Manchester City only require two wins from their final five matches in order to clinch the Premier League title after Manchester United and Leeds played out a drab 0-0 draw at Elland Road on Super Sunday.
In a game of few chances, the visitors came closest to scoring in the opening period when Marcus Rashford’s free-kick was well saved by Illan Meslier.
Leeds’ best chance fell to Helder Costas in the second half, but his deflected effort flashed over the bar.
The result means Man Utd are 10 points behind their rivals City in second place. Leeds move up above Arsenal into ninth having extended their unbeaten run to six matches.
‘This game has been awful, the quality’
Before kick-off, Manchester United fan groups organised a plane banner reading “2bn stolen #GlazersOut” in protest against the Glazer family’s ownership, which flew over Elland Road.
The banner followed protests against the Glazer family’s ownership on Saturday, where thousands of fans assembled by the Trinity Statue, setting off flares, hanging banners and scarves outside Old Trafford, with many wearing the green and gold colours synonymous with fan protests against the Glazers which have occurred since the American family acquired the club back in 2005.
Sunday’s match was the first Premier League meeting at Elland Road since October 2003, but chances were at a premium during a cagey opening half.
- Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa stuck with the same starting XI which drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Monday Night Football, with Rodrigo and Raphinha both out. Liam Cooper sat out the second match of his three-game ban but Robin Koch, Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich were all available off the bench.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started with Dan James in the reverse fixture with Leeds, and he did so again as the Wales winger came in for Paul Pogba in the one change to the side that beat Burnley 3-1 in their last Premier League outing. Marcus Rashford shook off a foot injury to start, meaning Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek were both named among the substitutes.
Leeds fans were hoping to celebrate the first top-flight win against Man Utd since 2002 and they had penalty claims turned down when Jack Harrison’s cross struck Luke Shaw’s arm, but with it down by his side, referee Craig Pawson was unmoved.
Marcus Rashford, who had overcome a foot injury, had already seen one shot dragged wide when he was fouled by Luke Ayling on the touchline to draw a booking for the Leeds captain but Bruno Fernandes’ ensuing free-kick was flicked over by Patrick Bamford.
The next time Fernandes was fouled by Pascal Struijk on the stroke of half-time, Rashford pulled rank as his dipping effort was brilliantly tipped away by Meslier. It meant for the fifth Premier League game in a row, Man Utd failed to score in the first half.
Paul Ince told Sky Sports: “It looks like Manchester United’s minds are on Thursday. There’s no energy, no urgency.”
There were very few early signs that the second period would provide greater entertainment as it took until the 57th minute for either side to create a noteworthy chance, Fernandes dragging Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cut-back wide.
Man Utd won the reverse fixture against Leeds at Old Trafford 6-2, but this was proving a very different encounter as Mason Greenwood drew a smart save low down from Meslier after latching on to Fred’s through ball.
“Greenwood is the one who has shown a bit of class when the ball has been at his feet,” said Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher. The game briefly burst into life on the hour-mark as Ezgjan Alioski’s last-ditch tackle denied Dan James before Costa’s shot on the counter deflected off Wan-Bissaka and landed just over.
Mateusz Klich entered the fray in the final 15 minutes, and he was immediately involved as he was played through by Patrick Bamford but his tame shot was straight at Dean Henderson. “This game has been awful, the quality,” said Carragher.
He was right, as it ended in an uneventful stalemate.
Leeds travel to face Brighton in the Premier League next Saturday at 3pm.
Manchester United host Roma in their Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday at 8pm before returning to Premier League action on Super Sunday as they host Liverpool; coverage starts at 4pm with kick-off at 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.