Manchester United’s 13-game home winning run came to an end, as the Red Devils shared the spoils with arch-rivals Leeds United. But United’s fightback to earn a 2-2 draw could be the start of Jadon Sancho’s redemption arc.
Wilfried Gnonto’s first-minute goal not only stunned the home crowd but also gave the visitors, who travelled to Manchester without a permanent manager, confidence to go toe-to-toe with United.
The hosts, meanwhile, lacked the usual control in the final third in absence of Antony. The attacking trio of Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst, and Alejandro Garnacho seemed out of place and out of sorts in the first half.
Ten Hag’s half-time team talk didn’t have much impact, with Leeds doubling their lead three minutes into the second half. But the Dutchman’s decision to bring on Sancho at the hour mark worked wonders.
The English winger’s link-up play helped United to keep up the pressure on Leeds’ defence. Minutes after Sancho and Facundo Pellistri’s introductions, Rashford halved the deficit by heading home Diogo Dalot’s cross.
In the 70th minute, Sancho truly came into his own and brilliantly combined with Shaw before firing past Illan Meslier to rescue a point for his side.
Not only United fans loved Sancho’s first goal since September 15, but also enjoyed the way he celebrated the equaliser.
Sancho has done the Rashford celebration, this photo will hit hard. pic.twitter.com/f6GnPmDixu
— Morgan (@utdscope) February 8, 2023
Erik ten Hag standing there admiring Sancho as he celebrates his goal was so beautiful.
— Jᴀᴄᴋʏ Hᴇɴᴄʜᴍᴀɴ♦️ (@JackyHenchman) February 8, 2023
Don’t think I’ve felt so happy for a footballer in a while as I feel for Jadon Sancho after that goal.
What a moment!
— Jonas Adnan Giæver (@CheGiaevara) February 8, 2023
Interestingly, Gnonto also did the Rashford celebration following his opener.
The Italian forward has been one of the few shining lights of the season for Leeds. With his strike on Wednesday night, the 19-year-old became the youngest overseas player to score a Premier League goal against United at the Theatre of Dreams.