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Man United’s super subs sink Leeds

Celebrating after scoring Manchester United’s fourth goal, Anthony Elanga held a finger to his lips.

No way were the Leeds fans being silenced, though.

No chance. Not when they’d waited 19 years to see their fiercest rivals at Elland Road in the Premier League, initially because of relegation and then pandemic curbs on fans.

Not when they’d already come back from two goals down by scoring twice in 24 seconds to wipe out United’s lead on Sunday.

Ultimately, though, the tide turned back in United’s favour as they won a six-goal thriller on a drenched pitch, substitutes Fred and Elanga securing the 4-2 victory that kept United on course to stay in fourth place.

“The atmosphere was great,” United manager Ralf Rangnick said. “At times we had to cool down things on the pitch.”

Still, Leeds can’t yet escape the fear that their return to the Premier League after a 16-year exile will end after two seasons. Just five points separate Marcelo Bielsa’s side from the relegation zone after collecting one point from the last four games.

Time hasn’t dissipated the intensity of the rivals who are geographically separated by the Pennine mountains and less than an hour on the road in north-west England.

There were still the chants about the Munich air disaster that killed eight United players in 1958 – and objects were showered on the United players after captain Harry Maguire headed in the opener in the 34th minute from Luke Shaw’s corner and then celebrated in front of the home fans.

Later, Elanga also got struck on the head with an object thrown from the crowd as he celebrated United’s third.

It had looked game over when Bruno Fernandes headed in another in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half from Jadon Sancho’s cross.

Soon after the break, though, United weren’t coasting.

It started with a goal as unpredictable for David de Gea in the visiting goal as the weather.

It appeared that Rodrigo was sending in a cross from the left but the ball bent beyond the goalkeeper’s reach and inside the post in the 53rd minute.

For the first time since Australian Harry Kewell’s headed winner in September 2002, the fans at Elland Road had witnessed a Premier League goal against United.

The home fans didn’t have to wait long to see another as Dan James crossed to the far post where Raphinha slid ahead of Shaw to nudge the ball over the line.

The visitors were reeling until a slick team goal in the 70th regained the lead with Fred beating Illan Meslier at his near post and Elanga finished the job in apply the finishing touch to Fernades’ 88th minute assist.

“It was old school,” Maguire said. “There was so many tackles. I’m sure it was good to watch but thankfully we came out on top.”

In the day’s other match, Daniel Podence’s goal from 20 yards gave Wolves a 2-1 win over Leicester after he’d also played a part in the opener, his cross eventually ending up with Ruben Neves firing home.

Ademola Lookman had poked in Leicester’s equaliser but victorious Wolves remain seventh, six points behind fourth-placed United with two games in hand.

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