Through the first half of the season, the mood at Manchester United was great. 19 games into a 38-game season, United was 1 point behind first place Manchester City.
That all changed on a cold Wednesday afternoon.
Yesterday, Manchester United was looking to take the top spot of the Premier League back as they faced Sheffield United. Coming into this game, Sheffield was in dead last place and only had 5 points this season. That did not matter at all. Sheffield United walked into Old Trafford and handed United a shocking 2-1 loss. United fell behind early 1-0 but it wasn’t a spot they weren’t used to. United has had seven comeback wins already in the Premier League this season.
After a slow first half, United struck back with a Harry Maguire header in the 64th minute. This draw did not last long, as Sheffield United scored again off a deflected ball in the 74th minute. United would have a couple of chances in the last minutes to equalize, but was unable to do so.
WHAT. A. WIN. 🙌
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) January 27, 2021
What Went Wrong
The main questions after yesterday’s match were all focused on United’s manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Solskjaer made multiple changes by playing Telles over Shaw, Matic instead of Fred or Van De Beek, and Greenwood instead of Cavani.
United has also been dealing with injuries defensively. Starter Victor Lindelof was unavailable which gave Axel Tuanzebe the chance to step up. Tuanzebe seemed to be unprepared throughout the entire game. Sheffield’s first goal came off a header with Tuanzebe losing his man. Sheffield’s second goal came off a deflection that hit Tuanzebe. This seemed to cause plenty of confusion between Rashford, Martial, and Greenwood as they all also struggled yesterday. Changing the team sheet every single game seems to be hurting United more than helping them.
Where do they go from here? It’s only one loss, but it is a major one. With only one-point separating them and City, this gives City a chance to pull away. United doesn’t have an easy schedule coming up with having to play Arsenal, Everton and West Ham in three of their next four games. After dropping points to the last place team and giving Sheffield their first win at Old Trafford since 1973, it is going to be difficult to bounce back.