Sports

Sheffield United 2-3 Manchester United: Marcus Rashford scores twice for visitors

All five of Marcus Rashford’s Premier League goals this season have come away from home

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his side played “brilliant football” as they moved to sixth in the Premier League with a comeback victory over bottom club Sheffield United.

Marcus Rashford’s double ensured the visitors maintained their perfect away record in the Premier League this season but it came after a horror start and a late scare.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson, playing against his former club, gifted the Blades an opener after five minutes when forward Oliver Burke blocked his clearance, allowing David McGoldrick to tap in.

John Fleck missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0, which proved costly as Solskjaer’s side dominated for much of the match against the winless Blades.

Rashford equalised after 26 minutes, his powerful strike from Victor Lindelof’s through ball giving Aaron Ramsdale no chance.

Anthony Martial ended his 491-minute goal drought by collecting Paul Pogba’s pass and beating Ramsdale at the second attempt.

And Rashford appeared to have made things comfortable nine minutes after the break by shooting under the diving Ramsdale following a swift counter attack.

But there was late concern when McGoldrick headed in from a corner for the hosts with three minutes left, and Henderson then saved Lys Mousset’s shot.

“We played some brilliant football between their first goal and their second goal – the end was a bit too uncomfortable for my liking,” Solskjaer said.

“We never make it easy for ourselves. The start was sloppy and slow, and I’m surprised by this because we showed them videos and it happened again.

“It was a test for Dean after making a mistake like this, but he passed with flying colours.”

Victory moves Manchester United to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester City, while Chris Wilder’s Blades chalked up an unwanted record of eight successive league defeats, and remain nine points from safety.

Reaction to Thursday’s Premier League games

Away days continue to suit Solskjaer’s side

Anthony Martial
Manchester United are the first side to score two or more goals in 10 successive away games in the English top flight since Tottenham in 1960

Manchester United boss Solskjaer appears to have come through the sticky patch which saw his position come under pressure last month following defeats by Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir.

They have since exited the Champions League, but after a slow start to their domestic campaign, their away form in the league has been a saving grace.

The baffling aspect is that despite picking up a sixth successive league win this season away from Old Trafford, in each game Solskjaer’s team have gone behind. It is almost as if they need the extra challenge to inspire them.

In this case, it was a woeful piece of play between former Sheffield United players Henderson and Harry Maguire after five minutes, with the goalkeeper hesitating before Burke closed him down, allowing McGoldrick to score his third goal of the season.

For Henderson, who is trying to challenge David de Gea to be first choice in goal, it was a poor reflection of the player who had excelled on loan at the Blades for the previous two seasons.

But it appeared to galvanise the visitors, who could have scored four or five goals before the break. Rashford was their chief tormentor, ably supported by Bruno Fernandes and Pogba in midfield.

Once Martial had finally got on the scoresheet, he then helped set up Rashford for his 12th of the season to become United’s top scorer.

It crowned a perfect evening for the 23-year-old, who earlier earned a Fifa Foundation award in recognition of his inspirational charity work to combat child poverty.

There were further chances for Martial and substitute Juan Mata to make the game safe, and in the end United were reliant on their defence to keep them ahead as the hosts mounted their late revival.

Blades still showing fight despite poor form

Despite another defeat for the Blades – their 15th in 16 games stretching back to last season – the noises coming out of the club this week have been positive.

Before their 3-0 loss at Southampton on Sunday, Saudi owner Prince Abdullah said he would “stick with Wilder” whatever happens this season, while right-back George Baldock said the players had “100% faith” in their manager.

In this match, Wilder lost none of his effervescence on the touchline, cajoling his players to respond as the visitors took control and prompting their late fightback.

There was also a finger-pointing episode with Solskjaer as the two managers disagreed about Ethan Ampadu’s late challenge on Rashford.

But after the Blades had taken a fortunate lead and then missed a chance to double it, the visitors found it easy to cut through the home defence, and the hosts’ plight was not helped by an early injury to club record signing Sander Berge.

