Manchester United fall to last-place Sheffield

Sports Desk, Jan 27 (efe-epa).- Sheffield United pulled off a stunning 1-2 upset of Manchester United on Wednesday as the Red Devils were poised to overtake cross-town rivals City atop the Premier League.

The Blades first victory at Old Trafford since 1973 was only their second in the Premier League more than half-way through the season.

For Man United, it was the end of an unbeaten streak that began Nov. 1.

Sheffield took the lead in the 23rd minute from a corner. Two attacking players delayed David De Gea long enough to allow Kean Bryan to beat the Manchester goalkeeper to the ball and head it in. Anthony Martial responded for the hosts seven minutes later, but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Harry Maguire on Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Red Devils drew even in the 64th minute with a Maguire header off a corner and the stage was set for a classic Old Trafford comeback.

Instead, the hosts conceded a second goal just 10 minutes later. Martial lost possession and Sheffield’s John Lundstram got the ball to late sub Oliver Burke.

While Burke’s first effort was turned aside, he ended up with the ball again and his shot took deflected off Manchester’s Axel Tuanzebe past De Gea.

The Blades hung on to claim all 3 points and are now 10 points from safety.

Manchester United stay in second place, a point behind City and 1 point better than Leicester City, who drew 1-1 with Everton on Wednesday.

James Rodriguez put the Toffees up at the half-hour mark with a strike that ricocheted off the post and into Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

Everton retreated after the Colombian international’s fourth goal of the season, allowing the Foxes to dominate possession from then on.

The hosts withstood the pressure until the 67th minute, when Youri Tielemans delivered a low blast that beat keeper Jordan Pickford.

Andre Gomes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison all had chances to win it for Everton, but failed to execute and the teams split the points.

The Toffees remain seventh in the table with 33 points.

Wednesday also saw Thomas Tuchel’s reign as Chelsea manager get under way with a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton.

The German, who only arrived in London on Tuesday, left Timo Werner, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham on the bench in favor of a lineup featured more experienced players such as Cesar Azpilicueta and Olivier Giroud.

The hosts had 79 percent possession at Stamford Bridge, putting five shots on target to none for Wolves.

Keeper Rui Patricio denied Antonio Rüdiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Willian Jose – acquired by Wolverhampton for his scoring prowess – blocked a dangerous strike from Kai Havertz in stoppage time to preserve the point for his team.

The closest the visitors came to scoring was an effort by Pedro Neto that went over the cross-bar.

A scoreless draw was certainly not what Chelsea management would have hoped to see after angering supporters Monday with the firing of club legend Frank Lampard as coach after some 19 months in the job.

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