Manchester United and Leeds United had all the potential of being a fiery affair with tensions high before the game but instead the two sides played out a drab 0-0 draw at Elland Road on Sunday.
The Leeds CEO called out United in the match programme, writing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were “playground bullies” for wanting to join the European Super League.
It was also a far cry from the last time the two sides met where United ran out 6-2 winners when they played against each other in the Premier League in December as both struggled to create any sort of credible goal opportunities.
The two sides enjoy one of the fiercest rivalries in English football and this was their first Premier League meeting at Elland Road since 2003 due to Leeds’ absence from the top flight.
Leeds had a penalty call turned down on 18 minutes after a VAR review. A ball was sent into the box and appeared to hit Luke Shaw’s arm but it was declared not a handball incident.
The best chance of the first half fell to Marcus Rashford who hit a dipping free kick on the stroke of half-time that Illan Meslier did well to tip over the bar.
The game opened up more in the second half with both teams searching for their first goal. Possession remained relatively shared between the two sides but United enjoyed more of the shots on goal.
Bruno Fernandes had a chance to put United ahead on 65 minutes from a free kick but rather than attack it, he clipped it over the Leeds wall for Rashford whose swivelling kick just found air.
“There’s no guarantees in football that’s for sure. I thought we played well, dominated the second half, just didn’t have the ball to fall correctly for us in the moments we had,” Solskjaer said after the game.
“When two teams meet you create problems, you solve problems, they give you things to think about and we made them adjust to us. We put a really big shift in. I have seen Leeds run over teams in the second half and it was the opposite.
“You don’t lose momentum, we are disappointed not to win but the boys have a lot of respect for Leeds. This is not going to be something we look back on as derailing our season.”