Sheffield - Manchester
United and Sheffield United shared the spoils after a dramatic 3-3 draw
at Bramall Lane on Sunday, with the home side grabbing a late equaliser
after a three-goal blitz from the visitors in just seven minutes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team, outplayed for most of the game by the
promoted side, trailed 2-0 after a first-half goal from John Fleck and a
second-half effort from Lys Mousset.
Chris Wilder's team had been hungrier and more incisive all over the
pitch but, from nowhere, United were back in the game when 19-year-old
Brandon Williams scored his first senior goal in the 72nd minute.
Substitute Mason Greenwood, 18, equalised minutes after coming on and
with United now flying forward, Rashford swept home in the 79th minute.
But still the drama was not over, with Oliver McBurnie controlling
the ball and firing past David de Gea to level at 3-3 in the 90th
minute. The goal stood after a VAR check for handball.
The result means Manchester United are ninth in the Premier League
table, nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea while Sheffield United
are sixth, a point ahead.
"When you are 2-0 down you have to go for it, play with less fear and
just go for it," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. "The average ages of the
goals is less than 20, it's something we are proud of.
"It's a great experience for our young players because it's not easy to come back at a place like this."
"It's mixed emotions," he added. "We cannot be happy, we have not
performed for the majority of the game but we turned it around and we
showed what we could be capable of. We have to do it now for a whole
game. We know we can, we just have to show it."
men were indebted to goalkeeper De Gea, who produced a stunning
double-save to keep the score at 0-0 early in the game.
Solskjaer's team looked rattled, with Williams making a couple of
early errors and Phil Jones, making his first league appearance of the
season, looking like an accident waiting to happen.
Jones was at fault for the opener. A long ball down the right wing put him under pressure but he should have seen off Mousset.
Instead, the Frenchman outmuscled Jones and cut the ball back for
John Lundstram, who saw his effort well saved by De Gea but the
goalkeeper could do nothing to keep out Fleck's follow-up.
Fred and Andreas Pereira were unable to establish any control in
midfield. United's forwards were barely able to get into the game,
mustering just one shot in the whole of the first half.
Solskjaer replaced Jones with Jesse Lingard at half-time but Sheffield United deservedly doubled their lead in the 52nd minute.
Manchester United lost the ball on the left and Fleck delivered an
inch-perfect pass to Mousset, who bent a right-footed shot past the
diving De Gea from outside the box.
To chants of "There's only one United," Sheffield continued to boss
the match against their insipid opponents, who looked desperately short
But with the game drifting, Manchester United found a foothold when a
Daniel James cross into the box fell to Williams, who lashed home on
Solskjaer threw on Greenwood to replace Pereira, meaning United were
operating with an attacking quartet of Greenwood, Rashford, Anthony
Martial and James.
Greenwood slid in Rashford's cross, to make it 2-2 and then Rashford himself got on the scoresheet.
But just when it appeared Manchester United had grabbed a
morale-boosting win, substitute McBurnie struck, controlling the ball on
his chest and firing past De Gea.
"They were 2-0 down and we were in control," Wilder said. "Little bit
disappointed. Couple of hours on and couple of beers we'll look back on
it. We might get undone a couple of times and we got undone today, but
we came roaring back."