As the Premier League’s bottom club, Sheffield United, registered a 2-1 win against them at Old Trafford, Manchester United were on the wrong end of one of the most shocking results of the season. They fell to what was a truly embarrassing loss to a spirited and well-drilled Blades side, giving them just their second win in 20 games, on a night that would have seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men move back up to the top of the table.
With up to eight players unavailable, Chris Wilder’s men were short on numbers in their squad and could name only six substitutes on the bench. On the other side, by making four changes, Manchester United opted to rotate for this fixture, with the likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Nemanja Matic, Alex Telles, and Marcus Rashford coming back after the Fulham game into the starting XI.
Manchester United had the lion’s share of the ball in the first half, but to no good effect as they failed to test keeper Aaron Ramsdale of the Blades. The defense of Wilder led by the experienced Phil Jagielka greatly marshaled the troops of United and limited them to just a shot on goal.
After David de Gea failed to deal with Kean Bryan from a Sheffield corner, they also took a rather unlikely lead midway through the first half. In 28 years, the former Manchester City man became the first Blades player to score at Old Trafford and managed to give a first-half lead to his side, giving the relegation battlers something in the second half to fight for.
Like Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils upped the ante in the second 45 minutes, and Paul Pogba attempted to get the hosts back to even terms. As Harry Maguire’s bullet header from a 64th-minute corner tied the score at Old Trafford, their pressure paid off.
It was Wilder’s charges that shocked their decorated hosts as Solskjaer’s men surged forward in search of a winner. For the second time in the game, Sheffield United capitalized on some very questionable defending from Manchester United to take the lead.