Scott McTominay said it was "a total injustice" that Edinson Cavani had a first-half strike disallowed in Manchester United's dramatic 3-1 win over Tottenham.

Uruguay international Cavani thought he had put the Red Devils ahead in the 33rd minute, but the strike was ruled out for McTominay flicking out a hand at Son Heung-min.

The decision was reached after referee Chris Kavanagh was encouraged to review the build-up on the pitchside monitor by VAR.

United's dismay was exacerbated shortly after when Son put Tottenham ahead after some poor defending by Victor Lindelof.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side bounced back in the second half, though, courtesy of goals from Fred, Cavani and Mason Greenwood, to extend their unbeaten away run in the Premier League to 23 games – a run only bettered by Arsenal between April 2003 and September 2004 (27 games).

McTominay claimed the referee "obviously made a mistake", but he acknowledged players will have to get used to that with VAR now an integral part of the game.

"I'm sure there'll be a lot of talk about that," McTominay told Sky Sports.

"The referees have to make decisions, that's part and parcel of the game. I'm personally not a fan of VAR but it's part of the game we're playing now.

"For us it was a case of keeping calm. It was obviously a goal, the referee has obviously made a mistake, but it happens, everyone makes mistakes in life, that's part and parcel of it. Nothing bad to say.

"For us, it was a total injustice, but you've got to get on with the game, can't let that dampen the way we were playing towards the end of the first half."

The win means United have gained 28 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season.

In the competition's history, only Newcastle United in 2001-02 (34) and United themselves in 2012-13 (29) have earned more points from such positions.

While McTominay was pleased with the Red Devils' ability to bounce back, he knows they need to start games on the front foot more regularly.

"We have to start getting better in the first 30 minutes," he said.

"For us, our standards were not good enough and after that we played much much better, had more control and dominated the whole second half. A brilliant win and nothing but positives in the second half."

"Game's gone."

In the English-speaking football world, there are few better means to share your deepest frustrations than those two-and-a-bit words. Defending, diving, transfer fees, haircuts – there is not a pet peeve in the modern game that can escape that withering proclamation, even if nobody knows how far away 'gone' really is.

Still, nothing triggers the 'game's gone' gag reflex quite like VAR. That may prove to be the system's defining contribution: the rallying point for fans and professionals determined to bring football 'back' from this sanitised circus, where the clowns clean up the stalls mid-show while the ringmaster reminds the kids to keep fun to a minimum.

By half-time of Sunday's Premier League game between Tottenham and Manchester United, "game's gone" was cried, broadcast and tweeted with the gusto and impact you might expect. It wasn't really necessary, of course. We know the game is 'gone'. VAR has been pushing it 'gone' for months. It's a long, long way 'gone'. In fact, since it's practically a sitcom anyway: the game is so far gone that you can't even see the game. The game is a dot to you!

Edinson Cavani presumably felt like that. The Manchester United striker, already weighing up whether another season in England is worthwhile, saw his first league goal since February 6 disallowed for a foul by Scott McTominay on Son Heung-min in the build-up. Son tried and failed to grab McTominay's shirt, and the United midfielder caught him in the face with a flailing finger. Several replays in Stockley Park and on the sideline at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium convinced referee Chris Kavanagh that the contact was severe enough to merit disallowing the goal, but not to show McTominay what would have been a second yellow card. Five minutes later, Son made it 1-0 to the home side.

Predictable incandescence followed. "I'm amazed, really. If this is a foul, we should all go home. It's really bizarre," said former United captain Roy Keane on Sky Sports. Ex-Manchester City defender Micah Richards said football was beyond recognition, adding: "It's embarrassing. This is not football anymore. I know we have a laugh and joke, but it's spoiling our game."

Perhaps Jose Mourinho said it best: "I don't understand anything anymore." As for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ever the populist: "The game is absolutely gone."

Rio Ferdinand added his fury to the frothing vitriol of social media. "Scrap VAR... an absolute shambles! The fella at Burnley volleyed Longstaff in the face earlier and wasn't a foul... now this! My tv is moments away from being on the patio in 100 pieces," the former United centre-back tweeted.

