Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United came from behind again to win 3-2 at Sheffield United and extend their Premier League away winning run to 10 games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have become the first side to win six successive away games after conceding first in a single Premier League season and it came after an unhappy start to life back on the Bramall Lane pitch for Dean Henderson.
The goalkeeper was named in the Man Utd starting XI against the side he had spent the last two seasons on loan with and gifted Sheffield United an early opener (5). He was caught in possession by Oliver Burke, with David McGoldrick slotting home into an empty net.
But with their history this season, a Man Utd comeback was likely as Rashford scored a stunning equaliser (26), before Anthony Martial (33) rounded Aaron Ramsdale to put the visitors ahead at the break with his first league goal of the season.
Rashford (51) – who was awarded the FIFA Fair Play award before the game for his work to end child poverty – finished a wonderful team goal shortly after the break and McGoldrick (87) made it a nervy finish late on as he headed home his second of the game.
But Sheffield United could not summon the spirit of last season’s 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane as Man Utd saw the game out for another away victory, moving into sixth and level on points with Everton. For the Blades, they remain rock bottom of the Premier League with one point.
Man Utd too strong for battling Blades
Henderson would have been relishing a chance to start again his former team-mates but Sheffield United took advantage of some ponderous Man Utd play to take an early lead.
Oliver Burke caught Henderson out in possession as the goalkeeper passed the ball between his two centre-backs, striding across to knock the ball away from Henderson’s feet. As he scrambled to collect the ball, Burke tapped it into the lurking McGoldrick just behind before slotting home into an empty net.
The equaliser was not far behind though as Rashford levelled things up in the 26th minute with a sensational effort, running in behind the Blades defence to collect a long, lofted pass from Victor Lindelof. His first touch controlled the ball sublimely before the second smashed an effort past the unwitting Aaron Ramsdale.
Sheff Utd: Ramsdale (6), Baldock (6), Basham (7), Egan (7), Robinson (6), Stevens (6), Berge (n/a), Ampadu (7), Fleck (7), Burke (7), McGoldrick (7).
Subs used: Jagielka (6), Brewster (6), Mousset (6).
Man Utd: Henderson (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (7), Maguire (7), Telles (7), Matic (7), Pogba (8), Fernandes (7), Greenwood (6), Martial (8), Rashford (8).
Subs used: Mata (6), Van de Beek (5), McTominay (n/a).
Man of the match: Marcus Rashford.
Seven minutes later and Man Utd took the lead. The pick of the move was a sensational ball from Pogba to send Martial through, doing so with his first touch from a Bruno Fernandes pass. Ramsdale came racing off his line to meet Martial, but his attempt to smother the ball only allowed the striker to round him before flicking the ball home with a toe.
Both teams could have added another before the break. Man Utd hit their hosts with a thundering break, Martial driving at the Sheffield United defence before slotting in Rashford down the left of the area. However, his effort was saved by the foot of Ramsdale. At the other end, Henderson showed off a bit more confidence as McGoldrick tries his luck at the near post, but the goalkeeper saw it away with an outstretched leg.
- Sheffield United made three changes. Phil Jagielka, Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie were replaced by Oli Burke, David McGoldrick and Jack Robinson.
- Man Utd made four changes, with Dean Henderson – who spent the last two seasons on loan at Sheffield United – replacing David de Gea in goal. Luke Shaw, Fred and Scott McTominay also dropped out, with Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic and Anthony Martial back in the XI.
The second half was dominated by Man Utd, who added a third goal early on to knock the Christmas stuffing out of the battling Blades. It was a sublime team goal, starting with some superb skill from Pogba deep inside his own half.
Man Utd then went on another lightening break – Michael Oliver doing well to play the advantage after a Phil Jagielka foul on Mason Greenwood – before Martial squared the ball for Rashford. It was then another thundering finish from the England forward as he scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season.
Man Utd were mostly in control of the half – Ramsdale saving from Greenwood in the pick of the chances – but Sheffield United made it an interesting finish when McGoldrick added his own second of the evening. He rose to meet a corner, with his header ricocheting off the face of Lindelof before nestling in the back of the net.
Lys Mousset could have snatched another famous equaliser in the first minute of added time as he send a volley flying goalwards, but Henderson made a sensational, leaping save to keep him at bay as Sheffield United were condemned to their 12th defeat of the season.
Man of the match – Marcus Rashford
It was a confident performance from Rashford, who was scintillating at times with Martial and Fernandes in support. He had a total of five shots – the most of the Man Utd team – with two of three on target finding the back of the net.
He also topped the charts for passes in the opposition half (40) and helped to win three fouls. Credit must also go to Paul Pogba, who despite all of the noise around his future, put in a superb performance and Martial finally broke his Premier League duck this season.
Rashford has now scored 43 goals under Solskjaer in all competitions – the most by any Manchester United player under a single manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
- Sheffield United have won fewer points after their first 13 games of a league season than any other team in English top-flight history (one).
- Manchester United are the fourth side in English top-flight history to record 10 consecutive away league wins, after Spurs (10 between April & October 1960), Chelsea (11 between April & December 2008) and Manchester City (11 between May & December 2017).
- Manchester United have now scored at least twice in 10 consecutive away league games – the longest such run by a team in the top-flight since Spurs in October 1960 (also 10).
- Tonight’s victory saw Manchester United become only the third team in Premier League history to win their opening six away games of a season, following Chelsea in 2008-09 and Manchester City in 2017-18.
- Having only made one error directly leading to a goal in 36 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United last season, Dean Henderson made his first in just three appearances (two starts) in the competition for Man Utd.
Sheffield United are back in action on Super Sunday, when they travel to Brighton, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 12pm. Manchester United are also live on Sky Sports on the same day when they host Leeds United; kick-off 4.30pm.