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Sheffield United 2-3 Manchester United: 5 Talking Points as Red Devils extend their impressive away winning streak | Premier League 2020-21

Manchester United eked out a 3-2 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Manchester United eked out a 3-2 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 11:25 IST
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Manchester United continued their remarkable run of away wins in the 2020-21 Premier League as they recovered from a goal down to triumph 3-2 over bottom-placed Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The hosts took the lead as early as the fifth minute through David McGoldrick, who capitalised on an error by Dean Henderson in the Manchester United goal to roll the ball into an empty net.

The visitors, who found themselves in familiar territory, responded as they have done on several occasions already this season. Manchester United restored parity in the 26th minute through Marcus Rashford and then took the lead seven minutes later when Anthony Martial grabbed his first league goal of the season.

Six minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford doubled his tally on the night and extended Manchester United’s lead. His powerful effort squirmed underneath Aaron Ramsdale and into the net to give the visitors some much-needed breathing room in the contest.

The home side were handed a lifeline in the 87th minute when an inswinging corner found its way into the net off McGoldrick’s head after a couple of ricochets in the box. Unfortunately for the Blades, it was too little too late, as Manchester United managed to see out the game and take all three points for a tenth away league game on the trot.

With the nervy win, Manchester United moved up to sixth in the league table while Sheffield United remain rooted to the bottom of the table and still searching for their first win of the season.

On that note, let’s take a look at the five major talking points from a free-scoring affair at Bramall Lane.


#1 A tale of two remarkable runs

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While the Blades remain winless, Manchester United are perfect on the road this season.
While the Blades remain winless, Manchester United are perfect on the road this season.

Manchester United’s visit to Bramall Lane had garnered its fair share of anticipatory headlines not just because of the six-goal thriller the sides delivered last season but also because of the contrasting fortunes of the two sides this campaign.

The Blades were a revelation last season; however, this season, Sheffield United have spectacularly imploded and are the only winless team in the division after 13 games.

Sheffield United's performances on the pitch have not been noticeably poor, but injuries to key personnel have meant that they are languishing at the bottom of the league table with a solitary point at the one-third point of the season.

Manchester United did not enjoy a dream start to the season themselves but are in the midst of an impressive winning streak away from home in this campaign. The win over the Blades marked the Red Devils’ sixth straight away win of the season. Remarkably, Manchester United have come from behind to win in each of these matches.

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#2 Manchester United's questionable team selection

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) came up with some more eyebrow-raising selections at Sheffield United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) came up with some more eyebrow-raising selections at Sheffield United.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under criticism this season for frequently chopping and changing his personnel in the Premier League this season.

Against Sheffield United, Solskjaer opted to draft in young goalkeeper Dean Henderson in place of David de Gea while also naming both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in an attack-heavy three-man midfield.

Solskjaer's decision to rotate goalkeepers, which had already raised eyebrows before kickoff, came under even more scrutiny five minutes into the game when Henderson’s horrendous error gifted the lead to his former side.

To his credit though, the Manchester United shot-stopper shook off the nerves and made a few key saves as the game wore on. However, the rationale behind Solskjaer changing goalkeepers in a league fixture rather than a Cup competition still remains rather questionable.

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Published 18 Dec 2020, 11:25 IST
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