FPL review: Rashford scores again, Shaw hauls

We assess the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Manchester United’s victory over Leeds United in our latest Scout Notes piece.

The numbers you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.

Four days after their 2-2 draw at Old Trafford, Leeds and Man Utd locked horns again in Yorkshire. This time, Erik ten Hag’s troops came out on top, courtesy of Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) and Alejandro Garnacho (£4.2m) goals.

In the first half, United showed little attacking threat beyond a Bruno Fernandes (£9.9m) effort which was well saved by Illan Meslier (£4.5m). Wout Weghorst (£6.0m) was anonymous, with their performance highlighting just how much they miss Casemiro (£4.9m) and Christian Eriksen (£6.3m) in midfield.

“A long time in the game, we didn’t [play football]. Our passing accuracy was not that good. I think our players have better skills and they make so many passing mistakes and then you don’t get composure in the game. You don’t get calmness in the game. We were too hectic to go too quickly for the goal, or the extra pass is played.” – Erik ten Hag


A lack of control hampered United until they made changes, with Lisandro Martinez (£4.5m) and Garnacho introduced just after the hour mark. Diogo Dalot (£4.7) rattled the crossbar shortly after before Rashford opened the scoring on 80 minutes. Leeds must be sick of the sight of him, with two goals in two games in the space of a few days against them.

Admittedly, it wasn’t the best performance by Rashford, but it was a lovely ball in from Luke Shaw (£5.3m) and a great header. United’s number 10 has now scored eight goals in nine Premier League appearances since the World Cup, racking up 74 points, 15 more than any other FPL player.

“I was saying to him ‘what a strike’. It is what he is aiming for every game. I told him at the start of the season, in every game, you will come into a position to score a goal and you have the capabilities to score. So it’s keeping that focus over 90 or 95 minutes. If you do that, you see that he can score with his left, right and his head. He is a great striker, in my perspective. When he makes his good movements, with this team, he will always get some scoring positions and then it is about finishing. He has the capabilities, the physical and technical skills to finish but also the physical capabilities to run there, to move there with the speed. He has athleticism, also to jump, and then it is about mentality to keep the focus and the belief that he will score.” – Erik ten Hag on Marcus Rashford


As for Shaw, he spent most of the match at centre-back alongside Harry Maguire (£4.7m). That reduced his attacking threat from open play, but his whipped corners caused problems all afternoon and he finally got his assist after reverting to his usual left-back position. Up until that point, Tyrell Malacia (£4.2m) was handed a defensive full-back/midfield role, often inverting into more central areas.

Explaining his tactical decisions, which also saw Weghorst moved into a number 10 role behind Rashford, Erik ten Hag said…

“I want to play my full-back inside. In my perspective, the best at that is Tyrell Malacia and I think he did well in the first half. I think, in possession, he was maybe one of the only players who played in a good level in the first 60 minutes but, because we make such mistakes, I chose to change there and made the subs who worked out very well. Ty [played] in the midfield and then [played] on the outside: he was really good with the ball, stopping [Crysencio] Summerville, except in one moment, but for the rest, I think he played a really good game.

Wout [Weghorst], as a second striker, a no.10. I know him from [his] youth that he can play there. With Bruno [Fernandes] on the right and Garnacho on the left, it was a dynamic to change the game and I think we can benefit from it. I think Rashford as a striker, Wout on the no.10 position and Bruno on the right brought more composure to our game.” – Erik ten Hag


Raphael Varane (£4.8m) was rested on Sunday having played a lot of games recently, with United’s packed forthcoming schedule clearly on ten Hag’s mind.

Today’s trip to Leeds is followed by two UEFA Europa League matches against Barcelona, an EFL Cup final with Newcastle United, an FA Cup fifth-round tie against West Ham United and Premier League clashes with Leicester City and Liverpool – all by the first weekend in March.

Throw in a long injury list, and it promises to be a testing few weeks.

  • Thursday 16 February: Barcelona (a) – UEFA Europa League
  • Sunday 19 February: Leicester City (h) – Gameweek 24
  • Thursday 23 February: Barcelona (h) – UEFA Europa League
  • Sunday 26 February: Newcastle (n) – EFL Cup final
  • Wednesday 1 March: West Ham United (h) – FA Cup fifth round
  • Sunday 5 March: Liverpool (a) – Gameweek 26


For much of the match, Leeds did not look like a side struggling near the bottom of the table. They gave Man Utd a real test but lacked that bit of quality and composure in the attacking third.

As a result, it’s now just six goals scored in eight post-World Cup games, a period that sees them rank 16th for minutes per expected goal (xG, 87.1).

Against United, the majority of their threat stemmed from their right flank, with budget midfielder Crysencio Summerville (£4.2m) going close on several occasions. However, Wilfried Gnonto (£5.0m), Leeds’ main man in recent weeks, had a quieter afternoon while Patrick Bamford (£7.2m) was largely ineffective and hooked on 58 minutes.

Worryingly, Leeds are without a win in nine games, equalling a club record set in 1997, and are just one point above the relegation zone. They will now hope to have a new manager in place by the time they visit Everton in a relegation six-pointer on Saturday.

“The first goal at the top level is so important, if we had taken one of those early chances, I really fancied us to go on and win the game. The players have given everything, they have been really focused and professional, really hard-working, they’re a really good group and I’ve just told them this is a positive moment because we pushed Manchester United for 80 minutes in a good way. We keep pushing and keep going so we can start getting points to stay in this league.” – Michael Skubala

Leeds United XI: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Wober, Firpo; McKennie (Greenwood 86), Adams; Summerville, Harrison (Aaronson 73), Gnonto; Bamford (Rutter 58)

Manchester United XI: de Gea; Dalot (Wan-Bissaka 73), Maguire, Shaw, Malacia (Martinez 61); Sabitzer, Fred; Sancho (Garnacho 61), Fernandes, Rashford (Elanga 90+1); Weghorst

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