Manchester United went to Elland Road on Sunday and blew a 2-0 advantage against Leeds United in less than a minute only to rally late and pick up a huge 4-2 victory to get back into the Premier League's top four. After back-to-back draws and with the pressure of their upcoming Champions League round of 16 clash, United showed heart and character while their defense once again struggled in the second half.
It took Leeds just 58 seconds early in the second half to score twice and bring things level, but goals from Fred and Anthony Elanga off the bench carried the club to the emphatic win.
Here are three takeaways:
Super subs deliver
Manager Ralf Rangnick pressed the right buttons and brought on Fred and Elanga as his team was looking a bit tired but also struggling with the rain-soaked pitch. While Leeds had all of the momentum, United managed to take advantage on the counter as Leeds risked it.
Fred's winner came off a nifty pass from Jadon Sancho, but it seemed unlikely he would find a way in at the near post. Take a look:
Then it was Elanga's turn, this time to seal it, but just look at what Bruno Fernandes did to set it up, because it was exceptional:
United finished the day with 15 shots and an xG of 2.23, running away with the win at the end.
Leeds have heart but very little defense
There isn't a team in the Premier League more fun to watch than Leeds, and part of that is because of the quality they have in attack. The other part is their defense is stunningly horrendous. That marks three straight home matches where they've conceded at least three goals.
They play, at times, as if they've never trained defensively before. Diego Llorente marked Harry Maguire on the opener and had his back to the ball for part of it. It's what is preventing them from being a mid-table team, and if they aren't careful, it could be what puts them in danger of relegation. Reinforcements are needed in the summer, big time.
Second-half defense of United remains horrific
While the team will be thrilled with the victory, it doesn't fix the defensive issues. Those issues stem from usually strong first halves and then a regression as the match goes on. With the goals allowed in this one, United have now conceded their last eight goals all in the second half.
It comes down to a lack of sharpness and focus, and other teams are clearly taking advantage of it. Can Rangnick just make them stay out on the pitch during the 15-minute break? In all seriousness, they are a first-half defense and second-half attack. If they could do both for 90 minutes, then we would be talking about a true contender for trophies. Until then, the roller coaster continues.