Web Stories Thursday, May 23
After weeks of mayhem on the field, culminating in their chaotic FA Cup semi-final over Coventry, Manchester United seemed to have the chance for a bit of peace and quiet when the bottom club Sheffield United came to Old Trafford.

Some chance. They went behind twice and were facing defeat until their captain Bruno Fernandes cleaned up the mess almost single-handedly.

Fernandes scored twice, the second a belter with his left foot, to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead, and then set up the game-sealing goal for Rasmus Hojlund.

Man Utd had dominated throughout, with Sheffield United keeper Wes Foderingham making 11 saves, but their vulnerability was demonstrated again by Andre Onana’s error for the opening goal of the game.

Despite everything, it turned into a good night for Man Utd. Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace means they move up to sixth in the table, and a UEFA Europa League place is once again in their hands. It’s not where a club of United’s size want to be, but for a long time on Wednesday it looked like things would be a lot worse.

Talking Point – Was Maguire offside?

There was a brief VAR check for offside after Harry Maguire headed Manchester United’s first equaliser. The goal was given, even though many on social media felt he was beyond the last defender. It was presumably an optical illusion caused by the camera angle, and there were no complaints from Sheffield United.

Player of the Match – Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)

His all-action, sometimes headless style of captaincy isn’t to all tasted, but Manchester United would be in all kinds of trouble without the desire and brilliance of Bruno Fernandes. He dragged them back to 2-2 with an emphatic penalty, just as he had at Bournemouth in their last league match. But this time he went two better, first by larruping United into the lead, then by setting up Hojlund for the fourth.

Player Ratings

Man Utd: Onana 5, Wan-Bissaka 6, Casemiro 6, Maguire 7, Dalot 8, Mainoo 7, Eriksen 6, Antony 5, Fernandes 9, Garnacho 7, Hojlund 6. Subs: Amrabat 6, Amad 6, McTominay 6, Wheatley 6.

Sheff Utd: Foderingham 8, Holgate 6, Ahmedhodzic 7, Trusty 7, Bogle 7, Hamer 7, Arblaster 8, Osborn 6, Brooks 6, Archer 6, Brereton 7. Subs: Norwood 6, Vinicius Souza 6, McAtee 5, Osula 6.

Match Highlights

35’ – GOAL! MAN UTD 0-1 SHEFF UTD (BOGLE) More misery for Man Utd: Jayden Bogle has put Sheff Utd in front after a mistake from Andre Onana! His lazy pass towards Dalot on the left was intercepted on the edge of the area by Bogle, who charged into the six-yard box and slipped the ball calmly past Onana at the near post.

42’ – GOAL! MAN UTD 1-1 SHEFF UTD (MAGUIRE) Harry Maguire equalises against his old club! A free-kick from Fernandes was headed away as far as Garnacho on the left. He crossed early towards the near post, where Maguire guided a clever header across Foderingham and into the far corner.

50’ – GOAL! MAN UTD 1-2 SHEFF UTD (BRERETON) Sheffield United are back in front! This is absurd. Hamer turned smartly 25 yards from goal and slid the ball towards the overlapping Osborn in the area. His low cross was finished smartly by Brereton, who opened his body to lift the ball over Onana from eight yards.

60’ – PENALTY TO MAN UTD! The ball ended up in the net but a penalty had already been given. It came from a corner, with Trusty (I think) penalised for putting hands on Maguire eight yards from goal. Both teams are unhappy – Sheff Utd with the decision, Man Utd because the ball ended up in the net.

61’ – GOAL! MAN UTD 2-2 SHEFF UTD (FERNANDES PEN) Fernandes smashes the penalty high to his left, with Foderingham going the wrong way. He’s scored in five successive matches and is keeping Man Utd afloat.

81’ – GOAL! MAN UTD 3-2 SHEFF UTD (FERNANDES) Bruno Fernandes puts Man Utd in front with a screamer! He received a routine pass from Mainoo 25 yards from goal, shifted the ball onto his left foot and smacked a ferocious shot that flashed past Foderingham and into the corner. It may have taken a very slight deflection but it was still a cracking strike from Fernandes, who has rescued Man Utd again.

85’ – GOAL! MAN UTD 4-2 SHEFF UTD (HOJLUND) That should seal it. Fernandes has scored two, now he’s made one with a superb, precise cross that is forced in from close range by Rasmus Hojlund. He needed that goal after a bit of a dry spell.

Key Stats

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