Man United: Shaw stole the show vs Leeds

Manchester United left it late to secure all three points away to bitter rivals Leeds United on Sunday afternoon, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho sealing the win for Erik ten Hag‘s men amid what was a hard-fought encounter in Yorkshire.

Just days on from the thrilling, 2-2 draw at Old Trafford – in which the hosts had been forced to come from two goals behind – the Red Devils were again far from at their best this time around, having been forced to produce a dogged display against their managerless hosts.

Following what was a rather limp 70 minutes or so from the visitors, a rare moment of quality saw emerging talisman Rashford header home for his eighth goal in his last nine Premier League appearances, before substitute Garnacho lashed in superbly soon after to make sure of the points.

That battling performance has ensured that United still have a flickering of hope in the title race, with one key factor in that crucial result having been the standout performance of Luke Shaw in the backline.

How did Luke Shaw play against Leeds?

The 27-year-old showcased his growing versatility after once again “excelling” in a centre-back berth, in the words of Statman Dave, before later switching to his usual full-back role to help play a vital part in the away side’s opener.

That second half, tactical tweak from Ten Hag – in which Lisandro Martinez entered the fray on the hour mark – allowed the Englishman the license to get forward down the left flank, with that move almost immediately paying off as he provided a “superb” cross to tee up his compatriot Rashford to header home, as per journalist Josh Bunting.

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Such a moment of quality was one of two key passes that the £150k-per-week ace produced from his 87 touches, having also completed two of his three dribbles and won four fouls for his side with his ability to drive forward from deep.

Not just an asset in an attacking sense, the one-time Southampton man also proved his class defensively after winning ten of his 15 duels on the day – including eight of his 11 ground duels – having also produced a vital block from Luke Ayling’s driven effort.

There were still lapses of concentration from the long-serving defender as he lost possession on 19 occasions – inadvertently sliding in Crysencio Summerville at one stage – although on the whole the 28-cap titan truly stole the show due to his adaptability and quality in both of his defensive roles.

That rock-solid performance unsurprisingly saw the 6 foot 1 machine record a remarkable match rating of 8.1, as per Sofascore, with that only bettered by teammate David De Gea (8.3)  among any player for either side.

One of ‘the few cool heads‘ inside a heated cauldron at Elland Road – according to Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst – Shaw seemingly proved that he is now a leading, senior figure in Ten Hag’s side.