Manchester United made it six consecutive away victories in the Premier League, as a goal from Anthony Martial sandwiched between a Marcus Rashford brace helped them to a 3-2 victory at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United came into this game seeking their first victory over Manchester United since Brian Dean scored the first goal of the Premier League era in 2-1 win August 1992.
In what was a now customary start, the visitors found themselves behind when a terrible error from Dean Henderson against his former side was pounced on by David McGoldrick to put the Blades ahead.
The hosts deployed a very high line that allowed Marcus Rashford to run in from behind on several occasions. However, they were saved by the offside flag in the opening exchanges of the game.
Manchester United ramped up the pressure and Rashford finally timed his run from behind to perfection. He showed great technique to latch onto an excellent pass from Victor Lindelof and level matters in the 26th minute with a two-touch finish.
Sheffield United upped the ante towards the dying stages of the first half but Manchester United went into the break having provided good value for their lead.
The Old Trafford outfit soon went two goals up after an excellent counterattacking move was finished with Rashford putting the ball into the back of the net.
With the victory seemingly secured for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer substituted Bruno Fernandez but the home side had other ideas in their mind.
David McGoldrick rose highest to head home a corner by John Fleck - the first time Sheffield have scored two goals in a match this season - and this left the visitors hanging on for dear life in the dying embers of the game.
Sheffield United threw the kitchen sink at Manchester United but the Red Devils ultimately held on to secure all three points. The victory means that United became the first side to win six consecutive Premier League away games having conceded first and it extended their club-record run to 10 consecutive away wins in the league.
The victory sees the Old Trafford outfit climb up to sixth on the standings, five points behind table-toppers Liverpool.
Here is how each Manchester United player performed in this game.
Manchester United Player Ratings
Dean Henderson - 5/10
The 23-year-old was handed only his second start and third Premier League appearance of the season against his former side.Henderson has ambitions of becoming first-choice at Old Trafford but he did his chances no favors with what was a horrendous start.
The England international made a gaffe of a routine clearance in just the fifth minute, allowing McGoldrick to open the scoring, although he could do nothing about his second goal.
Was relatively untested for the rest of the game but produced a fine stop to deny Lys Mousset an equalizer in stoppage time.
Alex Telles - 6/10
Made some good deliveries from set-pieces throughout the game. Was unlucky to have conceded the corner from which Sheffield got their second after an excellent sliding tackle, although replays showed his complaints that it should have been a goal kick were legitimate.
Harry Maguire - 4/10
The Manchester United captain put his goalkeeper under early pressure with his under-hit pass that led to the opening goal. Marshaled the defense well for most of the game but could have done better for Sheffield's second.
Victor Lindelof 5.5/10
Jekyll and Hyde performance from the Swedish international. Produced an excellent lofted pass for Marcus Rashford to open the scoring for Manchester United. Failed to properly pick up McGoldrick for the second goal.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 5/10
Did not contribute too much going forward and Sheffield's lack of attacking verve meant that he did not get too many opportunities to showcase his defensive prowess.
Nemanja Matic 6/10
Solid if unspectacular performance from the former Chelsea man. Partnered at the base of midfield with Paul Pogba but was overshone by the France international. Lost the midfield battle to John Fleck and Chris Basham for about 10 minutes in the first half but recovered well to make amends.
Paul Pogba 7/10
Another very assured performance from the World Cup winner. Almost did not put a foot wrong in the game and set up the Martial's goal with a spectacular lofted ball into the box. Got an injury-time booking for a scuffle with Jack Robinson.
Bruno Fernandes 5/10
Surprisingly poor performance from the reigning Premier League Player of the Month. Had a few moments of magic but was largely on the peripheries as his Manchester United teammates flourished around him. Substituted for Donny Van de Beek in the 80th minute.
Marcus Rashford 9/10
Unarguably his standout performance of the season. The 23-year-old was full of running throughout and got a well-taken brace which was an excellent reward for a man-of-the-match performance.
Anthony Martial 7.5/10
Missed some early chances which seemed to suggest he would be in for another bleak night. Opened his Premier League account in the 33rd minute and inadvertently set up Rashford for United's third.
Mason Greenwood 6/10
Failed to get into sync with his attacking teammates. Mason Greenwood got a few shots on target but did not really get going before his substitution in the 74th minute.
Manchester United Substitutes
Juan Mata 7/10
Almost made an immediate impact when he forced Ramsdale into a save from an outside-of-the-boot flick by Bruno Fernandes. Had another shot on target and generally improved Manchester United's tempo from midfield.
Donny van de Beek N/A
The Netherlands international came in with 10 minutes to go and barely had a touch of the ball.
Scott McTominay N/A
Came on for Anthony Martial in injury time as Solskjaer sought to protect his side's one-goal advantage.
Published 18 Dec 2020, 11:38 IST