• July 25, 2024

Man Utd stages comeback to defeat Sheffield United while Ten Hag changes plans and heeds INEOS.

The Blades took the lead at Old Trafford against the run of play in the 35th minute when Jayden Bogle pounced on a wayward pass from Andre Onana and tucked a neat finish past the ex-Inter Milan goalkeeper to send their traveling supporters into a frenzy. United hit back on the cusp of half-time through Harry Maguire, flicking a superb header past Wesley Foderingham following a cross from Alejandro Garnacho.

The Blades quickly restored their lead just four minutes after the restart, with Ben Brereton Diaz diverting his strike into the roof of the net following a well-worked move down the left. Bruno Fernandes then scored a 60th-minute penalty before firing his side into the lead from 25 yards with a glorious effort.

Rasmus Hojlund then put the icing on the cake with just five minutes left on the clock, tapping home from close range after a precise cross from Fernandes. The ex-Ajax boss appears to have obliged as he abandoned his counter-attacking style and instructed his team to dominate proceedings against the Blades, consequently enjoying 71% of the ball.

However, INEOS and Wilcox appear to have overlooked an important element of the plan: Ten Hag does not really have the players to adapt to such a style. The Red Devils were able to work their way into the final third but lacked the playmakers capable of carving open opportunities against a hardened back-five and would have struggled against a superior opponent.

Ten Hag once again opted to put his faith in Antony over Amad Diallo against Sheffield United, despite saying in his pre-match press conference that the Ivorian ‘deserves’ to start matches. Transfer priority becomes clear as United simply have no Plan B when Hojlund is struggling to make a breakthrough.

Maguire mistake pending. It is no secret that United need an overhaul this summer.

However, retaining a key core of players from their current side is important to add the period of transition and instill the correct values into the team. United were left fuming when referee Michael Salisbury pointed to the spot in the second half, despite being awarded a penalty.

Maguire was fouled when looking to head home Fernandes’ corner but still managed to divert the ball goalwards and it was eventually scrambled over the line, but only after the referee had blown his whistle.

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