Football

Rashford's double helps Manchester United extend perfect away record

EPL
SHEFFIELD UNITED MANCHESTER UNITED
2 3
(David McGoldrick 5, 87) (Marcus Rashford 26, 51, Anthony Martial 33)

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United extended their 100 per cent record on the road in this season's English Premier League, coming from behind again to win 3-2 at bottom club Sheffield United on Friday morning (Dec 18, Singapore time).

United have now won all six away league games this season – conceding first on each occasion – and the latest comeback victory moved them up to sixth place, on 23 points, five behind leaders Liverpool but with a game in hand.

Sheffield United’s solitary point from 13 matches is the worst start by a team in any top-flight campaign and the Blades have now lost eight matches in a row and 15 of their last 16 going back to last season.

Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that it wasn’t comfortable towards the end.

“We made it difficult for ourselves again after a slow start but then we played some brilliant stuff," he told the BBC. "When they get that second goal, it’s not comfortable at all."

“We need to sharpen up at home,” added the Norwegian, whose side have won just one of their six matches at Old Trafford this season.

“Sunday (Leeds at home) will be a massive test for us. It’s a big derby. We’ve been waiting for years to get this game on.”

Solskjaer opted to play goalkeeper Dean Henderson ahead of David de Gea for the trip to Bramall Lane where the English goalkeeper played and impressed on loan last season.

But Henderson made a nightmare start, getting caught in possession by Oliver Burke who slid the ball to David McGoldrick, who fired the Blades into a fifth-minute lead.

John Fleck failed to take a great chance to make it 2-0 for Chris Wilder’s team and that let-off sparked Manchester United into life.

After wasting a good opportunity with a wild shot, Rashford made no mistake in the 26th minute as he collected a long ball from Victor Lindelof with a deft first touch and deadly first-time strike.

Paul Pogba set up the second with a one-touch pass on the turn, over the top of the Sheffield defence to Anthony Martial, who rounded Aaron Ramsdale before slotting home.

FINE MOVE

Six minutes after the break, Rashford added his second to make it 3-1, finishing off a fine passing move started by Pogba, with a shot that squeezed under Ramsdale’s body.

McGoldrick pulled one back for the Yorkshire strugglers three minutes from the end, heading in a corner from close range before Henderson made amends for his early mistake with a reflex save to keep out a Lys Mousset drive.

Asked about his players believing they could yet win the title, Solskjaer was cautious.

“We can’t get our heads too far ahead, but I am happy the players might be thinking that way because that means recovery, focus is better and those little margins mean a lot,” he said.

Wilder took heart from his side’s performance.

“It has given myself and the players a belief that if we do play in the manner we played – especially out of possession – that there is something left in this season for us,” he said.

“I will stick my head on the pillow tonight knowing the team has left everything out there.” – REUTERS

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