Manchester United’s tour of Perth wound up with a ruthless 4-0 win over Leeds at Optus Stadium tonight as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side gave the Championship outfit a lesson in finishing.
First-half goals from Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, followed by a Phil Jones header and a penalty from Anthony Martial, ensured United followed up their victory over Perth Glory with another clean sheet.
They also hit the post twice and forced Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla into numerous saves as they went through the gears in front of a crowd of 55,274.
Leeds had enough chances of their own, too. But after only arriving in WA on Sunday and with many of their squad staying in England to work on their fitness, they were always up against it.
While last Saturday’s game between United and Glory was an enjoyable night out, the intensity of this encounter was ramped up a good few notches. The historic rivalry between the two clubs and the thousands of Leeds supporters who made the journey to WA meant this had the feeling of a cup tie.
United were without keeper David De Gea, who was withdrawn through illness, and Inter Milan target Romelu Lukaku. But they still had Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Eric Bailly and Juan Mata in the starting XI and Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic on the bench.
United were on it from the start and Leeds must have known they were in for a hard night inside the first two minutes when Victor Lindelof brought the ball from halfway before passing to Rashford, whose shot struck the post and rebounded to safety.
Glory’s packed defence held out for an hour on Saturday but Leeds’ rearguard was breached by the seventh minute. The imperious Pogba played the ball inside the channel, defender Jack Harrison switched off and Aaron Wan-Bissaka squared for Mason Greenwood to run in to score.
Pogba then was just wide with a free-kick, before Leeds wasted a great chance – and within a minute found themselves 2-0 down.
Harrison escaped down the left and his cross was met by the incoming Patrick Bamford. The former Chelsea forward had the goal at his mercy but his effort struck keeper Sergio Romero’s foot.
United immediately regrouped and suddenly they had a three-on-two. Scott McTominey strode purposefully forward then fed Rashford. The England striker, who has been challenged by Solskajer to push towards 20 goals this season, brilliantly dragged the ball around Stuart Dallas before planting it past the exposed Casilla. Pure quality from the forward who was also on the scoresheet against Glory.
Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe had further opportunities for Leeds but just before the break United almost made it 3-0 when Marcelo Bielsa’s side were caught short at the back again, Rashford set up the overlapping Daniel James and he hit the post.
Just as they did on Saturday, Manchester United made 11 changes at half-time. But if Leeds were hoping for some respite they were to be disappointed. Andreas Pereira hit a rocket from 25 yards which Casilla tipped over. Unfortunately for Leeds’ Spanish goalkeeper, his defenders weren’t as alert for Pereira’s corner and Jones was gifted a free header for his side’s third.
Harrison blazed over for Leeds but as they tired they were always vulnerable to a fourth and that came in the 69th minute when Liam Cooper brought down Tahith Chong and Martial scored from the penalty spot.
It was the perfect way to check out of Perth for United, who will continue their pre-season tour in Singapore and Shanghai where they will play Inter and Tottenham.
United’s two matches attracted more than 105,000 supporters and their tour generated a reported $35 milllion for the WA economy.
“It’s been fantastic (in Perth), the fans have been amazing, the stadium brilliant, we’ve had a great time,” Solskjaer said after the game.
Leeds will now head to Sydney to face A-League outfit Western Sydney Wanderers without Bielsa, who is returning to the UK.
Star player: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Manchester United 4 (Greenwood 7min, Rashford 27, Jones 51, Martial pen 69)
Leeds United 0
Wednesday, July 17
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant referees: Matthew Cream, George Lakrindis
Manchester United: GK 22. Sergio ROMERO (RGK 40. Joel PEREIRA 46), 2. Victor LINDELOF (4. Phil JONES 46), 3. Eri BAILLY (12. Chris SMALLING 46), 6. Paul POGBA (18. Ashley YOUNG 46), 8. Juan MATA (20. Diogo DALOT 46), 10. Marcus RASHFORD (14 Jesse LINGARD), 16. Marcos ROJO (31. Nemanja MATIC 46) (37. James GARNER 78), 21. Daniel JAMES (28. Angel GOMES 46), 26. Mason GREENWOOD (11. Anthony MARTIAL 46), 29. Aaron WAN-BISSAKA (15. Andreas PEREIRA 46), 39. Sott McTOMINEY (44. Tahith CHONG 46)
Substitutes: 38. Axel TUANZEBE
Yellow cards: Young 90
Red cards: Nil
Leeds United: (GK) 13. Kiko CASSILlA, 3. Barry DOUGLAS, 4. Adam FORSHAW, 6. Liam COOPER (c ), 7. Kemar ROOFE, 9. Patrick BAMFORD, 15. Stuart DALLAS (52. Bryce HOSANNAH 66), 19. Pablo HERNANDEZ, 22. Jack HARRISON, 23. Kalvin PHIILIPS, 28. Gaetano BERARDI
Substitutes: (RGK) 51. Kamil MIAKEZ, 48. Jordan STEVENS, 54. Clarke ODOUR, 58. Mateusz BOGUSZ
Yellow cards: Phillips 34
Red cards: Nil