Anthony Martial scored a hat trick to lead Manchester United past Sheffield United in an easy victory for the Red Devils.
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Martial scored twice in the first half and completed his treble after the break as he became the first Man United player since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge to score a Premier League hat trick.
With the win Man United stay in fifth and are just two points off fourth place Chelsea, while Sheffield United have failed to win any of their three games since Project Restart began and they are now five points behind Man United.
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Three things we learned
1. Front five run riot: When was the last time you smiled this much as a fan or a neutral watching Man United? I’ll wait. Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Martial and Rashford lined up together for the first time this season and it was sublime. Granted, Sheffield United were all over the place but Man United were composed and full of creativity in the final third. Fernandes and Pogba can play together in these type of games but can they do it against Liverpool et al.? We are about to find out.
2. Sheffield United sluggish: Their entire restart has been shambolic and they have totally lost momentum. Chris Wilder’s side are having a great season but with injuries, suspension and a lack of nous in the attacking areas, they are yet to score since the restart. The Blades may well be in Europe next season but their finish to the season is nowhere near as good as the start for the newly-promoted side.
3. Man United have momentum: Solskjaer’s boys are 13 games unbeaten and there is a real air of confidence around Old Trafford. Man United’s young side are exciting, defensively they look solid enough and now that everyone is back fit they have so many options. With Solskjaer saying they will spend this summer, the rebuild is far from over. Whisper it: Man United might be well on the way to being ‘back’ where they think they belong.
Man of the Match
Anthony Martial – Scored three goals, set up Rashford for chances and looked back to his lethal best. When this front five gets going, can anybody stop Man United?
The first real attack of the game ended in a goal for Man United as a throw in down the right found Rashford and he drilled across goal for Martial to tap home. 1-0. Easy peasy.
Rashford then spurned a great chance after Martial set him up as Man United ripped through Sheffield United’s defense time and time again.
Bruno Fernandes saw his free kick palmed away by Sheffield United’s back-up goalkeeper Simon Moore as the Red Devils dominated after their early goal.
Rashford then missed his kick at the vital moment after some lovely interplay as Man United clicked through the gears in the first half.
Just before half time Man United doubled their lead as Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s superb cross found Martial and he grabbed his and United’s second of the game with a calm finish.
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Fernandes continued to pull the strings in the second half as Ollie McBurnie and Sande Berge came on at half time for the Blades.
Fernandes set up Mason Greenwood and his shot was deflected just wide as Man United purred in attack. Martial went close soon after as Pogba pulled the strings as he and Fernandes dictated the tempo of the game.
Greenwood lashed another just wide and then Martial finished things off. He played a slick one-two with Rashford and dinked home to make it 3-0.
Man United eased to victory to boost their Champions League hopes and put a big dent in Sheffield United’s.