Bayer leverkusen having a great season so far under Xabi Alonso's command
22 October 2023
In a dramatic turn of events, Manchester United secured a 2-1 victory against Brentford, thanks to a stoppage-time brace from Scott McTominay, averting what looked to be another disheartening defeat at Old Trafford. This season, the Red Devils' performance has been less than stellar, finding themselves five points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool prior to this weekend’s matches. Their record stands at four wins and four losses from the first eight games of the campaign.
Sheffield United have faced significant challenges in their return to the top flight, currently languishing at the bottom of the league standings. Paul Heckingbottom's team has yet to secure a victory, amassing just one point from eight league games. Their most recent fixture before the international break resulted in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Fulham, highlighting the urgent need for improvements as they head into the upcoming clash at Bramall Lane.
In the 1st minute, Bruno Fernandes solemnly placed a wreath in memory of the late Bobby Charlton, an iconic figure eternally woven into the fabric of Manchester United and England's rich football history. This heartfelt gesture was followed by a poignant moment of applause from those in attendance. Subsequently, referee Michael Oliver signaled the commencement of this eagerly anticipated Premier League fixture.
In the 4th minute, there’s an opportunity! A clever sequence of passes allowed Archer to break through Manchester United's defensive line, setting up Hamer for a right-footed shot. Unfortunately, the attempt took a deflection off Maguire. The resulting loose ball fell to McBurnie, who, despite being unmarked and in a prime position inside the box, could only manage to direct his effort straight at Onana. That was a golden chance for the Blades to make their mark!
In the 12th minute, Maguire awkwardly plows into the back of the lively Archer, conceding a free-kick within Manchester United's territory. Norwood delivers the set-piece toward the near post, but once again, Fernandes is on hand to make the clearance, serving as a formidable first line of defense for his team.
In the 16th minute, there’s the save we have talking about! Rashford, with an abundance of space, storms down the left wing before neatly cutting the ball back to Fernandes. In turn, Fernandes feeds the ball to his right, finding Antony. The Brazilian winger then skillfully curls a left-footed shot towards the bottom-left corner, but Foderingham is equal to the task, making a routine save low to his right to deny the attempt.
In the 26th minute, close call! A misplaced pass from Dalot opens up an opportunity for Archer, the ex-Aston Villa forward, who charges down the center and unleashes a right-footed shot aimed at the bottom-left corner. Onana manages to make a somewhat unconvincing save, pushing the ball away, and the defense then clears it behind for a corner. Unfortunately for the attacking side, the ensuing corner doesn't lead to any significant opportunity.
In the 28th minute, it’s a goal! Manchester United take the lead, 1-0! The hero from the Brentford game, Scott McTominay, finds the back of the net once again. Lindelof plays a smart offload to Fernandes, who then lofts a pass from the edge of the area into the box. McTominay times his run perfectly, meeting the high ball with his chest before expertly dispatching a right-footed volley into the bottom-right corner. Foderingham can do nothing but watch as the ball hits the back of the net, leaving Sheffield United trailing behind.
In the 32nd minute, Sheffield United has been given a penalty! Not long after McTominay put Manchester United in the lead, he's now in trouble for a handball in the box. McAtee took a shot towards the near post, and McTominay's arm got in the way, leading referee Oliver to award a penalty kick. But hold on, VAR is going to review the call first.
In the 33rd minute, the penalty decision holds up! After taking some time to review the footage, VAR confirms that McTominay did handle the ball inside the area. McBurnie is stepping up to take the penalty kick.
In the 34th minute, it's a goal! Sheffield United evens the score at 1-1 straight away! McBurnie confidently steps up for the penalty, sending a powerful right-footed shot that ricochets off the right post and into the goal. Although Onana dives in the right direction, he can't prevent McBurnie's fierce strike from finding the back of the net.
In the 37th minute, Thomas brings down Antony with a foul as he charges down the right wing. As expected, the referee doesn't hesitate to show Thomas a yellow card for his deliberate foul.
In the 38th minute, almost a goal! Antony skillfully moves in from the right and sends a cross to the back post. Rashford is there to hit a volley across the goal. Hojlund is in the perfect spot for what could be his first Premier League goal, but he just can't quite connect with the ball. Sheffield United gets lucky and avoids conceding a goal.
