Jadon Sancho could barely contain his excitement as his replacement Alejandro Garnacho scored a valuable second goal for Manchester United to put the game on the way at Elland Road in a narrow 2-1 victory. The England international winger has been making his first start since returning to manager Erik ten Hag’s side after such an extensive hiatus that he has even been put on his personal training program in the Netherlands.
While Sancho fell short of his midweek peak when he scored the equaliser, he is now showing he is part of this team again after being disappointed earlier in the season.
At the time, Sancho wasn’t amused by the football he gave and appeared on the pitch, but that has now changed and Ten Hag deserves huge credit for managing his player’s mentality, fitness and general well-being.
Sancho’s passion was evident when Garnacho broke his left flank and fired United’s second goal past Ilan Meslier – despite being substituted.
He quickly got out of his seat in the dugout and was screaming loudly as he celebrated the goal with the rest of the United bench behind Ten Hag.
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It was Sancho’s partner-in-crime Marcus Rashford who scored the first goal when he returned Luke Shaw’s cross with a professional header.
Substitute Garnacho then gifted United a goal when he finished the game confidently on the counter-attack, much to the delight of his manager.
Then Wout Weghorst thought he had made it 3-0 but was ruled to have been offside after turning the ball home after a knock-down by Harry Maguire.
Then Rashford also saw a second goal conceded when he volleyed the ball across Meslier and into the bottom corner of the net.
Ten Hag recently announced that he felt he had made the right decision to cut Sancho out of the United squad despite his immediate return to form.
“It is clearly a difficult period that he has found himself out of. I am happy and proud that he did it,” said Ten Hag.
“So I will support him, the coaches will support him, the team will support him and support him in the process and ultimately he has to do it himself.”
Sancho explained he was on cloud nine midweek when he took to social media after scoring against Leeds, writing: “I can’t tell you how much I missed that feeling! The team showed great character to stay in the game, we go again at the weekend.”
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