Ferdinand was comparing the Son incident to one in Newcastle United's earlier win at Burnley, when James Tarkowski was not penalised by VAR for kicking Sean Longstaff in the face while trying to clear from his own box. The message seemed to be that McTominay's errant pinkie was the more egregious, "unnatural" movement. The half-and-half screenshot memes bellowed their disapproval.

The point of retelling this story, at the end of a gripping game where United once more fought back to win away from home, is that that is what VAR is: the story. Everything else in football matches is a subplot. Spectators, who are still confined to watching at home, tune in expecting not the first goal, but the first visit to the pitchside monitor. 'The game' is played out on TV screens, in houses and stadia alike.

So what that Cavani recovered to force Fred's equaliser and then put United ahead? Who cares that Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba, lightning rods for Mourinho jibes in his United days, were standout performers? What does it matter that Spurs are now six points behind the top four and United are getting closer to Manchester City? The game's all the way over there!

Manchester United have been let down by "sloppy results" this season but are constantly improving under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to midfielder Scott McTominay.

Solskjaer's side were eliminated from the FA Cup by Leicester City in the last match before the two-week international break – their first domestic away loss in 30 matches.

United were also knocked out of the EFL Cup by Manchester City at the semi-final stage and exited the Champions League in the group phase earlier in the campaign.

However, the Red Devils have advanced past Real Sociedad and Milan to reach the last eight of the Europa League, where Granada await, while they sit second in the Premier League.

United may be 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand, but McTominay believes they are heading in the right direction.

"We've got a good group of players with top, top quality," he told ESPN.

"People are quite quick to forget how well we've done at times. It's the sloppy results that have let us down. This team is evolving. It's not a time to panic."

McTominay has appeared 39 times for United in all competitions this season, which is the most times he has featured for his boyhood club since making his debut in 2016-17.

He ranks particularly highly among United midfielders in the Premier League this term for duels won, his average of 6.54 per 90 minutes behind only Paul Pogba (8.08).

The Scotland international's game has also improved in other areas since last season.

McTominay's average of 46.54 successful passes per game in the top flight is an increase on 41.59 from last season, while his passing accuracy has gone from 80.91 per cent in 2019-20 to 87.58 this term.

Meanwhile, his tally of four goals puts him behind only Bruno Fernandes (16) in regards to United's highest-scoring midfielders.
 
"'I'm not perfect every game and I know that," McTominay said as he looked ahead to the future. "I've got a lot to improve on but there's also things I do well so I'm just trying to improve and kickstart my game to another level. 

"I just want to do my best. It's about consistency and playing well over the course of a season."

United return to action on Sunday with a Premier League meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford, where they will be aiming to make it six wins in a row against the Seagulls in all competitions, netting exactly three times in the last four.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauded Fred for building a career for himself at Manchester United after a rocky start, with the midfielder preparing to make his 100th appearance for the club.

Fred joined United in 2018 for a reported £52million from Shakhtar Donetsk, the deal seen as a significant coup for the Red Devils after he had been heavily linked with bitter rivals Manchester City. 

Pep Guardiola was said to have seen Fred as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho, but United fans were left underwhelmed by what they saw in his first season at Old Trafford, making just 17 Premier League appearances. 

But he showed signs of improvement last season and has become one of Solskjaer's go-to players for the biggest matches, highlighting the manager's trust. 

In 2019-20, Fred improved virtually across the board statistically, averaging more passes (66.4 to 69.5), interceptions (1.4 to 1.6) and touches (85.3 to 91.1) per game than he had in his first season. 

He has dropped off in some of those areas this term, but his increase in tackle attempts (3.2 from 2.5) and interceptions (at 1.9 this season) per game, coupled with the fact he is losing possession less often (11.5 occasions, down from 14.5 per 90 minutes) suggests he has become more comfortable with his defensive role and the speed of the English game. 

His 3.2 tackles attempted per 90 minutes is the seventh-most of all Premier League players to have featured at least 10 times this term, and Solskjaer has no doubt where the praise should lie. 

