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Marcus Rashford scored twice to avoid Dean Henderson’s blush as Manchester United rallied again to beat beleaguered Sheffield United 3-2 and finish sixth in the Premier League.
A terrible mistake by goalkeeper Henderson, who replaced David de Gea against his former club, put an early opening goal at the plate for David McGoldrick at Bramall Lane on Thursday.
However, it was deja vu for the Red Devils as they produced another comeback, Rashford tied and Anthony Martial scored his first top flight goal of the season to put them in front at halftime.
The visitors were a major threat at halftime as they led the second half and Rashford brought his season tally to 12 as they posted 10 straight Premier League wins on the road, despite the fact that McGoldrick was late in second and secured a nervous ending.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have had to come from behind to win all six top flight games away from home, while the Blades remain at the bottom of the table with just one point from 13 games.
10 – Manchester United is the first team to score more than 2 goals in 10 consecutive away games in the Premier League; in fact, they are the first club to do so in the English top flight since Tottenham in October 1960. Clinical. pic.twitter.com/3bZlwx1Lxo
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 17, 2020
Henderson gave the Blades the lead in the fifth minute when Oliver Burke caught him thinking about the ball, who set McGoldrick up for a tap-in.
An unmarked John Fleck should have doubled the last side’s lead when he fired wide from inside the penalty area after Phil Jagielka replaced the injured Sander Berge.
The ruthless Red Devils turned him around with two goals in the space of seven minutes, Rashford timed his run to perfection and controlled Victor Lindelof’s ball over the top with a great first touch before clinically scoring with his right foot.
Paul Pogba then set up his France teammate Martial with a brilliant first pass to put United in front on the second down in the 33rd minute.
Pogba’s brilliant skill and passing started a devastating counterattack that gave Solskjaer’s side a two-goal band six minutes into the second half, Aaron Ramsdale fouled by allowing Rashford’s shot to pass under his body .
Only the desperate Blades defense denied Martial a second goal before a Lindelof header from the corner hit McGoldrick in the head and came in to give the Blades hope, but they were unable to save a point after Henderson produced a brilliant save to deny Lys Mousset in injury time.
What does that mean? Red Devils make history on the road, but only
The Red Devils’ victory makes them the fourth team to win 10 consecutive top flight games in their travels.
They are also the only team to have scored two or more goals in 10 consecutive Premier League away games and the first in the top flight since Tottenham in 1960.
It means they are only five points behind leading Liverpool with a game in hand, but they did a tough job of preventing the Blades from doubling their points count. Solskjaer and Chris Wilder exchanged words on the touchline in a nervous finish after Manchester United looked ready to see a comfortable victory.
Rashford ruthless, purring Pogba
Two goals from Rashford will likely give the England forward the most headlines and the first was a magnificent finish.
Pogba’s performance, which has received so much criticism, will also be a huge advantage for Solskjaer.
His vision and technique in setting up the goal and Martial’s class in getting the ball rolling for Rashford’s second proved what he is capable of. Pogba also won possession eight times while performing his defensive work effectively.
Henderson redeems himself
Goalie Henderson was magnificent for the Blades on loan last season, but got off to a nightmare start on his return to Bramall Lane.
It took too long to distribute the ball as the visitors tried to play from behind and were punished.
However, Henderson showed why he is so appreciated in the final stages, showing great reactions to dive to his right and avoid Mousset’s blow.
Opta key facts:
– Sheffield United have earned fewer points after their first 13 games of a league season than any other team in England’s top flight history (one).
– Manchester United is the fourth team in England’s top flight history to record 10 consecutive league away victories, after Spurs (10 between April and October 1960), Chelsea (11 between April and December 1960). 2008) and Manchester City (11 between May and December 2017).
– The Red Devils have now scored at least twice in 10 consecutive league games away from home, the longest career by a team in the top flight since the Spurs in October 1960 (also 10).
– Having made just one mistake that led directly to a goal in 36 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United last season, Dean Henderson made his first appearance in just three appearances (two as a starter) in competition for Man Utd.
– Marcus Rashford has scored 43 goals for Ole Gunnar Solskjær in all competitions, the most of any Manchester United player under a single manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Manchester United will face old rivals Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday, when the Blades leave for Brighton and Hove Albion.