Mason Greenwood.

Manchester United 1 Sheffield United 2

Manchester United missed the chance to go top of the Premier League table as we were shocked by bottom-side Sheffield United at Old Trafford in a 2-1 defeat.

Sheffield United had not won away from Bramall Lane all season in the league and are struggling at the foot of the division but stunned the flat-looking Reds when they went ahead after 23 minutes with a goal from Kean Bryan.

Chances for the Reds were few and far between but we rallied briefly in the second half when captain Harry Maguire headed in an equaliser after 64 minutes.

But the expected onslaught didn’t materialise and the Blades wounded the Reds again in the 74th minute when they scored a second through Oliver Burke.

There were no comeback heroics from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side and the costly defeat brought to an end United's 13-game unbeaten in the Premier League.

FIRST HALF - SHOCK FOR UNITED

The manager made six changes from the Reds' XI that had performed so well in the thrilling Emirates FA Cup fourth-round win against Liverpool.

But it was a slow start by United at Old Trafford and, despite dominating the early period, there were no chances on offer bar  a shot narrowly wide by Marcus Rashford and an opportunity for Mason Greenwood to latch onto a ball behind the Blades’ defence. However, having ghosted around the goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale he was then outnumbered and the moment was gone. 

And so had the hosts' initiative as the visitors grew in confidence, their spirit bolstered by two FA Cup wins and their first Premier League success of the season in the last four matches.

The Blades capitalised on their new-found belief and a flat United when they took a shock lead in the 23rd minute through a glancing header by Bryan from a John Fleck corner. Bryan got above Paul Pogba and David De Gea’s attempted two-fisted double punch to make it 1-0 to the Yorkshire side.

United thought we had equalised in the 30th minute when Anthony Martial prodded home. Frustratingly, referee Peter Bankes ruled that Maguire had fouled keeper Ramsdale and forced him to drop the ball at Martial’s feet.

It was a harsh decision on the Reds but failed to jolt us into the kind of action that was going to panic the Blades and get us back into the game.

SECOND HALF - REDS BLUNTED AGAIN BY BLADES

United needed to discover some guile and Bruno Fernandes provided it with a ball slipped through to Greenwood four minutes after the interval. The teenage forward, however, dragged his shot just wide after dribbling into the box.

Sheffield United continued to threaten, despite seeing little of the ball, and David McGoldrick nonchalantly curled one effort past the post with the outside of his foot in the 56th minute.

The Reds had two free-kick chances in quick succession in shooting range but Rashford’s was saved and Fernandes’ effort squirted off the wall for a corner.

From the latter set-piece, Alex Telles delivered a pacy, inviting cross and Maguire didn’t even have to get off the ground as he stormed through to power home a header against his former club.

Disappointingly, the skipper’s example and the arrival of Edinson Cavani as sub for Greenwood, failed to ignite United and, 10 minutes later, the Blades were back in front.

The Reds were not alert in defence and allowed the Blades to maintain pressure before, eventually, Burke, enjoying space in the area, cracked in a shot that deflected off Axel Tuanzebe and into the net for the winner. 

There few scares for Ramsdale, except for a deflected effort by Telles that clipped the bar, despite some late pressure and this was an evening to forget for Ole's men.

Harry Maguire.
Harry Maguire headed United level in the second half with his first home goal for the club.

MATCH DETAILS

United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe (van de Beek 82), Maguire, Telles (Shaw 82), Matic, Pogba, Greenwood (Cavani 66), Fernandes, Rashford, Martial.

Subs not used: Henderson, Lindelof, Fred, James, Mata, McTominay.

Goals: Maguire 64.

Bookings: Tuanzebe.

Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Basham, Jagielka, Ampadu, Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Bryan (Bogle 53), McGoldrick (Brewster 79), Sharp (Burke 70).

Subs not used: Foderingham, Lowe, Mousset.

Goals: Bryan 23, Burke 74.

Bookings: Lundstram.

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