Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa taught Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United a lesson with the help of future Red Devil and future Tottenham striker December 18, 2020 – Posted in: Soccer
Played two, won two. Marcelo Bielsa can’t ask for much more when looking at his record against Manchester United.
He has a chance to keep up the good run as another instalment in one of English football’s biggest rivalries resumes on Sunday when the Red Devils entertain Leeds on Sunday.
Man United are the favourites to win the Old Trafford clash and despite having plenty of setbacks this season, a win could take them into the top four.
However, fans will be wary about how much they struggled last time Bielsa faced the Red Devils.
The Argentine was in charge of Athletic Club and faced Man United for the first time in a Europa League last-16 tie back in 2012.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men had surprisingly exited the Champions League at the group stage in 2011/12 but were expected to get past the Spanish outfit. It didn’t turn out that way, however.
The first leg had an air of familiarity to it when Wayne Rooney gave the three-time European champions the lead. Fernando Llorente equalised on the stroke of half time, however.
A brief lapse in concentration in the first half, surely Fergie’s men would sort things out after the break? Nope.
Athletic Club raced to a 3-1 lead thanks to strikes from Oscar de Marcos – assisted by future United star Ander Herrera – and Iker Muniain. Wayne Rooney’s stoppage-time strike prevented the tie from being taken away from the then-Premier League champions.
Not a good night at the office for Man United but at least they had a second leg to put that right.
Again, they had no answers for Bielsa’s side as they went down to a 2-1 defeat at the San Mames Stadium.
The Red Devils were dominated from start to finish with Llorente and De Marcos putting them 2-0 up. Rooney’s late goal gave the aggregate score some respect at 5-3.
Man United’s conquerors continued to wow on the continent as they raced to the final of the competition. But as is often the theme with a Bielsa side, they fell just short at the crucial moment – Atletico Madrid running out 3-0 winners in the final.
Leeds fans will be wary of a potential dip as the season progresses but if the Whites boss can do another number on Man United, that won’t matter one bit.