LEEDS United need to get Kalvin Phillips up to speed as quickly as possible after their opening day Premiership mauling at Manchester United.

The England man could only watch in horror from the bench as the lethal Red Devils unleashed a second-half blitz to thrash the Whites 5-1 in front of a packed, vibrant Old Trafford.

The midfielder’s late return following his involvement with England in the Euros has limited his pre-season preparation but he must surely start against Everton at Elland Road on Saturday.

He’s the man that gives his defence that extra protection and calmly links play, an ability that a rattled Leeds rarely displayed against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

German international defender Robin Koch began in Phillips’ central defensive midfield role but endured a torrid time with the man he was supposed to keep tabs on, Bruno Fernandes, scoring a hat-trick. Koch was not alone among those in a white shirt who were well below par.

Leeds were second best all round the park as the home side showed an abundance of skill, pace and organisation that Marcelo Bielsa’s men could not match. The visitors were off the pace from the start and were unable to find the intensity which enabled them to surprise many sides last season.

“It was very difficult for us to recover the ball and it was very difficult for us to create any danger,” said Bielsa, who refused to lay the blame on any particular player. “It was for a number of reasons, none of them the high pressure or the individual performance of a player.”

Manchester United had already fashioned several opportunities before Portugal midfield star Fernandes lost his marker Koch on the half-hour to convert a superb Paul Pogba pass.

Luke Ayling hammered in a superb long-range equaliser three minutes after the interval but it only ignited the home side rather than give the Whites lift-off.

Parity lasted only two minutes as Mason Greenwood’s superb finish was quickly followed by Fernandes’s low strike which was given by referee Paul Tierney after a check of goal-line technology. Fernandes got in behind the Leeds defence again on the hour to complete his treble with a thumping angled drive before Fred completed the rout by converting Pogba’s low cross – the enigmatic Frenchman’s fourth assist.

Shell-shocked Leeds had been blitzed by four goals in 14 head-spinning minutes as they crashed to their worst opening day defeat since going down by the same scoreline at Swansea in the 1981-82 Division One relegation season. The Whites managed to bounce back from their 6-2 defeat on their previous visit to Old Trafford in December and will need to up their game in their next outing against Everton.

The Blues opened their season under new boss Rafael Benitez with a 3-1 home win against Southampton.

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay (Matic 69), Pogba (Martial 75), Fernandez, James (Sancho 75), Greenwood, Fernandes. Subs (not used): Heaton, Mata, Pereira, Dalot, Williams, Van De Beek. Caution: Shaw

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Dallas, Koch, Klich, Rodrrigo (Firpo HT), Harrison (Costa 69), Raphinha, Bamford (Roberts 77). Subs (not used): Klaesson, Forshaw, Phillips, Summerville, Greenwood, Shackleton. Cautions: Cooper, Raphinha.

Ref: Paul Tierney Att: 72,734

Martin Jarred