Manchester United returned from the international break with a trip to Bramall Lane to face high-flying Premier League newcomers, Sheffield United. After what can only be described as a woeful first 70 minutes from the Red Devils, they were lucky to come away with anything from the game.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching staff looked lost for ideas when the game entered the last 20 minutes with the Blades 2 goals to the good. A quick-fire treble from the young trio: Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford rescued their side from an embarrassing defeat.
However, Chris Wilder’s side managed to grab a late equaliser through summer signing Oli McBurnie as Manchester United’s defensive frailties continued to cost them points.
A point ended up an unfair reflection on the game. With Sheffield United the far better side for two-thirds of the encounter, Wilder will feel like his team deserved all three points.
Here is a look at the Reds player ratings after a disappointing return to domestic football.
David De Gea – 6
The Spaniard pulled off an exceptional double save in the first half and didn’t have any chance with either of Sheffield United’s first two goals. You could argue that he should have kept out the third after getting a strong hand to it, but the shot came from such close range it would probably be a little harsh. A tough game for the shot-stopper but he didn’t do too much wrong.
Phil Jones – 1
An awful display from the centre-half gives him the lowest rating in the team. Jones was deployed on the left side of a defensive three and he looked lost for his entire duration on the pitch. His mistake led to John Fleck’s opener and sealed his fate with Solskjaer withdrawing him at half-time. It was a game he will be hoping to forget.
Harry Maguire – 4
Maguire captained the reds once again on Sunday afternoon but it wasn’t the best performance from United’s first choice. He struggled to get to grips with the intensity of the game and was run ragged by David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset, especially in the first 45 minutes. The England international looked more comfortable once United switched to a back four but it was not his finest performance.
Victor Lindelof – 5
Solid, yet unremarkable is the best way to describe Lindelof’s performance. He has definitely improved since being partnered by Maguire but has still yet to convince fans he is the future of United’s defence.
Brandon Williams – 5
A very good goal from the teenager has saved his rating from being worse. He struggled in the first half and most of Sheffield United’s attacks came down his side. Williams was rash and he gave the ball away but a superb volley in the second half sparked a comeback and rescued his otherwise lacklustre performance.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6
Wan-Bissaka was solid once again and he looked strong defensively. That side of his game has never been in question. However, he must improve going forward if United are to add another dimension to their play.
Fred – 6
The Brazilian was one of the better performers for Solskjaer and his work-rate has never been doubted. He covered a lot of ground and managed to break-up play alongside makeshift central midfield partner, Andreas Pereira. His attacking was not so good and he is still yet to prove himself in the opposition’s half, but he has shown signs of improvement in his last couple of performances.
Andreas Pereira – 3
Pereira never looked comfortable in the deeper role alongside compatriot Fred. He was wasteful in possession and looked lost defensively. United fans will be desperate for the return of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba.
Daniel James – 6
The Welshman had a relatively quiet game by his standards, but then again, so did most of the United players. James improved in the second half once United got hold of the ball and his rapid burst in behind set up Rashford for what looked to be the winning goal.
Marcus Rashford – 7
Much the same as Daniel James, Rashford improved in the second half once United took control of the game. He looked lively in the final 20 minutes and drove his side’s comeback with a goal and delightful cross for Greenwood’s equaliser. His run of good form continues and the forward is instrumental to this United side.
Anthony Martial – 4
Martial struggled with the physical battle against the Blades defenders and never really got himself into the game. He provided a few nice flicks and passes during the comeback but must find a way into difficult away games if he is to be considered the answer to United’s striking problems.
Jesse Lingard – 7
After coming on at half-time, Lingard looked much more promising than he has done of late. He got on the ball and looked to drive United forward any time he could, creating chances for his side. He must keep improving if he is to find a way back into Solskajer’s setup.
Mason Greenwood – 7
The youngster came on with 20 minutes to go and managed to grab the equaliser for his side. He didn’t do much else but was in the right place at the right time to score a proper poacher’s goal. It may be about time the teenager gets some more Premier League minutes.
Axel Tuanzebe – N/A
Tuanzebe was bought on to see the game out with five minutes to go. It was a difficult game to come into and Sheffield United’s equaliser wasn’t a result of his mistake