"He's really done well. I've enjoyed working with him these past couple of seasons," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom. 

"When I came in, he was a boy who was struggling a little bit. I got numerous questions about Fred in press conferences early on. As I said then, players coming into a new country, it takes time to settle - and it took some time for Fred to settle. 

"He has settled now, he's grown in confidence. There's less time in the Premier League than what he was used to. He's quickened up his game, he's not getting caught on the ball.

"I'm not going to take any credit for that, of course. It's the coaches - I think Michael Carrick and Kieran [McKenna], they've been brilliant with him, but it's Fred himself who has had the hunger and humility to learn and want to improve, stick at it and keep working. 

"There are not a lot of people who can say they've played 100 games for Manchester United. Hopefully there will be many more [games] to come - and hopefully he will score from outside the box soon, but I'm not sure it’s going to be with his right [foot]! I've tried to tell him." 

With Solskjaer confirming Paul Pogba remains sidelined with a thigh injury, Fred looks likely to play again this weekend and his most-likely partner behind Bruno Fernandes will be another United midfielder who has attracted praise this season. 

Scott McTominay scored the extra-time winner as United beat West Ham 1-0 on Tuesday to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals, taking the Scotland international's tally for the season to seven goals. 

Only Bruno Fernandes (18) and Marcus Rashford (16) have more than McTominay across all competitions in 2020-21, with Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani also on seven each, and Solskjaer is urging the midfielder to reach double figures. 

"Of course, to add goals from midfield is vital," Solskjaer continued. "Last season our three forwards were brilliant and really efficient and scored goals - 60 odd - and Bruno came in and scored goals. 

"We need more goals from midfield and Scott does have that ability to go box-to-box. He's a threat inside the box and he used to be a striker. 

"I think for us to move up the league and be successful in the cups, we need our forwards to keep on firing - getting more goals - and I wouldn't mind some midfielders adding a few.

"If Scott can get into double figures then that would be a very good season for a so-called defensive midfielder."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the pain of the late collapse against Everton inspired Manchester United to edge past West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round.

Scott McTominay's goal, seven minutes into extra-time, earned United a 1-0 win over the Hammers in a match the Red Devils dominated, leading the shot count 17-3.

Three days earlier, Solskjaer's side let a 2-0 lead slip and then conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 3-3 draw against Everton that dented their Premier League title bid.

Following some soul-searching after dropping the precious points at Old Trafford, Solskjaer believes United responded in the best way possible to advance to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

"We needed to have a good result and a good feeling today because we were low after the Everton game. It's hard to take but they were really focused and did the job," Solskjaer said.

"Of course you want to win every game. We want to challenge and we want to go to the final. That's what we're here at Manchester United for.

"Sometimes you're lucky with draws in the cup – we haven't been that lucky – but obviously we move another step closer to the final."

Manchester United eventually saw off West Ham 1-0 after extra-time to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, substitute Scott McTominay getting the winner at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the opportunity to give a few United fringe players opportunities to impress but ultimately had to turn to his regulars on the bench, with McTominay the one to make the difference.

United were frustrated in the first half as they struggled to make the most of their dominance over a West Ham side who offered very little in attack, with Victor Lindelof going closest for the hosts when denied by the upright.

Aside from United managing fewer shots, the pattern of the match hardly deviated after the break and it was no surprise to see it remain goalless at the end of the regulation 90 minutes.

But the hosts' superiority told in the end with West Ham unable to cancel out McTominay's 97th-minute strike.

It quickly became apparent that West Ham's plan was to pack their defence with as many players as possible and it was nearly undone just 11 minutes in, but Anthony Martial was denied by a crucial Angelo Ogbonna intervention that resulted in the Italian sustaining an injury.

But United's best chance fell to Lindelof in the 27th minute, his header from an Alex Telles corner taking a slight deflection before Lukasz Fabianski tipped it on to the post.

West Ham lost Ogbonna's replacement Issa Diop – who had clashed heads with Martial – at half-time as the recently introduced concussion substitution was used for the first time in English football, and they soon saw Andriy Yarmolenko forced off as well, former Manchester United trainee Ademipo Odubeko replacing him.

