United In Perth: Manchester United leave the west on a high following...

United In Perth: Manchester United leave the west on a high following Leeds win


United In Perth is brought to you by The Far Post Perth.

Manchester United signed off from Australia with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Leeds United in front of 55,274 fans at Optus Stadium.

The game was the culmination of a 10-day visit to Western Australia for the Premier League giants at the beginning of their preseason tour.

Mason Greenwood opened the scoring after just seven minutes, with Marcus Rashford adding a second on the half hour before Phil Jones and Anthony Martial got in on the act after half time.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was understandably happy with his team’s performance and praised the contribution of 17-year-old Greenwood.

“Of course, we’ve been delighted with the goal he scores,” he told the media afterwards.

“It’s important for strikers to get that goal, even though we always know he’s capable of scoring goals and maybe that’s a weight off his shoulders.

“I think his movement, his cleverness, he’s going to be a very good player.”

United were threatening from the off and Rashford struck a post inside two minutes before the impressive Paul Pogba released Aaron Wan-Bissaka whose cross was turned home by Greenwood for the opener.

Leeds were well very represented in the stadium with around 4,000 supporters reportedly making the trip to Australia for the game in Perth as well as Saturday’s encounter with Western Sydney Wanderers at the new Bankwest Stadium.

There was little on the pitch worth singing about, however, as their team squandered a number of good chances before being punished at the other end.

Patrick Bamford came closest for the Yorkshire side as he met a low cross from Jack Harrison, but his effort was well saved by the foot of Sergio Romero who again started in goal with David De Gea absent through illness.

United doubled their lead almost instantly as Scott McTominay broke on the counter attack and fed Rashford who coolly dummied Leeds defender Gaetano Berardi before placing the ball past Kiko Casilla.

As he did against Perth Glory on Saturday night, Solskjaer rang the changes at half time and replaced all his players.

They did not skip a beat though and found the net for a third time on 51 minutes as Phil Jones rose to meet a corner from Andreas Pereira and power home a header.

As expected, there was a little bit of spice to the contest between two old rivals and both Kalvin Phillips and Barry Douglas put in some tough tackles for Leeds.

On 68 minutes, skipper Liam Cooper made the mistake of diving into a challenge inside his own penalty area, bringing down Tahith Chong and leaving referee Shaun Evans with no choice but to point to the spot.

Anthony Martial stepped up to put the icing on the cake, sending Casilla the wrong way with his effort from 12 yards.

Leeds looked heavy legged towards the end, understandable considering that they only arrived in Perth on Sunday night with a squad of just 16 players, but there was still time for tempers to flare following a bad challenge by Ashley Young on Adam Forshaw.

The full time whistle brought the curtain down on a big few days of football in Perth as a total of 105,480 people watched the two games at Optus Stadium.

Solskjaer was so impressed with the experience that he had a “love letter” printed on page three of Wednesday’s West Australian newspaper.

“I’m really looking forward to our second game at the impressive Optus Stadium against Leeds tonight – but I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to Perth when we leave this beautiful city tomorrow,” he wrote.

“I think I can speak for all my players and colleagues on the Manchester United staff when I say how much we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed our 10 or 11 days here.

“The welcome from the local people here has been very warm, like the glorious weather!”

A combination of a world class new stadium, great training facilities at the WACA, and excellent accommodation at Crown Towers all within short distances of each other greatly pleased the Red Devils’ staff.

As well as the facilities, the Perth weather has been ideal for United with temperatures between 14 and 20 degrees during their time in WA.

This is the second successive year that Perth has hosted a big Premier League club following Chelsea’s visit in 2018, and Liverpool are believed to be top of the wish list for 2020.