They will rue the Red Devils’ third goal, which Ramsdale should have saved, especially as the tireless McGoldrick later got his fourth of the season direct from a corner before Henderson made up for his earlier error by saving well from Mousset at the death.

Having been outclassed for much of the match by the visitors’ swift attacking play, the last 10 minutes showed Wilder’s team have not lost their appetite to compete even if their chances of staying up already seem remote.

‘I don’t worry about my job’

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder speaking to BBC Sport: “I’m happy with the manner of the performance. Tonight was about a performance if I’m being honest, we needed one from the players and we asked some questions from some world-class players.

“I am a free manager anyway, I don’t worry about what I can’t control. I don’t worry about my job. I keep coming into work and doing it to the best of my ability. There is a huge gulf, people don’t understand what Sheffield United are about when they talk about people’s futures.

“I have been in the game long enough to know that that question will be asked. There is a story to every club and we accept that.”

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “We have got good players and today we found the spaces behind them really well.

“He [Dean Henderson] dillied and dallied on the ball for the first goal. We saw the good and bad from him today because he made a great save towards the end.”

Man Utd flying on the road – the stats

  • Sheffield United have won fewer points after their first 13 games of a league season than any other team in English top-flight history (one)
  • Manchester United are the fourth side in English top-flight history to record 10 consecutive away league wins, after Spurs (10 in 1960), Chelsea (11 in 2008) and Manchester City (11 in 2017).
  • They have now scored at least twice in 10 consecutive away league games – the longest such run by a team in the top flight since Spurs in October 1960 (also 10).
  • Manchester United become only the third team in Premier League history to win their opening six away games of a season, following Chelsea in 2008-09 and Manchester City in 2017-18.
  • In 26 home games in the Premier League since the start of last season, Sheffield United have only conceded three or more goals on two occasions – both have been against Manchester United.
  • Having only made one error directly leading to a goal in 36 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United last season, Dean Henderson made his first after just three appearances for Manchester United.
  • Marcus Rashford has five goals in six away games in the Premier League this season, as many as he did in 16 away appearances in the competition last term.
  • Rashford has scored 43 goals under Ole Gunnar Solskaer in all competitions – the most by any Manchester United player under a single manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
  • David McGoldrick’s opener for Sheffield United was their first open play goal in the Premier League since 4 October against Arsenal.

What next?

Sheffield United visit Brighton on Sunday (12:00 GMT), while Manchester United host Leeds United later that day (16:30).

Player of the match

RashfordMarcus Rashford

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrick

  2. Squad number14Player nameBurke

  3. Squad number6Player nameBasham

  4. Squad number24Player nameBrewster

  5. Squad number4Player nameFleck

  6. Squad number11Player nameMousset

  7. Squad number12Player nameEgan

  8. Squad number2Player nameBaldock

  9. Squad number22Player nameAmpadu

  10. Squad number3Player nameStevens

  11. Squad number19Player nameRobinson

  12. Squad number8Player nameBerge

  13. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale

  14. Squad number15Player nameJagielka

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 2Baldock
  • 6Basham
  • 12EganBooked at 70mins
  • 19RobinsonBooked at 90mins
  • 3Stevens
  • 8BergeSubstituted forJagielkaat 12′minutesBooked at 51minsSubstituted forMoussetat 63′minutes
  • 22Ampadu
  • 4Fleck
  • 14BurkeSubstituted forBrewsterat 74′minutes
  • 17McGoldrick

Substitutes

  • 10Sharp
  • 11Mousset
  • 15Jagielka
  • 16Norwood
  • 21Verrips
  • 23Osborn
  • 24Brewster

Man Utd

  • 26HendersonBooked at 90mins
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5Maguire
  • 27Telles
  • 31Matic
  • 6PogbaBooked at 90mins
  • 11GreenwoodSubstituted forMataat 74′minutes
  • 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forvan de Beekat 80′minutes
  • 10Rashford
  • 9MartialSubstituted forMcTominayat 90′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1de Gea
  • 8Mata
  • 17Fred
  • 21James
  • 23Shaw
  • 34van de Beek
  • 39McTominay

Live Text

Banner Image Match of the DayFA Cup footer




Source link

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button