Daily Express

OLI STRIKES,

McBurnie’s goal denies Solskjaer any relief

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THE whole place erupted when the final whistle blew.

It was breathtaki­ng, brilliant, and an unforgetta­ble match that will surely go down as one of the best Premier League games of the season so far.

At times, it was easy to get your Uniteds mixed up as the Manchester lot were pitiful, then staged a remarkable fightback only to be denied an unlikely win by Yorkshire grit.

It was not a game for the faint-hearted as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was taunted by home fans; it is a dangerous time to get bad results with Mauricio Pochettino suddenly available.

Equally, United dug deep and Marcus Rashford inspired a stirring comeback, suggesting the players are determined to battle for Solskjaer.

Whether spirit and heart are enough remains to be seen as the visitors were second best for long periods and if it had not been for goalkeeper David De Gea then United would have been 4-0 down at half-time.

That is why it would have been harsh on Sheffield United not to have got anything from a game they dominated for 70 minutes and, after what seemed an eternity, VAR saw sense and allowed Oli McBurnie’s injurytime leveller to stand.

When everyone had caught their breath, it was time to reflect that Sheffield United are having the time of their lives, while being stuck in ninth is nowhere near enough for Manchester United.

The gaps in Solskjaer’s squad are frightenin­g. Phil Jones was so bad – he was to blame for John Fleck’s opener – that it should be a long time before we see him in a United shirt again. He was hooked at half-time.

United’s £52million misfit Fred is nowhere near good enough, Andreas Pereira should not even be a squad player and they desperatel­y miss the injured Scott McTominay. Without him, there is not enough fight in midfield.

The bigger worry is so many United players looked intimidate­d by the blood-andthunder atmosphere at Bramall

Lane. Sheffield United thrived on the noise, they tore at the visitors’ vulnerable-looking back three and De Gea needed to make a stunning double save to foil first John Lundstram then David McGoldrick.

The breakthrou­gh came after 19 minutes. Lys Mousset was too strong, shoulder-charging Jones before sending over a low cross. De Gea saved Lundstram’s shot and then the ball went in off Fleck’s knee.

The home side were rampant, the visitors were in disarray.The

Blades got a second when Fleck’s brilliant through-ball released Mousset, who put a perfect shot into the far corner after 52 minutes.

It looked all over. But halftime substitute Jesse Lingard and Rashford showed they understand Manchester United’s DNA. They never gave up and fought for the shirt.

Daniel James came alive; his cross was half-cleared by Chris Basham and left-back Brandon Williams arrowed a low shot into the net after 73 minutes.

What a way to get your first senior goal. Four minutes later, Rashford’s cross set up Mason Greenwood and a second teen got his first league goal. Then, on 79 minutes, Rashford scored from James’ cross.

United’s goalscorer­s were aged 19, 18 and 22 respective­ly. No wonder Sir Alex Ferguson, in the stands, was all smiles. This was straight out of the Fergie managerial handbook.

However, the hosts lifted themselves again. Enda Stevens tore down the left, put over a

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Teenager Brandon Williams starts the comeback with CLUB
Manchester United’s first goal
Main picture: DANNY LAWSON YOUTH Teenager Brandon Williams starts the comeback with CLUB Manchester United’s first goal
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