Michael Owen targeted Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Raphael Varane on Wednesday night after they almost assisted a third Leeds goal.
The Whites earned a point at Old Trafford, but they may be disappointed that they didn’t take all three after leading 2-0 around the hour mark. Rashford pulled one back before making a clear blunder that went unpunished before Jadon Sancho leveled the game upon his comeback.
With Leeds leading 2-1, Brendon Aaronson hit the post, but his effort was aided by a large breach in the United defensive wall. Rashford and Varane both separated and turned their backs, leaving a significant opening in the four-man wall that the visitors almost exploited with David de Gea stuck to the spot.
Owen pointed out the blunder and told Premier League Productions: “It was impossible for me to believe this wall. Look at how they split – Varane and Rashford just split – the ball goes low, straight in the middle, and it never goes over the wall. If that goes through and they both turn away, that is criminal, criminal, criminal.
“I mean, if that goes in, there will be serious, serious words. That is simply not possible. You have to be large, fearless, and bold in front of a wall, and then turn around and split – everything you can’t do they did there. They managed to get away with it. They better look at that and think, ‘well, that’s very embarrassing, we can’t do that again’.”
Leeds’ statement comes just days after they fired Jesse Marsch after a string of dismal results. The Yorkshire club has yet to name a permanent successor, having been managed by a three-man interim team – and could do so when the Red Devils visit Yorkshire this weekend.
United’s stalemate means they’ve only won one of their last four games since the suspension of Casemiro. Sancho’s equalizer in front of the Stretford End marked his return to play after a lengthy absence, which Owen believes will be beneficial to the winger.
“Beating players, scoring a goal, and having a huge role in getting back into the game will give him so much confidence,” he continued. “We’ve seen it before, mostly in Germany, but the Premier League is the ultimate litmus test. I believe he is good enough, that he can make a significant impression, and that he can have a wonderful career, despite his faltering start.
“I think the difference between these confidence players, these wide, attacking players, that need to feel loved, that need to feel confident, when you come into a team that’s really struggling, I don’t care if you’re on a high, if the other ten players are struggling at the time, it’s so hard to make an impression,” says a player.