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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

Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 18 Dec 2020
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#3 Paul Pogba produces an impressive performance

A commanding performance from Manchester United
A commanding performance from Manchester United's French midfielder.

Paul Pogba is a player who has massively split opinion since returning to Manchester United from Juventus in 2016, as the World Cup-winning midfielder has often frustrated fans by not playing to his full potential.

Off-field factors have not helped his cause either, with some ill-timed comments made by his agent before Manchester United’s crucial Champions League game against RB Leipzig last week drawing the ire of the club faithful.

With the spotlight shining brightly on him, Pogba produced an impactful cameo in against Leipzig and followed that up with a solid showing in the Manchester derby last weekend. The Frenchman delivered another excellent performance against Sheffield United as well.

Bringing the ball out from the back, Pogba set off numerous Manchester United attacks with his precise passing and direct dribbling while also assisting his side’s second goal with a delightful chipped pass.

Pogba was also instrumental in Manchester United’s third goal, as his deft pass to Martial laid the groundwork for his compatriot to set up Marcus Rashford.

Manchester United fans will hope that Pogba remains consistent and replicates his top-class performances more often going forward.


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#4 Manchester United’s defensive frailties come to the fore

Manchester United
Manchester United's shaky defence caused some nervy moments in the final stages of the game.

While their forward line scored three goals to seal three points for the side, Manchester United’s shaky defence was given another needlessly stern examination by Sheffield United.

Having shown frailties in previous games this season, Manchester United’s back four had a new goalkeeper - Dean Henderson - behind them at Sheffield United. However, the new-look defence was breached just five minutes in after a calamitous error by the keeper.

In fact, the visitors had to withstand a barrage of constant pressure from the hosts for much of the opening exchanges as Sheffield United sensed an opportunity to pounce on a leaky backline.

Even after eking out a seemingly comfortable two-goal cushion, the Red Devils complicated matters by letting in another goal with only a few minutes left.

While Manchester United can savour another positive result on the road, there is a lot of work to be done on defensive organisation and closing out games more clinically, a quality often exhibited by elite teams.


#5 Manchester United's win opens up an intriguing title race

Solskjaer
Solskjaer's men remain in the hunt for top spot in the Premier League.
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With the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all dropping points this game-week, Manchester United were one of the biggest beneficiaries, creeping up to sixth in the Premier League table.

Solskjaer’s men also have the luxury of a game in hand over most of their nearest competitors, three points from which could see them shoot up to second place in the table.

Despite a shaky start to the season, Manchester United could mount a serious title challenge. While Liverpool remain the team to beat, the chasing pack is a lot closer to the defending champions this campaign.

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Published 18 Dec 2020, 11:25 IST
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