7 Ups And 1 Down Of United’s Win Over Sheffield United
Oh, how I’ve missed that feeling. The feeling of a United team clicking from defence to attack, from left to right, from box to box. That’s the feeling ‘Red Devil’ fans have just experienced as Man United comfortably beat fellow European battlers Sheffield United. It was the first game that Martial, Rashford, Greenwood, Pogba and Bruno all started, and the dreams turned fantasy on the pitch. But it wasn’t quite a perfect performance so let’s digest the thrilling match in all its ups and all its downs.
DOWN – IT COULD HAVE BEEN 8
Scoring three is great but when it could have been 8 you are left feeling a bit deflated. Rashford should have at least two goals and Greenwood with at least one. Over the past few seasons, United have had a tendency to squander big chances and sometimes it has cost them but today, enough chances were converted for the dub. A big emphatic victory over Sheffield United would have sent a message to the rest of the Premier League but that’s just nit picking because despite missing chances, they took a fair few of them too.
UP – A 7 YEAR WAIT
It’s strange how it’s been seven years since the last Man United hat trick. Sergio Aguero has scored 11 hat tricks and Harry Kane 8 since Van Persie netted the last United one back in 2013 so it was a relief when we saw Martial dink it into the net to complete his. Martial was a straight down last game as he was out of the game but today was anything but. Every chance Martial had he took we ease and it’s the first time in a while he looked deadly in front of goal.
He had many doubters coming into this game so scoring 3 was a fitting way to silence the haters and move on to Norwich in the cup where he might get rested for Ighalo.
UP – POGBA AT HIS BEST
Paul Pogba proved why he is one of the most talented footballers on the planet tonight when he put in a midfield masterclass. Some of his passes cut the midfield up and his never give up attitude was great to see from a United standpoint. His dribble which included a nutmeg here and a few stepovers there was almost perfect if it didn’t end up with a malfunction at the junction between him and Martial. Pogba turning good at just the right time for United.
UP – THE STARTING XI
Many had questions over the starting line-up last Friday, but nobody bashed the team Ole sent out tonight. Pogba and Matic in for Fred and Mctominay was the right choice after average performances against Spurs. Greenwood over James was also logical considering the poor display the Welshman had at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The selection was spot on from Solskjaer and he should be praised for sending out the exact team he should of against an out of form Sheffield United side.
UP – WAN BISSAKA BEING A 2020 RIGHT BACK
We live in a weird footballing world where there is a reliance on full backs attacking an awful lot more than they used to and Aaron Wan Bissaka has had a fair bit of criticism for that side of his game. With that being said, today saw the Englishman lockdown the right side of the pitch both defensively and attacking wise too. His cross was pitch perfect for Martial’s second and his overall game was quite something to awe at. AWB is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in all areas of the pitch.
UP – SILENT BUT DEADLY
A few months before lockdown, United fans thought Matic was done at the top level. Who knew that he would vastly become the key component in a midfield with Bruno and Pogba? His defensive game is strong and his way of playing allows Pogba and Bruno to advance further and create more. Pogba and Bruno’s performances can be credited back to the silent warrior in the heart of the defensive midfield.
UP – QUIET BUT NECESSARY PERFORMANCE FROM DE GEA
David De Gea receive a lot of hatred after his error cost United two points against Spurs and he needed a quiet uneventful performance ending in a clean sheet to keep him out of the headlines and that is exactly what happened against ‘The Blades’.
I can only remember one save from De Gea and it seemed an easy grasp after a daisy cutter shot. The Spaniard didn’t need to save six penalties to prove himself, so a performance where he touched the ball next to nothing was ideal for David’s confidence. Whatever your opinions of De Gea are, he needs to stay in the net for the remainder of this season and a clean sheet will only keep his chin up.
UP – LOOKING FORWARD NOT BACK
A labelled this a must win game before the first whistle and United played exactly like it was. To avoid a cliché about it being a six pointer, this win has helped United push Sheffield United further back and propelled United to within a point of Chelsea, who still have to play Man City. United will now look above them in order to break into the Top 4 rather than worrying about the clubs coming up behind them like Tottenham and Sheffield United.
So, a much more positive ups and downs to match a much more positive game for ‘The Red Devils’. The combination of Pogba and Bruno, Greenwood and AWB and of course Rashford and Martial proved to much for Sheffield United and the first hat trick since Fergie’s retirement bookends a performance worthy of a Champions League place.