Manchester United played out an insane 3-3 draw against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday. The Red Devils came back from a two-goal deficit to take the lead before Oliver McBurnie’s last-gasp equalizer took victory right from under their jaws.
United did put up a memorable fight after the hour-mark, but they were predominantly outplayed by Chris Wilder’s side. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer even admitted that afterwards, but also hailed his side’s character to come back.
In what was perhaps the most thrilling game in the Premier League match-day, let’s take a look at three talking points.
Phil Jones and Andreas Pereira can’t be trusted in hostile environments
There were a few eyebrows when Solskjaer named a 3-man backline which included Phil Jones for the first time in the league this season. The Norwegian admitted the Englishman was his only viable option, but that decision soon sparked disaster.
Jones tumbled in a heap leading to the opening goal, allowing Lys Mousset to easily win possession and force it. He seemed unstable with his positioning throughout and made things difficult for Brandon Williams as well.
Similarly, Andreas Pereira was like a passenger in midfield. He allowed the hosts to completely dominate him, losing the ball too many times, most notably leading to Sheffield’s second strike.
Jones and Pereira were clearly nervous against high-pressing oppositions, making things worse for their team-mates. They really shouldn’t play these kind of games anymore going forward.
Sheffield United’s indomitable spirit will take them further forward this season
Sheffield United have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season, but their success has been anything but a fluke. The newly-promoted side have hustled their way to victories, but the way Chris Wilder’s managed them is equally impressive.
By implementing a unique attacking stance which even gives centre-backs freedom to roam forward, he’s allowed his side to embrace innovation. More importantly, his well-drilled side maintains a solid shape which caused United problems all throughout.
Only tired legs caused their comeback, but the last-minute equalizer pinpointed the Blades’ never-say-die spirit. If they keep this tenacious nature intact, this blistering run isn’t ending anytime soon.
Manchester United’s youngsters are onto something special
To think that The Red Devils comeback was inspired by back-to-back goals from teenagers makes it even more bewildering. But when Brandon Williams popped out of nowhere to drive the ball into the net making it 2-1, United’s spirits were automatically lifted.
Mason Greenwood then came on and scored a natural poacher’s finish before the most reputed academy graduate Marcus Rashford completed the comeback. That was Rashford’s seventh league goal this season, but the contributions of his juniors were even more impressive.
They became the first teenage duo to score for United since 2005 and have shown more passion and heart than many of their peers.
Solskjaer needs to keep motivating them to do better, as both Greenwood, as well as Williams, could become core members in a few years time.