Football: Solskjaer hails forward options after Bruno's hat-trick in rampant win over Leeds

Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes in control during the English Premier League match against Leeds at Old Trafford on Aug 14, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

MANCHESTER (REUTERS) - Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his squad has plenty of goals in it and he does not expect the team to be over-reliant on Bruno Fernandes again, after the Portuguese midfielder's hat-trick led United to a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds United.

Fernandes was United's top scorer with 18 Premier League goals last season, seven more than the next-highest scorer, and was again crucial to his side as his first hat-trick for the club inspired United to a fine opening day victory.

"It has been a very, very good day," Solskjaer said. "When Bruno gets goals like this, timing his runs, it does not really matter who scores. We definitely have loads of forwards who can chip in. He will not have that burden on himself.

"You can see the forwards we have in this team with Mason (Greenwood), Jadon (Sancho), Marcus (Rashford), Anthony (Martial), Dan (James) - they can play in different positions. Edinson Cavani is the only one who has a fixed position.

"We should leave them to enjoy and develop their careers. The goals will come."

United have not mounted a sustained title challenge since Alex Ferguson's final campaign as coach in 2012-13, with Solskjaer now in his fourth season in charge.

The Norwegian, however, was pleased to see his side lay down an early marker this time around.

"Sir Alex always used to say enjoy yourself, play with a smile on your face, you have to enjoy the privilege and responsibility of playing in front of 75,000 supporters, and millions behind TV," he said.

"But to get there you have to do the hard work. I couldn't have asked for more. You're always a bit worried before the first game - fitness-wise have we done enough? Tactics-wise? The sessions have been geared just to this game. It's been a fantastic day and a great start."

Leeds had levelled things up early in the second half through Luke Ayling, but Mason Greenwood soon got the home side back in front before Fernandes took centre stage to ensure Leeds followed last season's 6-2 defeat at Old Trafford with another thrashing.

"We were beaten by four (at Old Trafford) last year, so it's nothing new to us," Ayling told BT Sport. "There are a few lads who have come back late from internationals this time. We'll go again."

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