MANCHESTER: Substitute Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September earned Manchester United a thrilling 2-2 draw with Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday as the hosts came back from two goals down to salvage a point.
Leeds flew out of the traps and stunned Old Trafford into silence after 55 seconds when Wilfried Gnonto arrowed the visitors in front from the edge of the penalty area.
The home side wasted a host of chances to level in the first half, before Leeds looked to have stormed into a match-winning position early in the second period as Raphael Varane put through his own net to double the visitors’ advantage.
However, in-form Marcus Rashford headed the hosts back into the match in the 62nd minute and Sancho stepped off the bench to rescue his side a point eight minutes later, squeezing the ball past goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
Old Trafford sensed another rousing comeback would be completed with a late winner, but their side ran out of steam, failing to win at home for the first time in 14 matches in all competitions.
United stayed third in the standings, three points ahead of Newcastle United in fourth, having played one game more.
Managerless Leeds climbed one place to 16th, one point clear of the relegation zone.
United had beaten their Roses rivals Leeds by a scoreline of 11-3 in their previous two clashes at Old Trafford, and the visitors were on a seven-game Premier League winless streak which led to manager Jesse Marsch being sacked this week.
Their form made it all the more surprising when Leeds raced into an early lead, Gnonto netting the second-earliest goal scored by an away player at Old Trafford in the Premier League, after Edin Dzeko’s strike in 2014 for Manchester City.
After De Gea denied Leeds a second with a smart stop at his near post, United twice went close to levelling as debutant Marcel Sabitzer volleyed over before Garnacho drilled just wide.
The chances kept coming for the home side, with Garnacho rounding Meslier before seeing an effort blocked and Sabitzer denied by a brilliant save.
The hosts’ profligacy looked to have proved costly as Leeds appeared to be on course to secure a first win in 18 trips to Old Trafford after Varane was powerless to prevent Crysencio Summerville’s cross rolling into his own net.
Rashford, however, had other ideas, steering a header home to become the first Manchester United player to score in six consecutive appearances at Old Trafford in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney in 2012.
Brenden Aaronson hit the post from a Leeds free kick, a let-off Manchester United capitalised on as Sancho, back in the squad after a lengthy absence due to physical and mental wellbeing issues, grabbed the equaliser with a calm finish.