Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bemoaned Manchester United’s inability to do things the easy way after beating bottom-placed Sheffield United to secure a sixth straight Premier League comeback win on the road.
The Red Devils continued their 100 per cent away league away record at the beleaguered Blades, where they found themselves in the all too familiar position of needing to bounce back.
David McGoldrick opened the scoring inside five minutes after Dean Henderson – the former Blades loanee brought in for David De Gea – was caught in possession, but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial turned things around.
Rashford ended a superb team move to extend Manchester United’s lead early in the second half, but they had to dig deep at the end as McGoldrick reduced the deficit before Henderson denied substitute Lys Mousset to secure a 3-2 win.
“From when I was playing, we seemed never to make it easy for ourselves,” 1999 treble hero and Manchester United boss Solskjaer said.
“Of course the start was so sloppy, slow again and I’m very surprised about that because we’d spoken about it, showed videos. We knew exactly what was going to happen and it happened.
“We jogged around the pitch and that’s not good enough. But then the character is fantastic by every single one of us. They just started playing.
“It’s a test for Dean, of course making a mistake like this, and he passed it with flying colours because he never went chasing the game, didn’t look for jobs. He just did what he had to do.
“I don’t have any frustrations at the moment. We got three points from a difficult game at a difficult place.
“Of course it could have been more comfortable at the end, but you don’t expect it to be comfortable.
Nice to be back at the lane!! Well done team for coming back after my mistake. 3 points is all that matters! 🔜🔛🔝 pic.twitter.com/a6NVv0wb64
— Dean Henderson (@deanhenderson) December 17, 2020
“The goals we scored were excellent and once in a while you have to just accept that the opposition have got weapons and armoury that can harm you and Sheffield United certainly have.”
Solskjaer certainly has the firepower to make a difference, with goalscorer Rashford and Martial complemented in the front three by teenage star Mason Greenwood.
“I don’t think it’s just a key to get them on the pitch – it’s a key to get them on the pitch playing well and performing,” Solskjaer said.
“They’ve all played and I said before the game today that we need them to kick on, start scoring goals.
“We’ve done ok without them really firing and tonight they showed their capabilities. Now we need that consistency. We need it again and again, so very happy with all three of them.”
While Solskjaer leaves South Yorkshire buoyed by another away win, the Blades are stuck on one point from their opening 13 top-flight matches.
"The boys care. If we play like that for the rest of the season, we will pick up points.
There's a long, long way to go. Don't write us off yet."
Didzy's reaction. 👇 pic.twitter.com/CNOUa7wV0Q
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) December 17, 2020
Chris Wilder’s men are in a bleak position, but the Sheffield United boss is taking positives from Thursday’s performance.
“We weren’t in a good place Sunday night on the way home and rightly so because I didn’t enjoy that,” the Blades boss said, reflecting on the 3-0 humbling at Southampton.
“I didn’t enjoy watching the team. It’s very unlike us. Passive.
“I think Ole and his coaching staff and the players would accept that we were going to try and make it competitive tonight and show a reaction from not a Sheffield United performance.
“In a lot of way it was (positive). It was front foot, aggressive.
“We are disappointed with the goals that we conceded. A couple of big moments.
“Sander Berge going off has hit us really because it was an important area of the pitch for us tonight with the three of those boys in.
“We had to win first ball, win second balls, we had to try and get amongst their midfield players, so for him go off was disappointing.
“Obviously we had an opportunity – it’s not a brilliant opportunity but one that maybe we have to do better with with John Fleck.
“But the couple of goals that sort of turned the game on its head were really preventable from our point of view.”