Rangnick said he subbed Pogba vs Leeds because he was tiring

Paul Pogba was one of Manchester United’s best players in the 4-2 victory over Leeds, which meant it was something of a surprise when he was replaced by Fred with a goal needed to go back in front.

Leeds’ man marking system sets up individual duels all over the pitch and Pogba was winning his with Adam Forshaw fairly emphatically.

That said, Fred made an instant impact and fellow substitute Anthony Elanga made the game safe so Ralf Rangnick deserves credit for his changes.

Rangnick was asked about the alterations by Sky Sports after the game and shed some light on why he took Pogba off for Fred when he did.

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“It is easy to say that afterwards,” replied Rangnick when asked if he got added satisfaction from the fact two of his substitutes scored.

“But I think we needed that intensity. Paul, I wouldn’t say he was tired, but he was a little bit tiring out which is normal after his long injury break.

“And with Fred and Anthony Elanga, we had two energetic players on the bench and we decided to take those subs pretty early.”

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

There is also the Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid coming up on Wednesday night and perhaps Rangnick will need Pogba to play 90 minutes in that one.

Not many people would have predicted that it would be Fred to put United back in front but he did score in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season.

United have given up leads too readily lately and they did the same thing here but the difference was that they went again in really tough circumstances.

That should build confidence and momentum ahead of the return of the Champions League and Rangnick juggling his squad as well as he did today helps too.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.