United wasted another chance a minute before Yarmolenko's exit, as Fabianski rushed out to thwart Marcus Rashford after Mason Greenwood's low cross was deflected through.

Extra-time was inevitable despite the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani coming on, but a penalty shootout was not necessary, with McTominay running on to Rashford's smart lay-off and rifling a low volley into the bottom-right corner.

Manchester United's forwards have their "mojo" back after leading Tuesday's remarkable 9-0 demolition of nine-man Southampton at Old Trafford.

It was only the third instance of a team winning a Premier League match by nine goals and the first time United have won by that margin since March 1995, when they beat Ipswich Town by the same score.

While Andy Cole was the five-goal inspiration in that 1995 win, this time United shared the goals around – seven players netted on Tuesday, making it only the second occasion so many different individuals have netted for the same team in a single Premier League match.

Among them were Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, providing the perfect response to Solskjaer's pre-match comments maligning the loss of his forwards' "mojo".

"Yeah, of course they have," Solskjaer said with a laugh to BT Sport when asked if they had recovered that "mojo".

"You get lots of confidence from a performance like this and the result, scoring goals is always good for forwards and the team."

He added: "We have been waiting for them to show their magic and tonight was a night they could go and enjoy.

"We haven't had too many of those where you can sit down in the second half and enjoy the football, so they enjoyed it. There were some good performances."

Alexandre Jankewitz's red card for a shocking second-minute tackle on Scott McTominay – who was also among the scorers – left Saints with an uphill battle, and Jan Bednarek followed him down the tunnel in the second half in rather more controversial circumstances.

But the focus will be on United's scoring prowess in the contest, as they put Saints to the sword.

Rashford's goal saw him move on to 83 for the club, overtaking Eric Cantona, and Solskjaer took the moment to praise the England international as he has occasionally had to contend with critics urging him to concentrate on his football amid his charitable efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's not bad," Solskjaer said of Rashford surpassing Cantona. "Eric was a fantastic player to play with and Marcus has a great career ahead of him.

"What he's done this season, this year, it just shows he can still focus on his football as well."

Manchester United got back to winning ways in the Premier League by obliterating nine-man Southampton 9-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday. 

After following a shock home loss to Sheffield United with a goalless draw at Arsenal, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side responded in record-equalling style after young Alex Jankewitz had been sent off within two minutes of kick-off. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka opened the scoring before Marcus Rashford ended a six-game run without a league goal, with the contest effectively killed before half-time through a Jan Bednarek own goal and a header from Edinson Cavani. 

Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James and a double from Anthony Martial in the second half, with Bednarek also dismissed, helped the Red Devils match their biggest ever Premier League victory and inflicted a second 9-0 loss on Ralph Hasenhuttl in his career as Saints boss. 

Jankewitz's full Premier League debut ended in a hurry, the midfielder given a straight red card for a high challenge on McTominay. 

The home side got the breakthrough 18 minutes in, Wan-Bissaka cushioning a fine Luke Shaw cross into the bottom-left corner after a long Victor Lindelof pass had disrupted the defence. 

Shaw was key to the second seven minutes later too, driving into the box and feeding Mason Greenwood, whose cross was side-footed firmly past Alex McCarthy by Rashford. 

David de Gea made a good save from a James Ward-Prowse free-kick, but United were soon 3-0 up, the previously excellent Bednarek turning Rashford's cross into his own net. 

Cavani miscued from a Wan-Bissaka cross but made no mistake six minutes before the interval, steering a firm header past McCarthy from another precise Shaw delivery. 

VAR intervened to disallow a second-half consolation goal from Che Adams, the Saints striker penalised for a fractional offside following a quick free-kick from Ward-Prowse. 

Martial made it 5-0, taking down Fernandes' pass on the chest and firing high into the net, with McTominay then fizzing in a strike from outside the box two minutes later.

Fernandes converted from the penalty spot after Bednarek was sent off for a trip on Martial, who went on to add an eighth goal, though it was James who capped a stunning result with a clever flick from close range in added time.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Scott McTominay as a "monster of a human being" after his goal sealed a 1-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup third round on Saturday. 

