Manchester United are looking to pick up their 4th successive home win in the Premier League when they host bottom-feeders Sheffield United. Instead, they saw their 13-game unbeaten run snapped as the visitors picked up a fortunate 2-1 win. Completely against the run of play, Sheffield United were able to take the lead in the 23rd minute when Kean Bryan scored from a set-piece.
After being frustrated for the longest time, the Red Devils equalized in the 63rd minute thanks to Harry Maguire’s emphatic header from a corner. Sheffield United were able to take the lead again in the 74th minute when Oliver Burke’s shot took a very lucky deflection off Axel Tuanzebe to go into the back of the net.
That was enough to give the Blades the win. Lady Luck just didn’t want to favour Man United today and the attacking line didn’t help them complete a comeback either. A result which possibly dampens the Red Devils’ title challenge and gives rivals Man City a big advantage in the race.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Sheffield United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5.0) –
Solskjaer tinkered with his squad again today, but this time it blew up on his face. Playing Tuanzebe turned out a bad risk, as it was his unlucky deflection that caused Sheffield United’s second goal. His front-3 didn’t work well either and his team didn’t have the idea on how to break open the visitors today.
Even his subs felt too late and could’ve made better impact if brought on earlier. Will be feeling unlucky with the way his side lost, but needs to rally his troops to bounce back from this quickly if they’re to stay in this title race.
David de Gea (4.0) –
Poor stuff from De Gea to concede a goal like that, as he botched an easy clearance to allow Sheffield an easy goal. Looking back at it, he was being fouled and the chance wasn’t even reviewed by VAR – so quite unlucky! While unlucky to concede the second, he should’ve cleared the ball much earlier before the shot happened. Didn’t have too much to do, but not convincing with the little he did.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.0) –
Wan-Bissaka looks more intent in attack today and puts in a great ball to create Rashford’s early chance. But after that early flurry, his delivery was abysmal. Couldn’t create anything, nothing special defensively either. Just meh.
Harry Maguire (7.0) –
Maguire looks to be comfortable enough with Tuanzebe, even though he’s allowing Sheffield’s forwards to go through too easily on some occasions. But he turns up big in the other end, striking a sweet header to equalize for his side. Defensively he put in some key challenges and looked one of the few players intent on getting a win.
Axel Tuanzebe (5.0) –
Tuanzebe receives his first start in the Premier League this season. Looked sharp with his defending but booked late in the first half for a reckless challenge. Then tries to be the hero by blocking Burke’s shot, only for it to take an unfortunate deflection into the net. Still needs to work on some aspects to be in contention for more PL games.
Alex Telles (6.0) –
Telles gets a start and will be raring to prove his ability with a solid performance. Putting in some nice crosses but unable to create anything decisive in the first half. Whipped in a brilliant cross to assist Maguire’s strike. Should’ve defended better to deny Sheffield their second goal and subbed late on for that slight error.
Nemanja Matic (6.5) –
Matic is sitting very deep today, trying to help kick-start chances by distributing the ball from inside his own half. Did his defensive duties perfectly, making some clutch interceptions and challenges to deny Sheffield’s counter-attacks. Worked very hard, but unable to create a difference in the attack.
Paul Pogba (6.0) –
Paul’s running the show from the get-go, making those clever forward passes to help create chances. But as the pressure mounted, he couldn’t create the definitive goal-scoring chances his team needed on the day. Seemed to be boxed out by multiple Sheffield players in the middle and couldn’t produce something special today.
Bruno Fernandes (6.5) –
Bruno looks to be quite assertive with his contribution and making clever movement to help break open Sheffield’s rigid shape. Created a good chance for Martial towards the end of the first half that was saved. Creates another good one early in the second-half to send Greenwood through on goal.
Fernandes seemed intent on getting a result and worked his socks off, running all over the pitch, but just not complimented by his teammates. Actually created 3 scoring chances but none of them were converted.
Anthony Martial (3.0) –
Martial scored a hattrick in this fixture last season. Can he replicate similar heroics today? Has a frustrating first half in which he saw a goal ruled out and missed a promising scoring chance late on by botching a complicated header from close. Later moved to his left-wing role, but ineffective there as well. Another lacklustre performance.
Mason Greenwood (6.0) –
After his impressive performance against Liverpool, Greenwood looks packed with confidence. Got behind the Sheffield defence in the 17th but his poor touch holds him back from scoring. Then almost surprised the visitors with a thunderous attempt in the 27th that was collected by the keeper. Gets his best scoring chance int he 48th, but botches a right-footed shot from near.
Got a few scoring chances today but just not as clinical as usual.
Marcus Rashford (4.5) –
Rashford passes a late fitness test and almost got in the scoresheet in the 11th, when his shot grazed agonizingly wide. His running and movement are causing the visitors a lot of problems. But his final product was off today. Just couldn’t create anything or get into prominent scoring positions.
Edinson Cavani (5.5) –
Brought on after United found the equalizer, but unable to get the winner because they conceded soon. His movement and basic instinct in the final third was sound, but his teammates couldn’t create many for him.
Donny van de Beek (N/R) –
Donny showed some great close control inside the penalty area and got into some promising positions in the late minutes, but unable to create anything formidable.
Luke Shaw (N/R) –
Shaw was brought on for his crosses, which weren’t as accurate as his teammates needed them to be.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Can’t really find a standout for United, but Maguire did score the goal! Felt Sheffield United midfield John Fleck was their best player today, working extremely hard & making things difficult for the Red Devils. He gets the MOTM for today.