competition since the introduction of group stages.

    Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema all only ever managed 10 such goals in one campaign of UEFA competitions, and El Kaabi moves next to greatness in another aspect, too.

    The Moroccan forward is the first non-European player to score 14 goals in major European competition in a single season, since Lionel Messi in 2011-12 (also 14).

    Olympiakos have their star striker to thank after becoming the first-ever Greek side to lift a trophy in major European competition, while Fiorentina will be wounded by another failure in this tournament.

    Having lost to West Ham in last season's Conference League final, Fiorentina have now lost five of their last six finals in Europe, their only success coming against Rangers in the 1961 Cup Winners' Cup.

    Defeat also ended La Viola's longest unbeaten run in Europe in their history, halting a 13-match undefeated streak in abrupt fashion.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.