Five things we learned as Manchester United draw 3-3 with Sheffield United
Manchester United drew 3-3 with Sheffield United in an entertaining game at Bramall Lane.
This game gave us a chance to go fifth, and the team blew it after conceding goal late on, having led 3-2 going into injury time.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the game…
Phil Jones has no place at United
Phil Jones being back in the starting line-up raised eyebrows. And it proved that concern was justified.
Jones was only selected because of injury concerns forcing a reshuffle, and Axel Tuanzebe still working his way back to fitness. Marcos Rojo was also out.
Predictably, Jones was at fault for Sheffield United’s opening goal when he was barged off the ball by Lys Mousset. It was too easy.
The defender always looks like a calamity waiting to happen, and it took just 19 minutes for him to be exposed.
Jones has no place at United and this should be his last chance. The draw was despite him, not because of him.
Ole got his tactics wrong
Solskjaer got his tactics badly wrong, and playing Jones was part of it.
Sheffield United’s three man midfield is a strength of theirs, and choosing to play two in the middle against them was a clear and obvious error.
Andreas Pereira played poorly alongside Fred and as a duo they were always fighting an uphill battle.
United’s attackers were starved of service early on with Dan James unable to get into the game.
The poor tactics were shown up by an improvement after Jones was taken off for an attacking player, Jesse Lingard.
When that change was made, we saw more possession, opened the Blades up, and started created chances.
Solskjaer deserves credit for turning it around, but this could have been easier if he had been bolder in the first place.
At 3-2, we should have kept on attacking, but bringing on Axel Tuanzebe was a defensive play which didn’t work out.
More midfielders needed
Manchester United fans spent the summer waiting for a midfielder to be signed.
The club chose not to sign a midfielder and it was a big gamble. It is one which has backfired.
With Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay injured, United are seriously under-manned.
The poor squad building showed up again, and the victory should not gloss over how weak we are in midfield.
First goal crucial? Not so…
Entering into this game, United had lost every Premier League match this season we had conceded first in.
Any kind of comeback would have been impressive, let alone from 2-0 down, against a side which had conceded only nine league goals this season.
This time we showed a some fight, pulling a goal back through Brandon Williams.
Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford each scored two more goals to conjure up a 3-2 lead, which ended up in a draw.
This was a big moment, and will inspire further confidence for the next time we go behind. It was a big shame we did not hold out for the win.
Questions about the future delayed
The knives were being sharpened for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the media with United two goals down.
With Mauricio Pochettino out of work, Solskjaer had to get a result. A draw holds off the snipers, for a bit.
Solskjaer can at least point to the fightback as sign of progress from his players.
Fifth would have been a good position to be in heading into matches against Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City.
Ole really needed this win, a draw leaves us down in ninth position.
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