HomeSportsFootballRound-up: Manchester United edge Leeds in thriller, Aubameyang opens account at Barcelona

Round-up: Manchester United edge Leeds in thriller, Aubameyang opens account at Barcelona

Second-half goals from substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga earned Manchester United a 4-2 victory over Leeds United in a thriller at Elland Road in the Premier League on Sunday.

In a red-hot atmosphere, the visitors took the lead in the 34th minute, with captain Harry Maguire heading home to score his side’s first league goal from a corner all season.

As the rain became more torrential, United compounded the home side’s woes when Bruno Fernandes, who scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture earlier this season, squeezed another header into the net in first-half stoppage time.

But keeping hold of half-time leads has been one of United’s problem of late, having failed to win when leading at the break in three of their previous four matches in all competitions.

And so it proved again as Leeds turned the match on its head with two goals in less than a minute early in the second half.

First Spanish forward Rodrigo’s cross looped over United stopper David de Gea and into the net, and then Dan James squared for Leeds substitute Raphinha to level, lifting the roof off the stadium.

The visitors rode the storm, however, and eventually got their reward as Fred put his side in front 20 minutes from time before Elanga settled the contest with a late fourth.

The result moved fourth-placed United onto 46 points, four behind Chelsea in third, while Leeds stay 15th, five points above the relegation zone.

Taking on their rivals from across the border in Lancashire and Greater Manchester for the first time in front of fans at Elland Road in the Premier League in 19 years, Leeds started well and went close through Jack Harrison early on.

As the atmosphere calmed somewhat, French midfielder Paul Pogba danced past Adam Forshaw, squared for Cristiano Ronaldo, who looked certain to score from just a few metres out, but Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier got across to make a fine save.

United continued to grow into the match, and deservedly took the lead as Maguire climbed highest to head home United’s first league goal from a corner since April 2021.

The goal that put United further in front was a fine move from one end of the pitch to the other, with Jadon Sancho, clipping the ball onto the head of Fernandes for his ninth league goal of the season.

There was an element of luck about Leeds’ first from Rodrigo, but United’s defending left much to be desired as Leeds scored their second.

The volume levels shot up as the home side sensed a famous victory. But their leaky defence – only Norwich City have conceded more this season in the Premier League – was carved open again on the counter, with Sancho the provider for Fred, who lashed home his third league goal of the campaign.

Academy graduate Elanga, who seemed to be hit by something from the crowd when celebrating Fred’s goal, slotted in his second Premier League goal, on the end of another Sancho pass, to seal Leeds’ fate.

Aubameyang scores twice, Sevilla drop more points  

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first two goals for Barcelona in a convincing 4-1 win at Valencia on Sunday, lifting his side to fourth place in LaLiga.

It was the eighth and ninth goals of the season for the former Arsenal striker, who last found the net for the Gunners in October in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

Frenkie de Jong and Pedri also scored for Barcelona, who looked much improved after struggling at the start of the season. Carlos Soler scored a consolation goal for the locals.

The win lifted Barcelona into fourth place on 42 points from 24 games, tied with Atletico who are fifth on goal difference. Real Madrid top the table with 57 points.

Meanwhile, second-placed Sevilla’s LaLiga title ambitions suffered another blow on Sunday after they were held to a 1-1 stalemate at Espanyol, a fourth draw in their last five league matches.

Julen Lopetegui’s side have 51 points from 25 games, six points behind leaders Real Madrid and eight ahead of Real Betis in third, who host Mallorca later on Sunday.

Sevilla went ahead in the 36th minute after Rafa Mir volleyed in from a Papu Gomez cross, but the locals found the equaliser when Sergi Darder headed in from close range five minutes after the break.

Sevilla ended the game with 10 men after French defender Jules Kounde was sent off in the 76th minute when he lost his cool and hit Javi Puado while trying to break free from the Espanyol winger’s grip.

Lewandowski leads Bayern fightback 

Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich overcame the shock of falling behind to the Bundesliga’s bottom club Greuther Fuerth and went on to win 4-1 to stay in charge in the German title race.

A deflected free kick from Branimir Hrgota three minutes before halftime gave Fuerth the lead, silencing the Allianz Arena.

The goal looked like more bad news for Bayern after they were beaten 4-2 at Bochum last week and held 1-1 at Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday – their longest run without a win for 10 months.

But they took less than 30 seconds of the second half to hit back, Lewandowski netting from close range after the ball had ricocheted off strike partner Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and into his path.

The champions went on to dominate the game and took the lead for the first time through an own goal from Sebastian Griesbeck just after the hour mark.

Lewandowski headed in Bayern’s third in the 82nd minute, the Polish striker’s 28th goal in the league this season in 23 appearances.

Choupo-Moting added a final goal in added time, knocking in a cross from Serge Gnabry from close range.

The victory took leaders Bayern on to 55 points from 23 games, leaving Fuerth propping up the table on 13 points.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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