McTominay, captaining United at Old Trafford, headed home Alex Telles' corner in the fifth minute to secure United's 34th victory from their last 36 third-round ties. 

It was the Scotland international's fourth goal of the season in all competitions, one short of his best tally in a single campaign (five goals in 37 appearances last term).

"Scott has had a very good season," Solskjaer told BBC Sport. "He is being more and more dangerous, we know he can be a box-to-box midfielder.

"He should have scored a few more on set-plays before now because he is a monster of a human being. I am very happy he got the goal."

United did not have it all their own way against the Hornets, who attempted 18 shots in the match – the second-most they have had away from home this season. 

"The most important thing in the cup is that you go through so that will make everyone happy but the first 15-20 minutes I think were the highlights of our game," Solskjaer added. 

"I think we played some very good stuff, created chances and then we let them back into the game but we are through.

"I'm delighted we are through. I told them I didn't expect them to start like a house on fire. I expected them to grow into the game. The opposite happened more or less. We started brightly."

McTominay captained United for the first time and led by example, completing 45 of 56 attempted passes, creating one chance and making a joint team-high three clearances.

The 24-year-old told BT Sport: "When the manager told me it was a surreal moment. 

"I've been here since I had just turned five, so that's 18 or 19 years associated with the club and it is a huge honour. I love this club and it has been my whole life."

McTominay and goalkeeper Dean Henderson were the only two players to keep their places from the side that lost to Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday and the midfielder acknowledged a general lack of match fitness may have contributed to United's sluggish second-half display. 

"We started really well and then for the first half an hour we were really good, moved the ball really well and there was some good combination play," McTominay added.

"Then we couldn't find it after that as well. The second half I didn't think we played anywhere near our level.

"For the boys coming into the team it is difficult, they haven't played for a long time. The manager said 'get your rhythm' and he probably wasn't expecting the rhythm we got in the first 30 minutes. But then there were some tired minds, but credit to the boys."

Scott McTominay scored the only goal of the game as Manchester United booked their spot in the FA Cup fourth round with a slender 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday. 

McTominay was one of only two survivors from the EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday and the midfielder – captaining the Red Devils for the first time – headed his side in front after just five minutes.  

Eric Bailly and Juan Mata squandered good chances to extend United's lead before the interval, while Dean Henderson had to be alert to thwart Adam Masina.  

United rarely threatened a second during a dismal second half but they saw things out with the minimum of fuss to inflict a 10th straight defeat for the Hornets at Old Trafford.  

The hosts wasted little time stamping their authority on the tie, McTominay heading home his fourth goal of the season from Alex Telles' outswinging corner in the fifth minute.  

United goalkeeper Henderson was out quickly to deny Masina soon after, while Bailly flashed a header wide from another dangerous Telles ball into the penalty area.  

Mata fired straight at Daniel Bachmann following a superb flicked pass from Donny van de Beek as United ultimately failed to add to their advantage before half-time.  

Solskjaer brought on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial with just over 20 minutes remaining in a desperate bid to inject some life into the home team’s stuttering attack.  

Rashford should have put the seal on the win, but his low effort after a fine run was too close to Bachmann.

 

Manchester United pair Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been ruled out of Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final tie with Everton.

McTominay scored twice in Sunday's 6-2 win over Leeds United but was forced off late on with a groin issue, while Wan-Bissaka sustained an injury in the same match.

Both players will play no part in the midweek trip Everton but could be back in contention for the Boxing Day clash with Leicester City in the Premier League.

Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the news to MUTV on Tuesday, saying: "Those two will miss the game against Everton definitely.

"Hopefully, it won't be too long. They'll be out but, apart from that, I think everyone is, more or less, okay."

McTominay was hailed as a "physical monster" by Solskjaer after scoring the earliest brace in Premier League history against Leeds, netting his two goals in the opening 170 seconds. 

He also assisted Daniel James for United's fifth goal against Leeds from one of the three chances he created, while also weighing in with a game-high five clearances.

