Rashford, Sancho answer taunts with goals to get Man U point

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — In the face of cruel taunts from Leeds fans, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho responded in style.

Both players scored in a rousing second-half fightback as Manchester United came from behind on Wednesday to salvage a 2-2 draw in the Premier League.

“You let your country down,” chanted the away section at Old Trafford, in reference to the United forwards missing penalties in England's Euro 2020 final shootout defeat to Italy.

But by the end of the game Rashford had scored his 20th goal of the season in all competitions to start United's comeback and Sancho had equalized to mark his return to the first team.

Sancho's contribution felt particularly significant after he was given time off earlier this season in a bid to kick-start his career.

“I am really happy he is in the right direction, I hope he can keep his momentum going and I am sure it will strengthen him and motivate him even more,” said United manager Erik ten Hag. “He is a brilliant footballer and if he can invest in the right levels he can be outstanding.”

Both Rashford and Sancho have taken time to get back on track after the disappointment of the Euros, which saw them subjected to racist abuse afterward, along with Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, who also missed a penalty.

Rashford, however, is producing possibly the finest form of his career this season, while Saka is a key part of Arsenal's title challenge.

It has not been the same story for Sancho, who has struggled for consistency since joining United from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2021.

That led to Ten Hag giving him a break until he came on as a substitute against Nottingham Forest last week in what was his first appearance since October.

With United looking like suffering a shock defeat to relegation-fighting Leeds after going 2-0 down early in the second half, Sancho was given his chance to make an impact and didn't disappoint with a clinical finish to salvage a draw.

“I wanted a different dynamic. In that moment we weren’t in the game. Luckily it succeeded because we scored two goals," Ten Hag said. “He’s all the way back. We know he’s a magnificent player. I think consistently he can have a big impact.”

As rousing as United's fightback was, it couldn't shake the sense that its title ambitions had been dealt a blow.

Leeds, without a manager following the firing of Jesse Marsch on Monday and facing a desperate fight for survival, came close to consigning United to a first home defeat in the league since the opening day of the season after goals from Wilfried Gnonto after just 55 seconds and Raphael Varane's own-goal early in the second half.

Rashford and Sancho rescued a point, but United remains seven off leader Arsenal, having played two games more.

“Mixed feelings. Of course in the end we were happy to win a point — but we dropped two points," Ten Hag said. "It’s a very bad start, unacceptable, especially in a derby you have to be ready to battle and take responsibility. We didn’t do that.”


Fulham booked its place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win in its replay with Sunderland.

Harry Wilson and Andreas Pereira put the Premier League club in control, but Jack Clarke pulled one back for the home team.

Layvin Kurzawa made it 3-1 before Jewison Bennette struck for second-tier Sunderland.

Fulham faces Leeds in the next round.


James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

James Robson, The Associated Press