United were due to welcome their rivals to Old Trafford on Sunday, September 18 at 2pm, but the game will now not be taking place on that date. Following the Queen's death last Thursday afternoon, football matches across the country – including those at the top level – were postponed as a mark of respect to the long-serving Monarch.
However, while United were among those to be shown a green light for play to continue this coming weekend, that was only on the proviso meetings could be policed at the necessary standards. Ultimately, though, that has evidently not been possible, and United will now face a prolonged wait before getting back to business in the Premier League.
Their last game in the competition was against Arsenal on September 4 and they are not due to resume their campaign until the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium (October 2).
A short statement from the Premier League read: “Following extensive consultation with clubs, police, local Safety Advisory Groups and other relevant authorities, there was no other option but to postpone the three fixtures. New dates for the postponed matches will be announced in due course.”
United vs Leeds is rated as a 'Category A' fixture which requires added policing. It had initially been thought that games in and around London would have been at greater risk of being cancelled, due to the Queen's funeral next Monday, which is being held in the capital, but the showdown at Old Trafford has been postponed.
Games at Brighton and Chelsea – against Crystal Palace and Liverpool respectively – will also not take place on the initial dates and rearrangements for those Premier League fixtures will be announced in due course.
While there are mitigating circumstances for the decision which has been taken, United supporters are – generally speaking – unhappy at the response and have started to vent their frustration on social media. Here are a selection of comments posted on Twitter as United encounter another free weekend.