Manchester United v Sheffield United Review – 24/06/20 – Devils pile pressure on Blades
- Manchester United v Sheffield United Review – Old Trafford – 24 June, 2020
- Result: Manchester United 3, Sheffield United 0
Anthony Martial became the first Manchester United player in seven years to score a hattrick as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men thrashed a hapless Sheffield 3-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
It took just 7 minutes for Martial to guide Marcus Rashford's low cross to make it 1-0 for the hosts. Sheffield could have gone down by one more goal a little later but Rashford steered an unselfish pass from Martial wide of a gaping goal.
Manchester United v Sheffield United Result
Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes started a game for the first time and gave inklings that they could form a potent combination in the remaining games to come.
It was the combination play between the two that set up two golden opportunities in the first for Rashford and Harry Maguire to pile on to the score line but both opportunities went abegging – Rashford miscued a difficult volleyed chance while Maguire's header was disallowed for a push on Sheffield defender Phil Jagielka.
The first-half drinks break seem to provide some energy to visitors and just when it looked that United might have to pay for their missed chances, Martial found the back of the net for the second time just a minute before interval – this time it came from a low Aaron Wan-Bissaka cross.
With the hosts hogging possession in the second-half it was Pogba's moment to show some trickery.
The Frenchman controlling the ball with both feet, virtually ran through the rival defense only for Martial to nip the ball off his toes and lift it well over the crossbar.
But Martial made amends in the 74th minute from some good build-up play from Pogba, Fernandes and Rashford by chipping the ball over the helpless Sheffield goalie Simon Moore to seal his hattrick and three points for United.
The win moved the Red Devils to within 2 points of fourth-placed Chelsea who have a critical clash against Manchester City on Thursday night.
Manchester United v Sheffield United Player Ratings
As for Chris Wilder's side, it's been a disappointing return to the restart of the League.
The Blades who punched well above their weight when the season started have now slipped to the 8th place after the Old Trafford defeat with only a point and no goals to show from their three games post the pandemic break.
Sheffield's pathetic performance is borne out by the mere 32 per pent possession they enjoyed and just a solitary shot on target.
With 44 points garnered from their 31 games, they are only 2 and 3 points ahead of 9th-placed Crystal Palace and 10th placed Everton respectively and could very well be battling for a berth in next season's Europa League.
In his post-match comments Wilder said:
“I expect a better performance from my team. I don't want people looking at our defensive record and saying ‘how have they done that? To concede after three or four minutes put us on back foot.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's was obviously the more buoyant manager.
“At times it was very, very good football,” the United boss said. “We could and should have scored more goals to put the game to bed before half-time.Still more to come and we shouldn't be 100 per cent happy with it.”
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