EPL

Manchester United 4-2 Sheffield United: Fernandes double helps Red Devils to comeback win

By Sports Desk April 24, 2024

Bruno Fernandes produced a decisive double as Manchester United twice came from behind for a 4-2 win over Sheffield United at Old Trafford, easing the pressure on under-fire boss Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag received fierce criticism after his team surrendered a 3-0 lead in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, who they beat on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

His team trailed twice on Wednesday, with Jayden Bogle punishing Andre Onana's error to score and Ben Brereton Diaz prodding home the Blades' second, either side of Harry Maguire equalising.

However, Fernandes equalised from the spot in the second half before teeing up Rasmus Hojliund's late finish after another great strike from the Red Devils captain sent his side 3-2 up.

The win takes Ten Hag's side above Newcastle United and into the top six with 53 points, while bottom club Sheffield United stay 10 points adrift of safety.

Just 28 seconds had been played when Diogo Dalot worked Wes Foderingham from range, but if the hosts thought that effort would precipitate an assault on the Blades' goal, they were mistaken.

Alejandro Garnacho was denied by Foderingham after a mazy run, but the Red Devils were largely uninspired as the visitors sat back.

They gifted Sheffield United the lead after 35 minutes as Onana passed straight to Bogle, who side-footed home at the near post.

That sparked Ten Hag's team into life, though, and they were level within seven minutes as Maguire glanced Garnacho's cross home.

Foderingham denied Garnacho with a fine stop on the stroke of half-time, and Sheffield United made that reprieve count within five minutes of the restart, Brereton Diaz pouncing to prod Ben Osborn's cross home.

Yet Chris Wilder's visitors again failed to hold on as Auston Trusty wrestled Maguire to the ground from a corner, allowing Fernandes to blast into the top-left corner from the spot.

Fernandes then blasted home from 25 yards out to send Ten Hag's hosts ahead for the first time, and the midfielder was not done there, teeing up Hojlund to make the points safe with a pinpoint cross from the right.

Fernandes rescues Red Devils

Ahead of Wednesday's game, Manchester United had only won one of their last seven Premier League matches (three draws, three defeats), going winless through the last four of those (three draws, one defeat) – their worst such streak since 2019.

They twice looked on course for a humiliating defeat, but Fernandes led from the front to down the Blades and boost his team's hopes of salvaging Europa League qualification.

He has now scored seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances, netting on each of his last four outings. This is just the second time he has enjoyed a four-match scoring streak with the Red Devils in the competition, having done so under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in February 2021.

Blades on the brink

While Sheffield United can take heart from their performance at Old Trafford, the result does nothing for their slim hopes of remaining among England's elite.

Wilder's men are 10 points from safety with just 12 to play for this season and will be relegated to the Championship if they lose to Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Blades could even see their fate confirmed this weekend with a victory, depending on Nottingham Forest's result against Manchester City on Sunday. 

They have now conceded 92 goals in 34 Premier League matches this term, the most ever conceded in a 38-game season in the competition.

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