Right-back Wan-Bissaka tops the Premier League charts for tackles won (24), meanwhile, with Southampton loanee Kyle Walker-Peters next on the list with 23.

The pair have started one game each in United's run to the last eight of the EFL Cup, with Premier League rivals Everton next up for Solskjaer's men.

Solskjaer has already confirmed Jesse Lingard will be part of the squad but gave little away when asked about the possibility of starting fellow fringe players Juan Mata and Odion Ighalo.

"I'm not going to give you the team!", he said. "But we will make a few changes. 

"There have been a few players playing in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season and some will need a rest after the Leeds game. So it will be a fresh team."

United are looking to reach the EFL Cup semi-finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Manchester United claimed just their second home win of the Premier League season in emphatic fashion as they swatted aside Leeds United 6-2.

Marcelo Bielsa's team have gone toe-to-toe with most teams this season, but came off on the wrong side of a rout in an encounter which saw 43 attempts on goal.

United leapfrogged Tottenham to move into the top four, with Jose Mourinho's side going down 2-0 to Leicester City earlier on Sunday.

Sam Allardyce got his West Brom tenure off to a losing start, while Brighton and Hove Albion denied Sheffield United their first victory of 2020-21.

Manchester United 6-2 Leeds United: McTominay sets the tone

Sunday's headline fixture wasted no time in serving up the entertainment. Man United shared the points with Manchester City in a dismal derby in their previous home match, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side mustered 26 attempts as they thrashed Leeds this time out.

Scott McTominay got things up and running with a quickfire double – his opener coming after just 66 seconds, with the midfielder then doubling his tally with a tidy close-range finish.

McTominay's efforts put Man United 2-0 within 170 seconds, the quickest a team has scored twice from the start of a Premier League game since Arsenal netted two inside 164 seconds against Newcastle United in February 2011, a 4-4 draw.

The double also made McTominay the first player in Premier League history to score twice in the first three minutes of a match, and Bruno Fernandes drilled in to make it 3-0 in the 20th minute, the earliest the Red Devils have scored three times from the start of a top-flight game since August 2006.

Goals from Victor Lindelof and Daniel James, combined with a penalty from Fernandes, saw United score six times in a Premier League game for the first time since their 8-2 win over Arsenal in 2011.

United have played more home Premier League games against Leeds without losing than against any other club (P13 W9 D4), while it is the first time a club side managed by Bielsa have conceded six goals in a competitive match since his Newell's Old Boys team lost 6-0 to San Lorenzo in the Copa Libertadores in February 1992.

Since his debut in February, Fernandes has both scored and assisted a goal in seven different Premier League games – only Matt Le Tissier in 1994 (eight) and Mohamed Salah in 2018 (nine) have done so on more occasions in a single calendar year in the competition's history.

Tottenham 0-2 Leicester City: No more Mourinho woe for Rodgers

Tottenham suffered a second straight Premier League defeat as Leicester returned to winning ways in style, with Brendan Rodgers claiming his first victory in all competitions against a Mourinho team.

Leicester's opener came from the spot, with Jamie Vardy lashing in his sixth penalty of the season after Serge Aurier's foul on James Justin was spotted by the VAR in first-half stoppage time. The Ivory Coast full-back has conceded four penalties in the Premier League since 2017-18, second only to David Luiz (five).

Vardy has now been directly involved in seven goals (five goals, two assists) in seven Premier League away games against Spurs, with the 33-year-old becoming the first player to score an away goal against an opponent at three different venues in the competition (White Hart Lane, Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium).

James Maddison had a goal disallowed by the VAR for a marginal offside, but Vardy was involved again as Leicester got their second midway through the second half, his header diverted in off Toby Alderweireld, who has scored three own goals for Spurs in the Premier League, a joint-high with Harry Kane.

The victory moved Leicester into second place, and the Foxes will be in the top two places of the top flight at Christmas in consecutive seasons for the first time in their history.

West Brom 0-3 Aston Villa: No Big Sam bounce for Baggies

A 1-1 draw at Manchester City was not enough to keep Slaven Bilic in the hot seat at West Brom, but his successor got off to a dismal start.

