Man United held to frustrating goalless draw at Leeds

The point leaves Manchester United 12 points clear of fifth-placed West Ham United with five games of the season remaining. Leeds moved up to the ninth spot.

Patrick Bamford

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford and Manchester United's Victor Lindelof vie for the ball during Sunday's Premier League game.   -  Reuters

Second-placed Manchester United edged closer towards qualification for the Champions League, the tournament its owners tried to break away from last week, with a goalless draw at Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday.

The point left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side 12 points clear of fifth-placed West Ham United with five games remaining and it remains unbeaten away from home in the league all season.

LEE VS MUN| MATCH CENTRE

Manchester City is on top of the table on 77 points, 10 ahead of United, and the side can secure its third title in four seasons next week if it wins at Crystal Palace and United lose to Liverpool.

Manchester United was one of 12 top European clubs who last week announced they were setting up a breakaway Super League before the plan rapidly fell apart. United, like the other founder members would have featured in the competition every year without the need for qualification.

The message "Earn it on the Pitch. Football is for the Fans" was prominently displayed on a banner placed by Leeds on the seats behind the goal but while the point remained relevant there was no shortage of competitive spirit on the field.

Leeds, promoted last season to the top flight after a 16-year absence, has certainly shown no respect for the so-called "Big Six" -- Marcelo Bielsa's side has drawn all five home games they have played against members of that elite group.

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There were few chances at Elland Road in what was a physical clash, the visitor going closest to scoring through a dipping free kick from Marcus Rashford just before halftime which was tipped over by Leeds keeper Illan Meslier.

As always, Leeds was energetic and determined but it also struggled to create openings with its best effort a deflected Helder Costa shot which flew just over the bar.

Manchester United won the reverse fixture 6-2 earlier this season but Solskjaer was not dispirited by the result.

"There's no guarantees in football that's for sure. I thought we played well, dominated the second half, just didn't have the ball to fall correctly for us in the moments we had," said the Norwegian.

Leeds, which is in the ninth place on 47 points, didn't allow United the time or the space to open it up and midfielder Kalvin Phillips was key.

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"This is what we are about, making it hard for teams to come here. I enjoyed the game having a battle in midfield.

"We man mark every game. I tried to keep Bruno quiet. Thankfully he didn't pop up with a goal so my job is done," he said.

A plane carrying a slogan against United's owners, the American Glazer family, flew over the stadium before kickoff but they were not present at the match and neither was executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward who resigned on Tuesday during the Super League fall-out.