Manchester United vs. Sheffield United score: Last-place Blades pull off stunning Premier League upset

Bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United defeated Manchester United, 2-1, Wednesday at Old Trafford in the biggest Premier League  upset of the season. Sheffield United got goals from Kean Bryan in the 23rd minute and Oliver Burke in the 74th for their first win at Old Trafford since 1973. United would’ve gone back to the Premier League summit with a victory, but instead suffered their first league defeat since Nov. 1.

The match tempo started off fairly even between the two sides, with United having more of the ball and getting into dangerous spaces but unable to get quality opportunities. The failure to convert ultimately allowed Sheffield to match tempo and play themselves into the game as Bryan gave the Blades the lead in the 23rd minute.

United were unable to find an equalizer before halftime, with a goal from Anthony Marital being disallowed in the 30th minute. Frustrations would rise with yellow cards issued to each side as the first 45 minutes drew to a close. 

Manchester United closed out their first half out dominating possession 78% compared to Sheffield’s 22% and out shot their opponents, 9-2. It was a performance that was left lacking cynical execution and the team came out into the second half immediately on the ball on the hunt for an equalizer. Trying to level the game wouldn’t come easily as Sheffield United also remained aggressive on the ball when opportunity presented itself, and the two teams would exchange solid chances in the 56th and 62nd minutes. 

United finally broke through on goal just past the hour mark with a se- piece goal of their own. Harry Maguire got on the end of a delivery from Alex Telles toward the penalty spot, and his header found the bottom corner.

But the Blades wouldn’t be denied history on the day as Burke put them back ahead in the 74th minute. 

The go-ahead goal came off a lost possession from Martial, with John Lundstram streaking down the right flank and connecting with Burke for an exchange of shots that would ultimately deflect into the net. Have a look at the winner:

A few final looks on goal wouldn’t pan out for United, and the Red Devils and the Red Devils stayed behind Manchester City — who have a game in hand — in the table.

Notable performances

Let’s take a look at the same of the day’s performances and rate them with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest rating.

John Fleck, Sheffield United: A big day for the midfielder today, was responsible for the assist on the team’s opening goal and was largely tasked with helping to neutralize Manchester’s attack through the match. Rating: 7

John Lundstram, Sheffield United: Kept the energy up for the midfield throughout the match, and helped play the role of enforcer in the mid for the club. Provided the assist on the game-winning goal. Rating: 7.5

Anthony Martial, Manchester United: Playing with an injury and continued to struggle today. He tried to remain active in front of goal, but did too much at times, and turned the ball over that led to Sheffield’s game-winner. Rating: 5.5

Look ahead

United will have a chance to bounce back against Arsenal on Saturday. Sheffield United, now with two wins, still find themselves at the bottom of the table. They face Manchester City on Saturday. 

Premier League action continues Thursday with Tottenham hosting Liverpool.

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