Manchester United are rattled. Leeds are rattled at times – but only by Fernandes going down dubiously – and they are feeding off it. United are struggling to handle the emotion of the occasion and it feels a throwback to last season and when they were found out by the return of crowds. The irony is they won at Elland Road last season.
We’ve had ‘Always look on the runway for ice’ and ‘Who’s that dying on the runway’ from a lot of Leeds fans in the Norman Hunter Stand. United fans returned fire by singing ‘Istanbul’. Leeds fans are the only set who have chanted the Munich songs in my time covering United and that probably goes for most others.
On the pitch, the contest remains low on quality. United cannot get going with their stop-gap midfield. They have got Pedri, Gavi and De Jong to cope with on Thursday.
The United players’ game management has been really poor. Their passing has been so dilatory and they’re underestimating Leeds; not seeing duels when they are everywhere. The midfield has lacked presence and Weghorst has been a hindrance.
Good atmosphere, poor game so far. This contest took a while to get going a year ago but United seem ill at ease amid the bilious atmosphere whereas Leeds are in their element.
Weghorst and Sabitzer, the newest additions, have not got to grips with the occasion whatsoever. Dalot did not start here last season and it has shown.