The Premier League title race has taken another twist because Sheffield United shocked Manchester United last night and dented the chances of the Red Devils where the contest has been tight at the top. A few days back all was well in Old Trafford, but this has been a season, where a shock is always waiting around the corner.

With the result last night, Manchester City would be extremely happy while Liverpool would start pulling up their socks.

To be honest, Manchester United of Ole Gunnar Solskjær were insipid against a Sheffield unit, which were impressive.

Alex Tuanzebe, given a first league start since October 2019 after Eric Bailly was injured in training, had a disappointing game as the home side started strongly before fading badly.

They dominated the ball but lacked the Midas touch near Aaron Ramsdale’s goal.

There was one flowing move that shook the Sheffield backline – Pogba was the instigator with one instant no-look chip releasing Bruno Fernandes behind the lines – only for the Portuguese player’s unsure touch undermined the move.

Sheffield came close to a sucker-punch courtesy of a John Fleck pass that split the defence and gave Billy Sharp a clear shot which De Gea’s legs repelled, but only just.

Manchester United responded with Fernandes lobbing into Mason Greenwood whose right-to-left run had Sheffield on the ropes – he skipped round Ramsdale but took an extra touch and the keeper could smother the ball.

Then Fleck exposed the vulnerability of United against the dead balls – The midfielder’s corner from the right was placed into the sweet spot in front of De Gea. Both De Gea and Tuanzebe leaped yet neither could prevent Kean Bryan from heading in off the post and which meant that for the 10th time this season Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s were forced to come from behind. Again, this was the eighth league goal United have conceded from a set-piece this season.

Moments later Anthony Martial – another who disappointed – rolled the ball home but Maguire was adjudged by Peter Bankes to have fouled Ramsdale and VAR backed the referee up. United pressed until the interval but this was as close as they came to the equalizer.

Ole was frustrated!

After the break, Greenwood did have one golden opportunity to equalize when Fernandes threaded him in but he fired across Ramsdale and wide, which indicated that the home side composure like they exhibited against Liverpool in the FA Cup tie.

Instead, Alex Telles wasted a corner, Nemanja Matic fouled needlessly and then Fernandes hit a simple pass straight out.

With the home side lacking the composure, the visitors threatened sporadically as when McGoldrick unloaded too high at De Gea.

In the meantime, Unites claimed a free-kick. Marcus Rashford took a shot from distance that Ramsdale gathered with ease. Yet far better was what came next. Telles swung in a corner from the left and a free-running Maguire headed expertly in.

United equalized, but the substitute Oliver Burke’s 74th-minute winner summing up why the home side deserved to lose.

De Gea failed to clear and instead handed John Lundstram possession near the goal, which allowed Sheffield too much time to organize and strike – even after Burke’s initial shot, and Lundstram found the player again inside the home side’s area with zero pressure –  Pogba the nearest offender – and Burke hit a first Premier League goal in off Tuanzebe.

Manchester United were punished for starting the game slowly. They began sluggishly, defended poorly throughout, conceded from a set-piece, and struggled to break down a team deploying a low block. Of course, there was no meaning to start Edinson Cavani so late, whereas the veteran striker has been hugely impactful in marshaling the young forwards.

Cavani had only been on the pitch 60 seconds, after finally being introduced in the 67th minute, when he showed exactly how dangerous he can be in the box by making a clever run to the near post to get on the end of a ball from Pogba.

United came 7 times from behind this season to win the game, but last night it was not possible despite having 16 shots on goal because they lacked the sharpness.


The race for the title is wide open.

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