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Premier League: Manchester United vs. Sheffield United 4 – 2

Bruno Fernandes, the captain of Manchester United, led from the front to guarantee another chaotic performance that ultimately resulted in a victory at Old Trafford against relegation-threatened Sheffield United.

Erik ten Hag’s team was looking at an embarrassing defeat to a team that had only won three times this season after the visitors had taken the lead twice.

However, nine minutes from time, Fernandes put Manchester United ahead with a 25-yard drive after leveling the score from the penalty spot.

Four minutes later, the Portuguese lifted their team to sixth place and earned manager praise for their first goal for striker Rasmus Hojlund since February.

“He showed his leadership,” said Ten Hag.

“He is in excellent form and made an effort to uplift the team. He makes the right choices when he is in the right position, which we provide for him.

“He is a prolific creator who can also score, help, and take important shots. His attitude and performance have us thrilled.”

For Manchester United, Fernandes has now tallied seven goals and two assists in the last five games.

During that time, there have been 27 goals in total. In each of those contests, Manchester United has given up and scored at least twice.

It is remarkable from an entertainment standpoint. But there is no structure at all, and one can only wonder what Jason Wilcox, the new technical director, thought of it when he watched from the directors’ box at Old Trafford for the first time since his appointment was announced last week.

The day before the match, Ten Hag had lashed out at the press, calling the negative coverage of his team’s FA Cup semi-final penalty-based victory over Coventry “embarrassing” and “a disgrace.” However, his team was unable to produce a convincing performance on the field.

Sheffield United led twice, through Jayden Bogle in the first half and Ben Brereton Diaz in the second, and have not won since February.

The first time the home team tied the score was through a clever header from Harry Maguire, but Fernandes soon took over.

In recent weeks, Ten Hag’s team has struggled with injuries and poor form. Throughout the chaos, goalie Andre Onana had been a dependable presence.

The Cameroonian goalie appeared to have moved past his subpar play in the preseason. Given that he has been defending one of the Premier League’s leakiest defenses ever in terms of shots allowed to the opposition, his recent performances were deserving of praise. He has not been able to show off his entire passing range because of a defense that can not push high, but he has performed admirably overall.

Onana had a moment to forget, though, against Sheffield United. When the goalie passed the ball from inside his own six-yard area to Diogo Dalot, he let Jayden Bogle run onto it. With a powerful surge that brought him within shooting range, the 23-year-old skillfully drove his effort into the far corner.

Ten Hag appeared to be lonesome on the touchline.

The Sheffield United supporters made light of the Dutchman by reminding him how infrequently they win away from home. To be perfectly honest, they have not won many games this season. Their three previous victories had all occurred at Luton in February.

Manchester United keeps causing themselves this kind of harm, which makes winning games much more difficult than necessary.

Even after Maguire had turned home Alejandro Garnacho’s cross to bring them level before the break, they still fell asleep in their own penalty area to gift Sheffield United the lead for a second time.

Fernandes, with two goals and an assist, stepped in to save them. His second, a brilliant 25-yard drive, was the highlight – but the industry that created Hojlund’s goal was worthy of praise as well.

The overall display is not a recipe for sustained success, although after the past few weeks, Ten Hag is probably just grateful to get the win.

In a season of almost unrelenting gloom at Bramall Lane, this represents one of the undoubted high points.

Back in September, the Blades led at Tottenham heading into injury time but lost. In December, they drew at Aston Villa.

While they almost certainly won’t be back at Old Trafford in the Premier League next season, their supporters will have the memory of a spirited display, tinged with regret that their team could not hold their lead for more than a combined total of 16 minutes and eventually succumbed to Fernandes’ brilliance.

That should not come as a surprise. They have now conceded 92 goals, overtaking Derby’s previous record of 89 in a 38-game top flight season. The Premier League record of 100, set by Swindon in a 42-game season in 1993–94, might yet be passed. They have now conceded 26 goals in their past eight games, and they do not have the class that would allow them to somehow overcome the weakness.

Chris Wilder’s side will be relegated if they lose at Newcastle on Saturday. draw, and they would effectively still be down because of their vastly inferior goal difference. But whatever the result, the drop is inevitable anyway.

There were positives, chiefly a series of first-half saves from Wes Foderingham and a mature performance from young midfielder Oliver Arblaster, remarkably Sheffield United’s seventh captain of the season.

But their return to the championship will soon be official. And they don’t really deserve any better.

Player of the match

Gustavo Hamer with an average of7.16