Man United’s super subs sink Leeds

Substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga have struck late goals as Manchester United beat arch-rivals Leeds 4-2 in a Premier League thriller at Elland Road.

The visitors led 2-0 at halftime on Sunday through headers from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes but Leeds hit back with two goals inside a minute from Rodrigo and Brazilian substitute Raphinha soon after the break.

Both sides then went in search of a winner in horrendous conditions due to incessant rain and it was the visitors who prevailed, with Fred adding his side’s third and Elanga wrapping it up in the closing stages.

Leeds fans have grown well accustomed to breathless encounters under Marcelo Bielsa and this War of the Roses battle was right up there.

Cristiano Ronaldo last appeared for United at Elland Road in October 2003 – 18 years and 125 days ago, which is the longest gap for a player between games against the same opponents in Premier League history.

United were beginning to pull Leeds out of position before Maguire held off Diego Llorente to head home Luke Shaw’s corner. It was United’s first goal from a corner since April last year.

The visitors doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time. Victor Lindelof combined with Jadon Sancho and the latter’s cross found Fernandes, who headed home with no Leeds defenders in sight.

Bielsa sent on Raphinha and teenage striker Joe Gelhardt at the start of the second half in worsening conditions and Leeds launched a stunning fightback.

Rodrigo’s cross from the left after a swift counter-attack swirled over David de Gea’s head and nestled inside the far post and if that reignited the contest, Raphinha’s equaliser less than a minute later caused Elland Road to explode.

Dan James, in his first appearance against his former club, skipped by Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the left edge of the box and his low cross was turned home by the Brazilian at the far post.

Ralf Rangnick then made his fateful double substitution in the 67th minute, sending on Elanga and Fred for Lingard and Paul Pogba, and within three minutes the home fans, still celebrating, were stunned into silence.

First, Jadon Sancho’s neat lay-off teed up Fred to smash an angled shot beyond Illan Meslier.

Elanga was struck on the head as he celebrated with his teammates by an object thrown from the crowd, but had the last laugh, running on to Fernandes’ pass inside the area to fire home his side’s fourth.

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