away win | 

Ralf Rangnick believes his players were compelled to silence their critics at Leeds

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick celebrates with goal scorer Fred after their win over Leeds at Elland Road. Photo: REUTERS

Simon Peach

Ralf Rangnick was proud of his players’ perfect response to rumours of “disruption” in the dressing room as Manchester United survived a Leeds comeback to win a thrilling War of the Roses clash.

Elland Road’s first Premier League clash between these old foes in front of fans since 2003 lived up to the billing in torrential rain yesterday afternoon in West Yorkshire.

Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes put Manchester United two goals up on enemy territory at half-time, only for Leeds to roar back with two goals inside a minute early in the second half.

The efforts from Rodrigo and substitute Raphinha had Elland Road rocking, only for subs Fred and Anthony Elanga to seal a 4-2 victory for Rangnick’s men against their bitter rivals.

“We knew that it was an important win today,” interim boss Rangnick said after a week in which Maguire and Marcus Rashford publicly dismissed talk of divides in the dressing room.

“It was similar to the one against West Ham. That was similarly emotional at the end with the last-second goal. But today it was more important, not only that we won the game but the way that we reacted after conceding the equaliser.

“That was the best possible answer the team could give. It was perfect with regard to maturity, unity and the best reply that they could give to some articles last week that there was some disruption in the locker room. I think a game like this one today you can only win as a team and with the mentality of a team and this was, apart from the three points, the most important thing.”

Rangnick punched the air in front of the travelling fans at the end of a game in which supporters traded unsavoury chants. Some Leeds fans also threw objects at visiting players, with one item hitting teenager Elanga as United celebrated Fred’s goal.

The FA is aware of the matter and looking into it.

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