Manchester United have been on an incredible run, but it is over now. The Red Devils have lost at home to Sheffield United 2-1, in a match that was a perfect example of what used to be the Man United team in the past several years. After getting top of the table in the Premier League, United were expected to easily get past the Blades, who are at the bottom of the standings, but goals from Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke were enough for Chris Wilder’s side to get the three points, for only the second time this season.
The Blades are in an upturn of form, but nevertheless, Man United have disappointed after a two-month run of games where that was not the case. Here is what we learned from this match.
Man United Get Back To Their Thing
Manchester United had a run of 13 games in which only once did they lose, and that was against Manchester City in the League Cup semifinal. Apart from that, nine wins and three draws were a really good outcome which had seen Solskjaer’s team stay top of the Premier League standings for a few weeks. But against Sheffield it was back to some of the old basics. Defensively, United were not good, with central midfield always falling behind and in attack, there was a real lack of proper finishing which would help the Devils get a similar win like the last time in Sheffield. Then it was 3-2 for United and it sounds disappointing to get only three points against Sheffield, conceding four goals in 180 minutes against the worst team in the league.
Fernandes Cannot Always Be The Spark
Bruno Fernandes has been brilliant for Manchester United for a full year now, since his arrival in the last January transfer window, but he was not the one last night to resolve this match. And that is completely fine – he had 45 goal contributions since arriving at Old Trafford, by far the most of all Premier League players in all competitions. But there was also a lack of others trying to step up. In recent weeks, that was Paul Pogba with some really important goals, but he is not the player in positions where such a big influence could be expected in every match. That attacking spark must be shared across the attacking line and this time that was not the case.
Ampadu Shows His Talent
Ethan Ampadu is still just 20 years old. The Welsh centre-back was really good playing alongside almost twice as old Phil Jagielka. Ampadu’s composure on the ball was notably, while he was clearing the penalty area on basically every ocassion. A couple of great tackles were also helping the Blades and it is now becoming interesting to see a proper player emerging in him. He is learning a lot at a side that has to defend for most of the time and that could serve him well.
A Match To Learn From
Manchester United must learn from this game. It is not the end of the world… As we were saying in the past few weeks, they are not part of a title race and they are not really title contenders. That is simply not something that should be at everyone’s mind at this stage of the season. The focus should be on every individual game, so that disappointing losses like this one are to stop happening to the Red Devils.