Sheffield United – Manchester United: Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United overcame an early error to hold on for a 3-2 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Anthony Martial had a goal and an assist for the Red Devils, whose 23 points are good for sixth on the table. United has a match-in-hand on the top five and sits five points back of leaders Liverpool.
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David McGoldrick scored twice for Blades, who have one point through 13 matches this season in the worst start of any Premier League season.
Three things we learned from Sheffield United – Manchester United
1. Rashford an enigma: This isn’t a slight of the Manchester United forward, rather a question of whether his performances are dimmed when viewed through the window of the club’s table standing. Rashford’s Thursday brace gave him five goals and five assists in 12 Premier League appearances this season, the United striker also bagging six goals in six Champions League matches and one in two League Cup outings.
Rashford hasn’t gone more than two matches without a goal or an assist, and the Red Devils are 9W-2D when he scores or assists versus 2W-2D-2L when he does not. Perhaps it’s because he was held off the board in high-profile outings — United’s UCL ouster at Leipzig, in the loss to Arsenal, scoreless draws versus Chelsea and Man City — but we were surprised at his numbers.
2. Blades’ horrible historical march continues: Credit to Sheffield United for continuing their fight for point No. 2 on the season even after throwing away the early lead, but things keep getting worse for Chris Wilder’s bid to lead Blades out of the drop zone. Terrific midfielder Sander Berge left injured and the back line was very poor
3. Yawn, another away United comeback: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pre-match team talks must be given over Naturescapes soundtracks because the Red Devils again went behind before the boys rebounded to take all three points in comfortable fashion. While coming back to beat a moribund team isn’t all that impressive, United’s habit of doing it is unmistakable. Be sure to note that under-fire Paul Pogba was very good in driving the comeback forward.
Man of the Match: Rashford
Sheffield United – Manchester United recap
It’s the holiday season, and former Blades’ Harry Maguire and Dean Henderson combined to gift their former club a fifth-minute opener when the back sent a pass to his goalkeeper and a pressing Oli Burke forced a turnover off the slow-to-react keeper. McGoldrick tapped home for 1-0.
It was 1-1 when Victor Lindelof sent a swooping ball over the top of the Blades defense to an onrushing Rashford, who hit a clinical finish with power.
Martial made it 2-1 off a terrific Paul Pogba pass, going past an onrushing Aaron Ramsdale to slice home from an acute angle.
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Rashford got his second in the 51st minute on a play started by a daring Pogba move in the United third, with Bruno Fernandes and Martial both touching the ball before the striker slashed under Ramsdale.
A late corner gave Blades two minutes plus stoppage time to find the equalizer when Red Devils defender Victor Lindelof saw his header go off McGoldrick and behind Henderson in the 87th.
Henderson made a great save late to atone for his early gaffe and United held on for all three points.