With both Chelsea and Manchester City dropping points in their respective games early in the week, it was crucial for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to take the advantage of the moment by beating struggling Sheffield United, who have only picked up one point so far this season and are embarrassingly yet to win a league game.
Looking at the match as a whole, the visitors had dominated possession and created more chances and had more shots than the hosts, who caused a number of problems to Manchester United in the first half but were unable to make the moments count in the final third of the pitch. Though, they made the key moment count in the 5th minute of the match, where Dean Henderson thought he had enough time on the ball and was aggressively pressed by Oliver Burke, leading to David McGoldrick slotting the ball into an empty goal.
However, once again, Manchester United kicked on from being a goal behind and managed to take the lead by the half-time break, with both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford scoring the much needed goals leaving the Sheffield United manager and players in absolute shock. The Red Devils sealed the three points in the second half of the game with Rashford scoring his second goal of the night early in the second half.
Despite McGoldrick scoring a late consolation in the 87th minute of the game, the Blades did not show enough creativity, intensity and urgency to push on for a huge equaliser in the final seconds of the match. Overall, with Manchester United wining 3-2 over Sheffield United, it allows the team to move into sixth-place with a game in hand, whilst Chris Wilder’s men remain in 20th place, picking up only one point out of a potential 39.
Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…
Victor Lindelof is proving to be the best centre-back at the club
He’s had his ups and downs since moving to Old Trafford in 2017, however, Victor Lindelof is finally proving to be the best centre-back at the club, especially over the last couple of months. For sure, he may not be recognised as one of the best defenders in the Premier League let alone in Europe, but he is doing more than enough to help the side on both sides of the pitch, through his intelligent defending and ability on the ball.
The Swedish international played an inch-perfect ball over the top of Sheffield United’s defence, into the feet of Marcus Rashford, who smashed the ball into the net to give his team the much needed equaliser. Unfortunately, the only issue that remains for Lindelof alongside his lack of aerial ability, is that he is not complimented well by captain Harry Maguire, who is not expected to be dropped by Solskjaer anytime soon.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford return onto the scoresheet
It’s been a slow season so far for the attacking duo in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who are typically expected to hit 15-20 Premier League goals a season, given the experience they have in the league and how much they are individually capable of. Though, with both players scoring the goals for Manchester United on Thursday evening, they will be hoping to get going with their campaign and aim to help the team with their qualities on and off the ball, as it will be the difference of the team finishing in the top four this season or not.
Not only that, but with Edinson Cavani making a huge impact whenever he is playing and Mason Greenwood being constantly hungry for game time, both Martial and Rashford have to ensure they perform consistently and at a high level in order to keep their place in the starting line-up. Looking more into the performance of the pair, the former showed really good movement off the ball and was tracking back time and time again whilst the latter’s burst of pace and dribbling ability was top notch, leaving Solskjaer totally satisfied.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a few important issues he has to iron out
Majority of the Old Trafford faithful will be content with the successful comeback that the team completed at Bramall Lane. On the other hand, the ongoing weaknesses within the manager, the team and the system are still quite clear. The Red Devils constant and key problems at this moment of time, happens to be the side’s lack of control against the teams weaker than them, and the amount of cheap goals that are being conceded.
Furthermore, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to solve another issue of balancing the team whilst having Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the starting line-up, a problem he had at the end of last season and also at the start of the current campaign. Given that the team’s performances and results are inconsistent, the coach has to iron out a few important matters, especially if he wants to continue to manage Manchester United football club.