In Depth

Premier League highlights: a Bramall Lane classic and leaders Liverpool win late at Palace

Sheffield United and Manchester United share the spoils in a six-goal thriller

Premier League matchweek 13 Sheffield United 3 Manchester United 3 

Sheffield United scored a last-gasp goal against Manchester United to salvage a deserved point in a scintillating encounter at Bramall Lane. 

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he had “mixed emotions” at the final whistle after Oliver McBurnie had levelled for the Blades to cap an extraordinary match.

For the first hour the home side dominated, establishing a 2-0 lead through goals from John Fleck and Lys Mousset, and looking set to secure their first win against United since 1992.

Suddenly the Red Devils sprang to life. First Brandon Williams struck on 72 minutes with a sweet half-volley and then substitute Mason Greenwood made it 2-2 five minutes later before Marcus Rashford finished off a sweeping move to complete the United fightback.

But the Blades showed their resilience, absorbing the pressure of their visitors in the final minutes, before conjuring an equaliser to deny Solskjaer’s side what would have been only their second away win in 11 Premier League matches.

Walk on the Wilder side

There was a nervous wait for Blades fans as VAR scanned the build-up to McBurnie’s goal to see if there was a handball; but the goal was good and the point means that Chris Wilder’s side finished the weekend in sixth spot, one point and three places ahead of Man Utd.

Describing himself as a “little disappointed” with the result, Wilder said the game showed the difference between the Premier League and what his squad had experienced last season before their promotion to the top flight. 

“We’re not in League One, if you lose a little energy they’ll turn the ball over,” he said. “Couple of hours on and couple of beers we’ll look back on it. We might get undone a couple of times and we got undone today, but we came roaring back.”

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Game of two halves

Solskjaer also said he would look forward to analysing the match to try to work out how his side could swing from the awful to the awesome in a matter of minutes. 

“Sometimes football is beyond tactics,” he said. “The energy compared to ours in the first half and then we get that goal and we start to belief. The difference in the team this year compared to last is huge. They never give in. 

“Last year we would have gone four or five down instead of coming back. We would not have been able to come back.”

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Chasing pack

Sheffield United and Man Utd are now part of a pack of teams that includes Arsenal and Tottenham which look increasingly unlikely to finish in the top four this season. 

A gap of seven points exists between Chelsea, who are fourth on 26 points, and Wolves in fifth. Above the Blues are Manchester City (28 points), Leicester City (29) and leaders Liverpool, who beat Crystal Palace 2-1 on Saturday to remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League on 37 points. 

It was a scratchy performance from the Reds, but the sort of game that champions in waiting contrive to win even when they’re far from their best. 

“In a game like this you have to make sure you are ready to fight for the result,” said Jurgen Klopp. “We are not out there to show that we invented football, because we didn’t. We have a job to do and hopefully we can continue… because I know it’s not possible to be brilliant every game.”

Best of the rest 

Jose Mourinho started his Tottenham tenure with a 3-2 win at London rivals West Ham United. Spurs’s north London rivals Arsenal salvaged a point after Alexandre Lacazette scored in injury time in the 2-2 draw with Southampton. 

Leicester City stay second in the Premier League table following their 2-0 win at Brighton and defending champions Manchester City are third after a 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Premier League results and fixtures

Weekend results 
  • West Ham United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3  
  • Arsenal 2 Southampton 2  
  • AFC Bournemouth 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2  
  • Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Leicester City 2  
  • Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2  
  • Everton 0 Norwich City 2  
  • Watford 0 Burnley 3  
  • Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1  
  • Sheffield United 3 Manchester United 3
Monday’s fixture
  • Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

Today’s back pages

Emery, Silva and Pellegrini lead Premier League sack race

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