Talking points: Sheff Utd 2 United 3

Thursday 17 December 2020 22:41

Manchester United once again came from behind on the road to edge Sheffield United 3-2 at Bramall Lane in the Premier League.

David McGoldrick gave the hosts the lead on five minutes, after Dean Henderson was robbed of the ball by Oli Burke, but finishes from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial saw the Reds in front by the break.

Rashford’s second gave United a cushion early in the second half and looked like it would be the last word, but McGoldrick completed a brace of his own in the closing stages and Henderson denied the hosts an unlikely equaliser with an impressive save late on.

It was a night full of mistakes, magic and milestones. Here are the essential talking points...

Sheffield United 2 Manchester United 3


The Reds came from behind yet again to extend the club-record run of away league victories to 10.

Reds extend comeback record

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been disappointed to see his team go behind in each of their last six games away from home in the league, he would have seldom felt that those early setbacks would prove costly. And sure enough, having fallen behind at Sheffield United, the Reds turned the match around again to claim victory. In doing so United earned their sixth successive win away from home having conceded first – a Premier League record. It is also just the fourth time a team has won 10 consecutive English top-flight away games.

Henderson’s return to the Lane

It would have been a proud moment for stopper Dean Henderson when he got the news that he would be making his second Premier League start in a United shirt; even more so given the fact it would be against his former loan club at the ground where he enjoyed two very successful years. Sadly for Dean, the occasion couldn’t be rounded off with a clean sheet due to a brace from his former colleague David McGoldrick.

Ruthless Rashford

Having been recognised by FIFA for his charity work off the field shortly before kick-off, Marcus certainly showed no signs of any generosity to the Blades’ defence on it with a ruthless attacking display. Having dispatched Victor Lindelof’s aerial ball forward to level the score, he then netted a powerful one-on-one strike to complete a sharp counterattack to give United breathing room at 3-1. All five of Rashford’s league goals this season have come away from home.

Martial off the mark

Given that he hit a hat-trick against Chris Wilder’s men at Old Trafford last season, the Bramall Lane contingent would have been well aware of Anthony Martial’s attacking threat and, when the Frenchman danced around Ramsdale to tuck home a ball from his countryman Pogba, he put it on display again for his first league goal of the campaign.

Ton up for McTominay

When introduced in added time to replace Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay made his 100th appearance for United and helped the Reds see out the win. It’s been a great journey for the Scotland international since making his debut as a substitute against Arsenal in 2017, and he will no doubt be looking forward to the next 100.

Moving on up

By picking up three points from the first of two games in hand on the top four, Reds could be forgiven for casting an eye further up the table. Victory over Sheffield puts United up to sixth, but should we win our other spare match, we would leap up to second, just two points from the summit.

Renewing a rivalry

Having begun a hectic run of six games in 16 days over the festive period, the next instalment on Sunday should certainly get pulses racing, as the Reds face Leeds United in the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the bench that day; he’ll line up in the dugout against Marco Bielsa this time around.