In the 44th minute, so close! Fernandes steps up to take the free-kick and expertly curls a right-footed shot over the Sheffield United wall. Goalkeeper Foderingham can only watch as the ball grazes the crossbar and goes out of play for a goal-kick. Sheffield United is lucky to come out of that situation without conceding a goal!
In the 45th minute, Trusty earns himself a yellow card after he jumps in to prevent Rashford from taking a quick throw-in on the left side. That was a needless action by the centre-back, who will now have to be extra cautious for the rest of the game to avoid getting a second yellow.
Seven minutes added to half-time of the gameplay.
In the 48th minute, what a save! Fernandes cleverly creates space outside the box and passes to Rashford. Rashford then cuts inside and fires a right-footed shot towards the goal. The ball ends up at Hojlund's feet, but his attempt is brilliantly saved by the quick-reacting Foderingham. Manchester United misses out on another golden opportunity to score.
In the 49th minute, opportunity for Sheffield United! McAtee moves inside and passes to Norwood, who takes a shot with his left foot, aiming for the top-left corner. The ball seems to be going over the bar, but Onana isn’t taking any chances and tips it behind for a corner.
In the 53rd minute, that was a close call! Brewster jumps right into the action, unleashing a powerful, swerving right-footed shot from distance. Onana looks a bit shaky as he scrambles to position himself, but he manages to fend off the shot with an unsteady save. McAtee is ready for the rebound, but the ball arcs over his head, allowing Manchester United to clear the ball and avert the threat.
In the 56th minute, huge chance missed! Foderingham makes a bad pass that doesn't reach Trusty, giving Rashford the chance to charge towards the box. Rashford then passes to Hojlund, who has plenty of time and space but unfortunately hits a weak left-footed shot directly at the Sheffield United goalie.
In the 62nd minute, Souza receives a yellow card, becoming the third Sheffield United player to be booked, following a late and nasty sliding tackle on Antony. Antony is left on the ground holding his ankle after that rough challenge.
In the 67th minute, so close! Sheffield United manages to clear Fernandes' corner from the right, as well as Eriksen's follow-up delivery into the box. But then Amrabat gets the ball at the edge of the penalty area and launches a powerful right-footed shot that smashes against the right post. The Red Devils were inches away from scoring!
In the 77th minute, it’s a goal! Manchester United takes the lead with a score of 2-1! The goal comes from an unexpected player as Lindelof sends a pass from the left flank to Dalot. Dalot then beautifully curves a right-footed shot into the top-right corner from outside the box. Foderingham manages to get a hand on it, but it's not enough to stop the ball from going in!
In the 82nd minute, Evans picks up the first yellow card for Manchester United after he brings Archer down with a rough challenge on the left wing.
In the 87th minute, that was close! Fernandes delivers a clever pass inside, setting up Garnacho for a low, right-footed shot aimed at the bottom-left corner. Foderingham doesn't have a clear view of the ball but is relieved to see it pass just wide to his right.
Another five minutes added to the game-time!
In the 91st minute, what a miss! Martial takes the ball off Norwood and then sets up Garnacho perfectly. But somehow, Garnacho sends his right-footed shot wide with only Foderingham in front of him. Luckily for Garnacho, the linesman's flag goes up for offside, saving him from total embarrassment. However, if it weren't for the flag, VAR would have likely reviewed the play. There are five more minutes left in the game.
In the 94th minute, Bogle commits a pointless foul on Garnacho, giving Manchester United a free-kick on the left side. The Manchester United fans show their appreciation for their agile winger. Meanwhile, a Sheffield United supporter who has managed to make his way down to the side of the pitch inexplicably taunts Garnacho.
And that’s all for today!
Manchester United dedicated their hard-fought 2-1 win against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane to the late club icon, Bobby Charlton, who passed away on Saturday at 86 years old. McTominay opened the scoring in the first half but soon found himself at fault for a penalty, which McBurnie converted to level the score.
The Red Devils struggled in the second half but came close to scoring with a shot from Amrabat before Dalot clinched the win with a beautiful curled finish. This victory moves Ten Hag's team up to eighth place, while Heckingbottom's Sheffield United remains at the bottom of the Premier League table, still seeking their first win of the season since their return to the top flight.
Bayer leverkusen having a great season so far under Xabi Alonso's command
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