Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof vows to keep fighting through the pain after contending with back and knee injuries to help Red Devils earn thumping win over Leeds
- Victor Lindelof promised to keep fighting through pain for Manchester United
- Lindelof has admitted he has been struggling with a back problem for months
- The Swedish centre back admitted he picked up knee injury before Leeds win
- The Red Devils will be just two points off Liverpool if they win their game in hand
Victor Lindelof vowed to keep sacrificing himself for the team after gritting his teeth to ‘play through the pain’ and help Manchester United maintain their title push with a stunning win against rivals Leeds.
Things could have unraveled after this month’s crushing Champions League exit, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have reacted well by drawing with neighbours Manchester City before coming back to win at Sheffield United on Thursday.
United went on to produce an eye-catching 6-2 win against bitter rivals Leeds, with Sunday’s victory propelling the side up to third in the Premier League and within five points of leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof admitted he played through the pain vs Leeds
Talk is growing over a first sustained title push since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as champion in 2013, and Lindelof pointed to growing confidence within the dressing room.
‘The most important thing for us is that we’re focusing on one game at a time and that’s what we’ve been doing lately,’ he said.
‘We have been performing good and also we have got some good results. Obviously when you win games you gain more confidence and that’s what we’ve been doing lately.
‘That’s how we want to approach the game. We always want to win. We never want to stop. (Against Leeds) it was 4-1 going into half-time and then we knew still Leeds wouldn’t stop running and stop fighting.
Lindelof and Harry Maguire (right) have formed a crucial partnership at centre back for United
‘Especially in the second half, we showed again the right mentality to keep on doing the things we know we can do. I am very pleased with the performance and the mentality as always was amazing today as well.’
The collective attitude is boosted by the kind of individual character shown by Lindelof.
Already contending with a nagging back issue, the Sweden defender could easily have missed the Leeds game after taking a blow to the knee in Thursday’s 3-2 win at Sheffield United.
He added: ‘It’s been tough. I’ve been struggling a lot with my back over the past couple of months, so it’s very important for me to do the treatment and recovery right.
‘And then against Sheffield, I got a bad knock on my knee so I was 50-50 for this game, but I managed to go out there and play even though I had pain. I just want to help the team and I’m happy we got the win today.’
The 26-year-old Sweden international scored in a strong 6-2 victory against Leeds on Sunday
Lindelof’s determination to be involved was rewarded by a rare goal in a wild first half in which Scott McTominay’s early brace set the tone.
Bruno Fernandes also grabbed a pair and Daniel James found the net in a game Solskjaer said could have ended 12-4.
‘Obviously it was a good game,’ Lindelof continued. ‘We managed to score six goals and we could have scored some more. But overall a good performance and a good result for us.
‘We knew that Leeds run a lot and we knew the start was going to be important for us. They’re always working hard so to get two goals early on in the game was important and obviously the start we wanted to have.’
United will look to continue their fine form when they take on Everton in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.
‘At this club you always want to win stuff so it’s an important game coming up on Wednesday for us,’ Lindelof said, having reached three cup semi-finals last season.
‘Games come quick now so you just have to do the recovery right and be prepared for every game. The depth we have in the squad is also very important for us going into this period of games. But, like I say, we want to win things, obviously, and every opportunity we get we want to win and to improve.’
Lindelof is desperate to bounce back in the domestic cups after their Champions League exit
There is no midweek cup action for Leeds, who will be stewing on the heavy Old Trafford defeat over Christmas.
Stuart Dallas, who scored a late stunner on Sunday, said: ‘We’ve got to bounce back.
‘We’ve got to learn from this, because I don’t think there are too many positives we can take from this, there is plenty we can learn from. I suppose the only positive we can take is that we kept going until the very end.’
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