Man United climb to 6th with win over last-place Sheffield

Sports Desk, Dec 17 (efe-epa).- Marcus Rashford had a double Thursday to lead Manchester United 3-2 over Sheffield United, moving the Red Devils up to sixth place in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are now undefeated in their last six Premier League matches, taking 16 of 18 possible points.

In the nine days since they crashed out of the Champions League with a defeat to RB Leipzig, the Red Devils have held City 0-0 in the Manchester derby and gone three steps above their cross-town rivals in the table.

But Thursday’s contest at Bramall Lane began badly for the visitors, as goalkeeper Dean Henderson – starting instead of David De Gea – gave away the ball in the area and Sheffield’s David McGoldrick scored to make it 1-0 in the 5th minute.

Rashford brought the Red Devils level in the 26th, beating keeper Aaron Ramsdale with a low blast from 20 yards out.

The away side surged ahead just seven minutes later, when Paul Pogba got the ball to Anthony Martial, who watched Ramsdale stop his initial shot but struck home on the rebound.

The Sheffield keeper denied Rashford three minutes later.

Just six minutes after the restart, however, Rashford got his second of the night and the Manchester squad seemed to be in full command until the 87th minute, when Victor Lindelof went up to clear a Sheffield corner kick but instead ended up bouncing the ball off the head of McGoldrick past Henderson.

Sheffield, who finished ninth last season as a promoted club, remain winless in the current campaign and have just 1 point from 14 matches.

“There’s examples of teams going 12, 13, 14 games and not winning a game of football, but the longer it goes on the harder it becomes. I feel we should be on more points, but the brutal fact is we are there,” Sheffield coach Chris Wilder said after the game.

Solskjaer praised Henderson – who spent two seasons with Sheffield on loan – for how he reacted after conceding the first goal.

“He comes back here, he’s probably been looking forward to this and it just shows his character, the rest of the game,” the Man United coach said of his keeper.

Earlier Thursday, Aston Villa and Burnley battled to a 0-0 draw in Birmingham.

The hosts had 60 percent possession and outshot the Clarets by a margin of 20-6, but failed to put anything past keeper Nick Hope, missing out on a chance to build momentum from their victory over Wolverhampton last weekend.

Villa are 11th with 19 points, while Burnley escaped from the drop zone, rising to 17th on 10 points. EFE


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