Manchester United secured a nervy comeback against Sheffield United in their Premier League fixture on Thursday. A brace from Marcus Rashford and a goal from Anthony Martial gave the Red Devils an important win. Two goals from McGoldrick gave United some anxiety but the visitors secured the win at the end. With rival teams dropping points, United successfully capitalized and strengthened their upward trajectory.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer gave former Sheffield man Dean Henderson the goalkeeper’s spot. Captain Harry Maguire partnered Victor Lindelof with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles on the wings. The midfield comprised of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, and Bruno Fernandes. In the attack were Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford. Fred, McTominay, van de Beek, and Shaw were among those on the bench.
Sheffield United had a spring in their step from the starting whistle and the hosts broke the deadlock immediately. A back-passing sequence led to a horrid error from Dean Henderson gifting the ball to McGoldrick, who rifled the ball into the net. Sheffield continued to press and find space behind the United defense as another chance from Fleck was marginally wide. It was all Sheffield United in the first 20 minutes as Manchester United were unable to find a good outlet pass.
Finally, Marcus Rashford got things right after a magnificent pass from Lindelof. The youngster control the ball brilliantly and fired the ball past Ramsdale giving the goalkeeper no chance! Suddenly, United starting controlling the game and pressing forward. Anthony Martial had a chance shortly after but was denied by John Egan’s flying block. Martial came back to redeem himself in the 33rd minute after a fantastic no-look pass from Paul Pogba. The striker is denied by Ramsdale in his first attempt but pokes the ball into the goal right away to give Manchester United the lead. Both teams had great chances in the first half but the respective goalkeepers were up to the task. Despite going down early, Manchester United rallied back and found two goals to turn the game on its head.
The second half started similarly to the first- end-to-end and thoroughly entertaining. Manchester United put on a counter-attacking clinic to score the third goal. Steal from Pogba, passed up to Mason who got fouled. The referee played the advantage, Rashford found Bruno who found Martial, who set the ball up on a platter for Rashford and he fired home! The game slowed down a little but Sheffield continued to look for the goal to reduce the deficit. In the 74th minute, Juan Mata came on to replace Mason Greenwood who had a fine outing despite not adding to his goal tally. Sheffield United had a chance from distance but Henderson caught the ball quite comfortably as United edged towards the win. In the 80th minute, Donny van de Beek came on to replace Fernandes as Ole looked to give the Portuguese man some much-needed rest.
Manchester United had a brilliant counterattacking opportunity in the 82nd minute through van de Beek. Unfortunately, the Dutchman was unable to spot Rashford in space and the move broke down. In the 89th minute, a corner was awarded to Sheffield after a sliding challenge from Alex Telles. Fleck’s delivery found Lindelof whose header ricocheted off McGoldrick’s head and into the United goal. With only injury time left, the Red Devils were in for a nervy few minutes. Manchester United brought on McTominay as a defensive option in place of Anthony Martial. Mousset fired a rocket towards United’s goal but Henderson palmed it away out of danger. The visitors iced out the game and came away with yet another comeback win on the road.
I have the best trick to get us to win every trophy this season- At kickoff, we should award the other team a goal and turn the clock to 20 minutes. Watch us win every trophy possible this year after that. But in all seriousness, why are we so bad at starting a game well? Against the team that was bottom of the table, giving away a goal like that after passing around the back was just embarrassing. Build-up play from the back only works if there is good off the ball movement, as we saw with Rashford’s first goal. When the forwards move, they will give our defense and midfield options to make a play.
The inclusion of Pogba in the lineup was still surprising after the comments made by his agent. Considering that, if one were in van de Beek’s shoes they’d really be questioning their decision to come to United. The bench had no attacking options, which this team needs when they fall behind. With a busy holiday fixture list coming up, United must go for maximum points in every fixture if they are to make a challenge for any silverware. A tricky game against rivals Leeds follows, and hopefully United can secure a win without falling behind.