Harry Maguire has told the club’s official website ‘we didn’t see it coming’ as United’s players reel from a shock home loss.
After knocking Liverpool out of the FA Cup days earlier at Old Trafford, this game was primed for a letdown scenario.
Yet nobody really thought bottom side Sheffield United could spring an upset, did they?
Red Devils captain Harry Maguire said all seemed well in the lead up to the game and the team was confident of getting a result.
Maguire said: “We didn’t perform to a level we’ve been playing at. We didn’t play at an intensity that we’ve played at. We haven’t created enough to win the game.
“We didn’t see it coming; we prepared well and were fully confident. We fell behind to a soft goal, but we felt that we could come back, like we’ve done numerous times this year, and come back and win the game.
“We got ourselves back into the game and we felt like the next goal would be crucial, and we managed to get that, and we just didn’t kick on.”
Maguire scored United’s equaliser, heading in a corner from an Alex Telles’ delivery.
At this moment United made a substitution and brought on Edinson Cavani and it looked like we would go on and win the game.
Instead an amateur hour comedy of errors in defence led to Sheffield United grabbing a winner. There was nothing funny about the lack of intensity in failing to close the Blades down for the goal.
Maguire added: “We’ve got to look at it and got to improve. For sure, he [Burke] can’t be taking a touch and controlling it and having a shot in our box with no-one around him. It’s not good enough.”
This match served up some harsh lessons for the team, and for supporters.
One loss does not put us out of a title race, but it also is a reminder that we could be a way off the level we aspire to be at.
This was the type of defeat which can ruin seasons. There was no reason or logic behind it, and United must look closely at it and try to figure out why it went so horribly wrong from start to finish.
Nobody wants to accuse United of being over confident. Solskjaer picked a strong team. But if there was some of that, then it will need addressing. You need to turn up for every game willing to fight. In this league, there will always be off days. This was a reminder they can come at any time.
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