Allardyce's team went down 3-0 to Aston Villa, with captain Jake Livermore seeing red as goals from Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore claimed the points.

Villa's return of 22 points after 12 games is their best in the Premier League since 2001-02, when they finished eighth, while West Brom have only one win 14 games into a league season for just the third time, after 1985-86 and 2004-05.

It was only the second time Allardyce lost his first Premier League game in charge of a side (W5 D1), the previous occasion coming against West Brom as Sunderland manager in October 2015.

Allardyce has plenty of work to do. In England's top four tiers, only Southend United (-20) have a poorer goal difference than West Brom (-19).

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Sheffield United: Ten-man Blades made to wait

Chris Wilder's Sheffield United looked set to clinch their first victory of the season, only to be denied late on by Danny Welbeck, who snatched a 1-1 draw for Brighton.

The Blades had John Lundstram sent off in the first half, but Jayden Bogle's goal on his Premier League debut put them ahead – three of the full-back's four league goals have come away from home.

Bogle joins Brian Deane (1992), Willie Falconer (1993), Rob Hulse (2006) and Billy Sharp (2019) in netting on his Premier League bow for the Blades.

Brighton, meanwhile, are winless in their past 11 league home games – only once in their league history have they gone longer without a win at home (12 games between October 1997 and February 1998).

United sit bottom on two points from 14 games. It is the lowest total by an English top-flight side at this stage of a campaign (counting three points for a win).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded his "physical monster" Scott McTominay after the Manchester United midfielder made Premier League history in the demolition of rivals Leeds United.

Man United tore visitors Leeds apart at Old Trafford in a 6-2 success, with the first two goals coming inside three minutes.

McTominay scored both, the earliest brace ever in the competition, as he turned in a dominant individual display.

The Scotland international also assisted Daniel James for the fifth goal from one of three chances created, while he covered 10.8 kilometres - third-most among Man United players - and weighed in defensively with a game-high five clearances.

Although McTominay hobbled off in stoppage time, nursing a groin issue, Solskjaer pointed to the player's immense energy at the heart of the team as key; the notoriously hard-working Leeds ran only 2.6km further than the Norwegian's side.

"We knew they have high energy and intense moments," the manager said. "But the movements of the front lads and the cleanliness of some of the moves allowed Scott to have space in front of him with the ball at his feet.

"He's a physical monster. He does all his work, every single day meticulously. He never shirks anything.

"And he gets his reward for his fitness and his technical work as well. He's improving, with space in front of him he can run.

"He can do everything. He used to be a striker; he can score goals. I think he proved today that he's a handful in and around the box as well.

"So, I'm very pleased with him. That energy and pride in a derby like this were important."

Indeed, while a fast start meant Man United did not have to come from behind as they have in each away league game this term, Solskjaer referred to his team's fitness and ability to fight until the final whistle when analysing their progress over the past two years.

Solskjaer oversaw the win against Leeds a day after his two-year anniversary as manager at Old Trafford.

"Of course, it's easier to sit here today and say that I'm seeing more and more of a Man United team that I like," he said. "I think I've enjoyed the two years.

"I really enjoyed today because I think we matched them physically, which is one of the big points for me. As a footballer, you have to be fit. The fitter you are, the more you can do.

"That was one of the main things when I came in. I want a fit team and the attitude to go to the end. I think we've proven that lately.

"And of course, there are details to work on and we'll keep on improving."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dedicated Manchester United's victory over Leeds United to the absent home fans, wishing they had been inside Old Trafford to witness a 'fantastic' display. 

The Red Devils moved up to third in the Premier League, within five points of leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, thanks to an emphatic 6-2 triumph on Sunday. 

Scott McTominay scored the competition's earliest ever brace in the first 170 seconds, while Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof also netted before half-time. 

Daniel James and Fernandes, this time from the penalty spot, were on target after the break, helping Manchester United score six in a league game for the first time since thrashing Arsenal 8-2 in August 2011. 

"That was fantastic," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. "From the first minute we had a plan to get after them, go forward when we got the ball, and of course Scott gets two goals in the first three minutes - a great start to the game.

