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Manchester United play themselves into title race after beating Sheffield United

Manchester United beat Sheffield United 3-1.
Manchester United beat Sheffield United 3-1.
ANALYST
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 22:51 IST
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Very few people would have named Manchester United among the favourites to win the Premier League title before the start of the 2020-21 season. However, after 13 matchdays, the Red Devils are firmly back in the title race.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side recorded a hard-fought 3-2 win against Sheffield United on Thursday to move within just five points of league leaders Liverpool.

The Red Devils went behind very early after David McGoldrick took advantage of a howler from Dean Henderson to score the opening goal. However, they came back well and quickly overturned the result before half-time.

Marcus Rashford pulled Manchester United level with an exquisite finish after beautifully controlling a long pass from Victor Lindelof. Anthony Martial then put the United 2-1 up seven minutes later.

Early in the second half, Rashford made it 3-1 following a swift counter-attacking move, which involved some sleek interplay between Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Martial.

Manchester United are back in this year's title race

In truth, Manchester United were never threatened for the rest of the game until McGoldrick reduced the deficit to 3-2 with three minutes to go. Henderson had to produce a superb save in the 90th minute to ensure United took all three points.

Solskjaer’s side has now come from behind to win each of their last six away games in the Premier League. By beating Sheffield United, the Red Devils have now played themselves back into the race for the title.

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Liverpool are the odds-on favourites to defend the title they won last season. However, Manchester United are now just five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side with a game in hand.

Should they win their outstanding game, the Old Trafford outfit will move to second place in the league table and will be just two points behind Liverpool.

United has another big game against Leeds United coming up over the weekend, but Solskjaer has indicated that every game will be treated as a final.

“We treat every game as a cup final, we have to. We have to treat every single game this season as the last game we’re going to play for Manchester United," the Norwegian told Manutd.com.
“Sunday [against Leeds] is a big game, massive game. A game that all our supporters and players will really want us to win. Let's hammer into these boys what it means because I don’t think any of them were born when I played in these type of fixtures," added Solskjaer.

Manchester United now have a chance to challenge for the title and, should they manage to remain consistent, then the Premier League will definitely be within their reach.

Published 18 Dec 2020, 22:51 IST
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