JADON SANCHO bounced off the bench and back into the big time.

The forgotten winger had not played a league game since October with manager Erik ten Hag citing physical and mental problems.

Jadon Sancho scored the equaliser after Man Utd fell two goals behind to Leeds


Jadon Sancho scored the equaliser after Man Utd fell two goals behind to LeedsCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

He has managed the £73million buy carefully over this time and eased him back into the fray with a Carabao Cup substitutes appearance against Nottingham Forest recently.

Then came last night as the 22-year-old came on and scored the 70th minute equaliser to complete a Manchester United comeback.

It may not have led to a famous late winner but after being two down but they had looked out of this game until Ten Hag made a double change which included Facundo Pellestri as well as Sancho.

Pellestri teed up Diogo Dalot to cross for Marcus Rashford’s header that got the home side back into the game on 62 minutes before Sancho struck.

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Leeds would have taken a point after a week which saw Jesse Marsch get his marching orders, but in truth they let two slip from a position of dominance.

Ten Hag said ahead of the game that sacking a manager as Leeds had done with Marsch rarely had the desired effect.

Well, it took just 55 seconds for it to work here as the visitors took a shock lead.

The Red Devils boss has been hammering home the message about his players being fully alert for every second of games.

Match stats
Match stats


But they had not woken up to the threat of 19-year-old Italian winger Gnonto.

The goal originated from a fierce challenge by Pascal Struijk that dislodged the ball from Bruno Fernnades possession.

Gnonto picked it up and flicked a pass between Diogo Dalot and Raphael Varane to Patrick Bamford.

The Leeds front man’s cushioned return to his teammate was perfect and Gnonto, with four red shirts in close attendance, was not challenged and released a shot from just outside the area into the bottom left hand corner.

Gnonto headed shushed the Stretford End and to be fair that famous section of Old Trafford did look suitably stunned.

The goal set the tone for a fiery first-half.

 But without the calming assured influence of Casemiro, serving the first of a three match suspension, Ten Hag’s men were looking ragged.

Fred looked like Fred again while new on-loan signing Marcel Sabitzer was struggling to offer the reassurance of the absent Brazilian.

Wilfried Gnonto opened the scoring for Leeds after a minute


Wilfried Gnonto opened the scoring for Leeds after a minuteCredit: Getty

Up front Wout Weghorst was offering little again and Leeds almost had a second in the 11th minute when Struijk got in at the far post and chested the ball goalwards from close range but David de Gea palmed it away.

Alejandro Garnacho was getting into the action with his usual positive forward runs and fired just wide of the near post.

Then after being put through by Fernandes he rounded goalkeeper Illan Meslier before having his shot headed away from in front of the line by Max Wober.

Sabitzer had an early volley that was wild and well over but did better when he arrowed one towards the top left hand corner only for Meslier to claw it away.

Leeds were holding their ground despite having to make an early change after eight minutes when Luis Sinisterra went off injured and then a second when a dazed Struijk left the field after being struck in the face by a thunderous shot from Rashford.

Whatever co-caretakers Michael Skubala and Chris Armas, formerly here at old Trafford with Ralf Rangnick, said before the match was certainly having more effect than Marsch’s recent pre-match chats in a run of two wins in 17 league games.    

Whatever was said at half-time worked the trick as well as Leeds began on the front foot again and scored three minutes after the resumption.

Garnacho’s decent work from the first-half was undone when his fumbled attempts at playing the ball out his own half saw him dispossessed, although he will claim a handball from Robin Koch as possession was wrestled for.

Crysencio Summerville's (left) shot deflected in off Raphael Varane


Crysencio Summerville’s (left) shot deflected in off Raphael VaraneCredit: Getty

VAR would not come to his rescue as Gnonto rolled a pass to Summerville whose low cross into the six yard box was deflected past his own goalkeeper by Varane.

Ten Hag needed to change things and brought on Sancho and Pellistri in the 59th minute for Weghorst and Garnacho the latter of whom appeared to flick away his manager’s consoling gestures.

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The change would have effect just three minutes later with Pellistri kept the ball in for Diogo Dalot to cross and Rashford’s header was perfectly guided beyond the outstretched arm of Meslier.

Then came Sancho’s moment when after being found by Luke Shaw he curled a shot through the dive of Meslier.

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It was deafening inside Old Trafford now and the home fans were almost celebrating a winner when on 77 minutes Varane rose highest to meet Fernandes cross only for Meslier’s finger tips to deny him.

Breathless stuff, and fitting of great battles between these two old foes.

Marcus Rashford set the tone for a comeback with an expert header


Marcus Rashford set the tone for a comeback with an expert headerCredit: PA

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