The red half of Manchester lay down a threatening marker to their rivals as they obliterate the Yorkshire Team!
There was an opening day hat-trick for Bruno Fernandes as Manchester United swept Leeds aside with a devastating second-half performance.
The Portugal midfielder opened the scoring on the half-hour at a full capacity Old Trafford, but Luke Ayling’s bullet of a strike drew Leeds level early on in the second half.
Mason Greenwood restored the hosts’ lead with a sweet finish less than two minutes later before Fernandes’ low shot was ruled to have crossed the line by referee Paul Tierney after a check of goalline technology.
The 26-year-old quickly completed his hat-trick with a thumping finish from Victor Lindelof’s pass, before Fred added United’s fourth goal in 14 minutes from Paul Pogba’s cross. This was the Frenchman’s fourth assist of the afternoon.
Fernandes’ last hat-trick was for Sporting Lisbon in an 8-1 demolition of Belenenses in front of just over 5,000 in May 2019.
Even though the Portuguese player has assumed hero status since moving to England, this was only the fourth time he had played a Premier League game in front of a capacity crowd at Old Trafford.
After a disappointing Euro 2020, any worries about his impact at domestic level have been completely forgotten.
His opener was excellent as he ran on to Pogba’s first-time pass, controlled a bouncing ball in the Leeds area, then put enough power into his shot to take it into the net despite Illan Meslier’s half-save.
Another Pogba pass offered Fernandes the opportunity to sit Meslier on his backside as he turned sharply before hitting a low shot goalwards that referee Tierney was correctly informed had crossed the line before Ayling cleared the ball.
Fernandes’ third was route one. Lindelof’s pass fell absolutely perfectly for the forward, who allowed the ball to bounce before thumping it into the net.
It meant he followed Anthony Martial as the only Manchester United player to score a Premier League hat-trick since Robin Van Persie and the first to do it in front of fans.
The volume for an already noisy crowd was turned up another notch by the introduction of Rafael Varane just before the teams emerged. Manchester United’s new £34m defender will be tasked with bringing greater stability to a back four that, even here in a 5-1 victory, looked wobbly at times.
Captain Harry Maguire was almost embarrassed in a foot race with Patrick Bamford, even though he started with a clear advantage and poor marking should have been exploited by Rodrigo, who was off target with his header after being allowed to attempt to nod in Raphinha’s curling free-kick completely unopposed.
Leeds’ league record at Old Trafford is poor. Leeds have not won here since 1981 and they conceded six in the corresponding fixture last season, it doesn’t look good for the future.
Ayling did offer some hope when he was given far too much space to shoot by Manchester United – presumably on the basis he had never previously scored a Premier League goal. He promptly and easily found the corner from 25 yards.
However, it was only the prelude to a Manchester United onslaught from which there was no chance of recovery.