Sheffield United 2 Manchester United 3
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United extended the club's perfect Premier League away record on Thursday evening, by beating Sheffield United 3-2 at Bramall Lane.
FIRST HALF: REDS BOUNCE BACK AGAIN
It was a nightmare start to the game for the Reds, as has become the fashion this season in Premier League away matches. United might have headed into this fixture as the only team in the division with a perfect record on the road, but Solskjaer’s men have gone behind on every single trip so far, and the same happened here.
Dean Henderson had been granted just his second Premier League start for the club at the stadium where he spent two years on loan, but within five minutes he was guiltily picking the ball out of his net. The England international dallied too long on a pass from Harry Maguire and was robbed by Oliver Burke and, when the ball was nudged to David McGoldrick, the Blades striker had the simple task of tapping it into the empty goal from just a few yards out.
Despite their midfielder Sander Berge being forced off with an apparent hamstring injury just minutes later, the hosts had a golden chance to double their advantage soon after, when John Fleck shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
But just as Ole's concerns appeared to be mounting, his side finally creaked into life. Our first meaningful attempt at a response came in the 19th minute, when Rashford shot over after a cute aerial reverse pass from Fernandes. And, thankfully for the Reds, the 23-year-old wouldn't pass up his second chance.
When a similar aerial pass – this one fired from deep inside his own half by Victor Lindelof – found our no.10 on the edge of the area, Rashford delivered two touches of devastating economy and brilliance. The first, to cushion the ball, was as soft and silky as the second was bruising. Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had no chance and, in an instant, the Reds were level.
That moment seemed to rouse Solskjaer’s men, who went ahead just minutes later. Again, it was a clever pass through the air, this time from Paul Pogba, that created the opportunity. The Frenchman spotted Anthony Martial’s early run, and when the onrushing Ramsdale missed the ball, his compatriot had the simple opportunity to flick home his first Premier League goal of 2020/21.
With Edinson Cavani unavailable due to injury, Solskjaer knew his available strikers had to perform, and by the close of the first period, they were approaching full throttle. Greenwood, Martial and Rashford were creating shooting opportunities every time they went forward.
Comeback at Bramall Lane gallery
Check out 40 photos from another action-packed away win for the Reds.
“With the pace and the skill in these boys, the quality of the touches and movement – I thought all three goals were excellent. That’s why we played the team that we did today: because we know that Sheffield United want to play football, they want to press, they want to make it an open game and we could have spaces for our forwards. I said before the game that we need the forwards firing. We’ve come to this position without them really scoring goals and now they’ve had three today – two from Marcus and one for Anthony and that’s brilliant. We just have to keep them going with that mentality because last season those three scored so many goals for us. This year they haven’t really started the season yet, so it’s looking good.”
Rashford reacts to his two-goal performance
Marcus speaks to us about his brilliant brace, our six away wins this season and a tight Premier League table...
Marcus Rashford was named Man of the Match, after a superb two-goal display which raised his tally for the current season to 12 in 20 appearances.
Midfield creators Paul Pogba (15 per cent) and Bruno Fernandes (10 per cent) came second and third in the opinion poll.