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Ratings: Rashford, Martial, Pogba helped blunt the Blades; Rashford brace and Martial back on the scoresheet

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Manchester United beat Sheffield United 3-2 in the Premier League at Bramall Lane on Thursday evening which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side reach sixth place in the league table. A defensive error from a Harry Maguire back pass which saw Dean Henderson concede the first goal against his former loan club saw United start on the back foot once again. But a brace from Marcus Rashford and a goal from Anthony Martial saw United having a new leading goalscorer this season. The Red Devils will now focus on the home class with Leeds United on Sunday as the games come every three days at this Festive period. David McGoldrick completed his brace, scoring in the first and last five minutes of the match.

It was yet another poor start for United against the team at the bottom of the Premier League. The Blades opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the match after a defensive error from United. Victor Lindelof played the ball to Dean Henderson, who started against his former loan club, for the goalkeeper to pass out to Harry Maguire, who immediately passed back to Henderson with David McGoldrick on the advance and taking advantage of the error and scoring the first goal of the match. Many will blame Henderson for that but in my opinion, Maguire should not have passed the ball back to the goalkeeper, he should have played it out.

United soon got themselves back in the match with Marcus Rashford scoring his 11th goal of the season after a stunning assist from Victor Lindelof, who looped the ball over the top up field which the England forward received, took a touch and fired United level seconds later. Seven minutes later, United were in the lead for the first time in the match through Anthony Martial, who scored his third goal of the season. It was a precise pass from Paul Pogba in midfield, up top for the Frenchman, who just managed to gather the ball to slot home in the 33rd minute of the match.

United would rise to sixth in the Premier League with a victory in this match but winning by a four goal margin would put the Red Devils ahead of Everton into fifth place, which would be a complement to United, especially after conceding the opening goal once again. United scored again in the 51st minute of the match, seemingly meaning business to get a victory on the road once again. Rashford scored his second goal of the match, which was played forward by Pogba, but after a foul, was passed about with Bruno Fernandes getting a touch in creating it with Martial getting the assist for United’s third goal of the match.

Solskjaer made the first change in the 74th minute of the with Juan Mata replacing Mason Greenwood. Six minutes later, Donny van de Beek replaced Bruno Fernandes in the 80th minute of the match. United were 3-1 up at the time and seeming close to victory. However, in the 87th minute of the match, the Blades got themselves back into the match through McGoldrick with Lindelof making an error which saw the goal stand. It was an uneasy last few minutes, plus added time with United looking back at their last match at Bramall Lane, which saw them come from 2-0 down, leading 3-2 and drawing in the last minute of the match.

Alex Telles protested to the referee after the Blades’ second goal, which after the reply deemed the Brazilian left-back right to protest. However, the goal was given. Henderson was booked in added time for time wasting and made a good save to deny his former loan club once again. United, at 3-2 up, would have been feeling the pressure from the Blades, who were seeking to double their points tally in the league this season. United got the victory, despite conceding twice, which saw them rise to sixth in the league. Leeds United will head to Old Trafford for the first time in the Premier League since 2004, which will be a big match for United.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Conceded the first goal of the game inside five minutes after a defensive error by Maguire. Soon recovered and gained composure from the opening goal, soon doing this best to try and avert any further goals. Conceded a second goal late in the game and also made a good save to deny his former loan club.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played well in the right-back position. Got forward a lot of the time and defended when he needed to. I would like to see him more clinical on the attack for United.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Got an assist for Rashford's equaliser. firing the ball over the top with Rashford taking a touch before finding the back of the net.

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5 Harry Maguire

Should not have passed the ball back to Henderson, which led to the opening goal of the match. An England international should understand his defensive duties much better than that.

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27 Alex Telles

Restored himself at the left-back position and played some good football in the victory for United. Having him and Shaw fit at this stage of the match will be a good thing for the freshness of the squad, at least in the left-back position.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played a good game, at times. Not a starter regularly for me, but did his bit tonight. Will probably be rested at the weekend to play again next week.

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6 Paul Pogba

Played a great ball into Martial in the 33rd minute of the match, which turned into the goal which put United ahead for the first time in the match.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Played a good attacking game against the Blades, after United's initial set back. He did not score any goals or assists but played a part in the victory never the less. He was replaced by Mata in the 74th minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

It was not his best match for United and not his worst either. He played a part in United's third goal, which was partly a team goal. He was replaced by Van de Beek in the 80th minute of the match. I reckon the Dutchman could start against Leeds United on Sunday,

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10 Marcus Rashford

Scored the equaliser for United form a Lindelof assist over the top, taking a touch before beating the Blades' goalkeeper. It was a cracking finish for the England forward and hopefully we start to see more from him after scoring his 11th goal of the season. Scored his 12th goal of the season in the 51st minute of the match, assisted by Martial to put United 3-1 up against the Blades.

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9 Anthony Martial

Scored his third goal of the season, putting United ahead for the first time in the match. He and Pogba seem to link with with the midfielder searching for him a few time with the long passes into the box. Got himself his second assist of the season for Rashford's second goal of the match, which put United 3-1 up against the Blades.

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Substitutes

8 Juan Mata

Replaced Greenwood 74'. Came on with 16 minutes, plus added time, left to play. United conceded another goal, failing to keep the game in bed at 3-1 up. Not Mata's fault though.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Fernandes 80'. Came on for ten minutes, which will hopefully see him start against Leeds on Sunday. He needs more time on the pitch. That will probably come at tis busy period of the season.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Martial 90'. Came on at the death with United just conceding a second goal. Did not really have the time to get involved in the game but did what he needed to, as he usually does.

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Goals: David McGoldrick 5′, 87′; Marcus Rashford 26′, 51′, Anthony Martial 33′

Assists: Oliver Burke 5′; Victor Lindelof 26′, Anthony Martial 51′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Pogba; Greenwood (Mata 74′), Fernandes (Van de Beek 80′), Rashford; Martial (McTominay 90′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Shaw; Fred, James

Bookings: Phil Jagielka 51′, John Egan 70′, Jack Robinson 90+5′; Dean Henderson 90+1′, Paul Pogba 90+5′

Written by John Walker

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