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Manchester United win was the perfect response to recent reports, says Ralf Rangnick

Manchester United's Harry Maguire and Fred celebrate after their win over Leeds. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

Manchester United's Harry Maguire and Fred celebrate after their win over Leeds. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

Published Feb 21, 2022


By Peter Hall

Leeds - Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick insisted that all is well in his team's dressing-room and that the spirited 4-2 win over Leeds United in torrential rain on Sunday was proof of their unity.

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A first United goal from a corner this season from Harry Maguire and a Bruno Fernandes header put the visitors in control at Elland Road by halftime, only for two Leeds strikes within 59 seconds soon after the break to level things up.

Manchester United remained calm and goals from substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga secured a victory that cemented their place in the top four.

British media reported there had been clashes among the players, including a power struggle for the captaincy between Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"This performance was the best reply we could give to some articles last week that there was some disruption in the locker room," Rangnick said. "This was a game you can only win with the mentality in the team.

"This was an important win after the results on Saturday. We had to win and I hope the way we win will give us new additional energy for the game in Madrid (in the Champions League) next week and against Watford on Saturday.

"Their first goal came out of the blue, I don't think Rodrigo intended to play the ball where he did, but within a couple of minutes it was 2-2. It took us five minutes to shake ourselves. After that the reaction was great, we showed maturity and in the end we really deserved to win."

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Leeds seemed dead and buried at halftime, only for Rodrigo's fortunate cross that found the net and Raphinha's goal at the far post to turn the match on its head.

Having got into that position, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa feels his side should have taken something from the game, with the defeat leaving them perilously close to the relegation zone.

"After we got back level we had the chance to go 3-2 up and straight way they went up and scored again," Bielsa said.

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"We played better trying to get back into the game than when we were trying to keep a result but something has repeated that is difficult to resolve. We have to defend better.

"It is impossible not to be worried. We have conceded 50 goals. Do you think I cannot be worried? How can I not feel responsible?"

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(Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond)