Scott McTominay scored his third goal in two games and Diogo Dalot netted the winner in Manchester United’s 2-1 Premier League victory at Sheffield United on Saturday to secure their first back to back wins of the season.
On a solemn day for United following the death of club great Bobby Charlton, Erik ten Hag’s side climbed to eighth in the standings on 15 points after nine games. Sheffield United are bottom with one point.
“First and foremost it is a really sad day,” said Manchester defender Harry Maguire. “We obviously found out this afternoon and preparing for a game it hit us hard. Sir Bobby came into the dressing room a lot and he lit the place up.
“We are delighted to win the game but this is more than football and our thoughts are with his family.”
McTominay, who scored two last-gasp goals in United’s 2-1 win over Brentford two weeks ago, volleyed home in the 28th minute. The Scot’s handball six minutes later, however, led to Oli McBurnie’s penalty which he slotted past keeper Andre Onana
Dalot scored from 25 yards out in the 77th minute with a fine strike which keeper Wes Foderingham could only get his fingertips to, bringing the Manchester fans to their feet chanting “There’s only one Bobby Charlton!”
Manchester United players wore black armbands and captain Bruno Fernandes placed a wreath onto the Bramall Lane pitch in memory of Charlton who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. Charlton died at the age of 86.
For swaths of the first half, the Blades looked nothing like a bottom team. They put Onana to work early when Cameron Archer’s hard shot from just outside the 18-yard box sailed between Maguire’s legs and was pushed away by a diving Onana.
“They caught us by surprise with the formation they were playing but I felt we adapted,” Maguire said. “We hit the woodwork, I know we can play better than we did tonight, but it is an important win.”
McBurnie said narrow losses have been the story of Sheffield’s season.
“We have been in a lot of games,” he said. “It is tough to take but I thought the boys showed a lot of quality today. It’s unfortunate I think the boys have defended really well . . . and (Dalot) sticks one in the bin from 25 yards. There are definitely things to build on.”
Man United had numerous near-misses including Fernandes’ free kick that cleared the wall but clanged off the crossbar just before the break.
Rasmus Hojlund had a point-blank shot in first-half injury time on a deflected shot from Marcus Rashford, but Foderingam smothered the effort.
Rashford’s left-footed shot that hit the far post after the break had Manchester fans groaning, the first of numerous second-half chances for the visitors who peppered Sheffield’s net in the closing minutes.
The Blades were missing long-serving defender Chris Basham, who suffered a gruesome leg injury two weeks earlier.