"Just imagine if that had 75,000 people here - it would have gone down in history as one of the great Manchester United performances against Leeds at home." 

Manchester United managed more goals in the first half against Leeds than they managed in their first six home Premier League games of the season (three), winning only one of those fixtures. 

Solskjaer's side scored from six of their 26 attempts, 14 of which were on target, in an end-to-end match that saw 43 efforts in total - the most in a Premier League match this season. 

"You have to earn the right to win it by running even more than them. That's the challenge against Leeds, who are one of the fittest teams in the league," Solskjaer said. 

"They man-mark, of course, so there was a couple of moves that we worked on, which worked at times. It should - it could - have been 12-4.  

"You know it's going to be frantic, hectic against them. No matter what the result, whether you're up 5-0 or 5-0 down, they have a certain attitude and style that makes you have to work, have to concentrate every minute." 

James, who was on the brink of joining Leeds from Swansea City in January 2019, was handed a first Premier League start in two months and scored his first goal in the competition in 33 appearances. 

He covered more distance and managed more sprints than any player on the pitch, which Solskjaer hopes is a sign of things to come from the Wales winger. 

"The goal will give Dan James a lot of confidence," Solskjaer told BBC Sport.

"He's been biding his time, been patient, been working hard and he's still as fit as a fiddle and I was very, very pleased for him." 

However, McTominay stole the headlines with his early double, profiting from some sloppy Leeds play as the visitors struggled to adapt to the fast-paced nature of the game. 

"It was a good game for me," McTominay told Sky Sports. "I'm used to playing high energy, high-tempo football matches. For us as a team, I thought we played really well today and deserved the six goals.  

"Everybody knows with Leeds that they are an amazing team with an amazing coach. I feel like the detail they go into both on and off the ball is high, and we knew it as well. We've done a lot of analysis on them. 

"For me, I feel like the manager fully trusted me to do a job today and obviously it pays off when you get six goals." 

United legend Gary Neville compared McTominay to a mixture between Roy Keane and Paul Scholes while on commentary for Sky Sports, but the Scotland international refused to get too carried away. 

"You just go on the pitch to do your job. It's nice to score two goals and the team did a really good job," he said.

Scott McTominay scored twice in the opening three minutes as Manchester United cruised to a 6-2 win over Leeds United in Sunday's epic Premier League clash.

The midfielder drilled home inside 66 seconds and added a second with a calm finish 104 seconds later - the fastest a player has ever netted a brace in the competition.

Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof joined the scoring at Old Trafford, before Leeds defender Liam Cooper pulled one back prior to half-time.

Daniel James and Fernandes - this time from the penalty spot - then made it six after the break, the first time Man United had tallied a half-dozen in the league since the August 2011 8-2 demolition of Arsenal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side climbed to third with the emphatic win, although it was Leeds' Stuart Dallas who rounded off the scoring with a consolation, bringing an end to a barmy encounter.

Man United were quick out of the blocks in the first league meeting between the two rivals in over 16 years, McTominay firing a low first-time shot past Illan Meslier after Fernandes carried the ball forward and teed up his team-mate.

Anthony Martial held off Luke Ayling and played in McTominay for a quickfire second, the Scotland international picking out the same bottom-right corner with his precise finish.

Leeds created some promising opportunities and Patrick Bamford correctly had a goal chalked off for offside, but they were three down when Fernandes ran onto a loose ball and fired across Meslier.

The visitors have made a habit of conceding from set-pieces this season and were again undone by a simple delivery into the box, with Martial helping on Luke Shaw's corner for Lindelof to poke in.

Cooper gave Leeds just a glimmer of hope with a header that David De Gea, restored to the line-up in place of Dean Henderson, could not keep out despite getting a hand to the ball.

Former Leeds transfer target James scored Man United's fifth midway through the second half, though, with a shot through the legs of Meslier after taking McTominay's pass - intended for Fernandes - in his stride.

Fernandes then piled on the misery from the penalty spot following substitute Pascal Struijk's challenge on Martial inside the box, rendering Dallas' sensational goal from 25 yards nothing more than a consolation. 

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