Sheffield United vs Manchester United. Premier League.
Report and highlights as Blades salvage point after Man Utd youngsters mount late rally
Monday 25 November 2019 06:09, UK
Oli McBurnie's 90th-minute equaliser arrested a second-half Sheffield United capitulation as they salvaged a point in thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Bramall Lane.
Substitute McBurnie's effort was allowed to stand after a VAR review found no evidence of handball, sparking delirious scenes as the Blades rescued themselves from the jaws of defeat in the most dramatic of finales.
Sheffield United looked set to pile more away-day misery on the visitors when goals in either half from John Fleck and Lys Mousset left the Blades 18 minutes away from claiming another huge Premier League scalp.
But Brandon Williams' first Manchester United goal sparked a late collapse from the hosts that saw substitute Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford score in the space of seven minutes.
However, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side within touching distance of completing a stunning turnaround, along came another twist as McBurnie's shot squirmed past David de Gea, leaving both sides to settle with a point when they had three seemingly in their grasp.
Sheffield Utd: Moore (7), Basham (6), Jagielka (6), O’Connell (6), Baldock (6), Lundstram (7), Norwood (7), Fleck (8), Stevens (6), McGoldrick (6), Mousset (8).
Subs: McBurnie (7), Sharp (6), Robinson (5).
Man Utd: De Gea (8), Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (6), Jones (5), Maguire (6), Williams (6), Fred (6), Pereira (6), James (6), Martial (5), Rashford (7).
Subs: Lingard (6), Greenwood (7).
Man of the Match: John Fleck
With Manchester United one of just three Premier League sides yet to win a point from a losing position this season, the objective for Sheffield United was clear - score the first goal.
The Blades were made to wait for the breakthrough, but not for long, and had it not been for De Gea they would have hit the front on 11 minutes, the Spaniard producing a stunning double save to thwart John Lundstram's volley before he got a hand to David McGoldrick's header when he had no right to.
But with the pressure constant and concentrated on the Manchester United goal, it was only a matter of time before Sheffield United took a deserved lead, and there was nothing De Gea could do this time.
Mousset shrugged Phil Jones off the ball far to easily, crossed for Lundstram whose first-time shot was saved by De Gea but crucially parried into the path of Fleck, who bundled the Blades into the lead amid scenes of delirium from the home crowd.
It took Manchester United 29 minutes to test goalkeeper Simon Moore on his Premier League debut as Anthony Martial mustered the visitors' first and only shot on target before the break, but the Blades stopper coped with ease.
With Sheffield United unbeaten since January 2014 in the 89 games in which they have led at half-time, Manchester United's hopes of staging a comeback were slim - and those hopes looked to have been were extinguished on 52 minutes.
Andreas Pereira gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and the Blades pounced as Fleck's disguised pass inside released Mousset through on goal where unleashed a brilliantly precise shot into the bottom corner past the outstretched arm of De Gea.
That looked to have settled the contest in Sheffield United's favour, but a remarkable seven minutes swung a game that had never been under Manchester United's control in the visitors' favour.
First, Williams lashed a volley into the bottom corner after a clearance fell to him in the box. On came Greenwood and within four minutes Manchester United were level as he poked Rashford's cross home before Rashford got on the end of Daniel James cross to complete the comeback.
But just as it seemed Manchester United had escaped with all three points, Sheffield United roared back as McBurnie latched onto Callum Robinson's cross, and not even VAR could deny the Blades a deserved point.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: "I'm a little bit disappointed they got the first goal to get back to into the game. We're not in League One - if you lose a little energy, they'll turn the ball over. We weren't bad [in the first 70 minutes], they were 2-0 down and we were comfortable and in control. A 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."
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "Mixed emotions. 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. When you are 2-0 down you have to go for it, play with less fear and just go for it. 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 comeback at a place like this.
Manchester United travel to Astana in the Europa League on Thursday at 3.50pm before both clubs resume their Premier League campaigns on December 1. The Blades travel to Wolves at 2pm before Aston Villa travel to Old Trafford at 4.30pm.