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William Jackson

Michael Skubala makes telling impact as Leeds United battle to Manchester United draw

Leeds United got life without Jesse Marsch underway by battling to a 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Here’s the winners and losers from the clash.


Wilfried Gnonto

He’s Leeds' brightest and most important player at the minute and he more than turned it on in the first half at Old Trafford to get United off to the best possible start. With less than a minute on the clock, Gnonto could be seen slicing the Red Devils open with a neat one-two with Patrick Bamford before lashing the ball into the bottom corner of David De Gea’s net.

He was a real livewire in the opening 45 minutes, constantly finding space and looking to penetrate with his pace and close control. He then had a hand in Leeds’ second, too, feeding Crysencio Summerville, who saw his pull back deflected into the hosts’ net by Raphael Varane.

Read more: Leeds United player ratings as Wober, Ayling and Gnonto dazzle in Man United draw

Gnonto was a little quieter in the second half of the contest, but he still had enough to keep Man U on their toes.

Luke Ayling

Ayling knew he would have his work cut out at Old Trafford, but he turned in one of his best performances of the season to frustrate Man United’s attack down his edge. He faced up against the promising talent of Alejandro Garnacho in the first half and kept him quiet.

He then handled Marcus Rashford in the second half, before taking on Jadon Sancho after the Reds made changes. He acquitted himself well against all of them defensively and got forward well, too when required.

It was a captain’s performance from the 31-year-old in the absence of Liam Cooper.

Michael Skubala

The Under-21s boss has been thrown in the deep end this week, but he’s led Leeds to what has to be seen as a huge result at Old Trafford. Skubala was only asked to take over the first-team on Monday and took one training session, alongside Chris Armas and Paco Gallardo, but he managed to get a tune out of the squad.

The Whites played with a degree of freedom against the Red Devils, with key men such as Jack Harrison and Ayling finding a new lease of life. Leeds are hopeful of making a head coach appointment in the next few days, but if Skubala is in charge for the return fixture on Sunday, the Whites will know they are in safe hands.


Luis Sinisterra

Sinisterra’s first season with the Whites has been severely disrupted by injuries, with his most recent seeing him ruled out for three months. As such, the last thing anyone associated with Leeds wanted to see was the Colombian appearing to hold his hamstring with around five minutes on the clock.

He went down to receive treatment and after a series of stretches, the signal was sent that he could not continue. He was replaced by Crysencio Summerville in the eighth minute before limping around the pitch and down the tunnel.

The Whites will be hoping the injury isn’t too bad, particularly given the wretched luck he’s already had this season.

Pascal Struijk

The defender kept Marcus Rashford largely under wraps in the opening 20 minutes or so. That was until he blocked a Rashford shot with his face and needed to come off the field.

It was an important block but it brought an end to his evening. If he does have concussion he will miss Sunday’s return fixture at Elland Road.


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