Fernandes stars in comeback win as Man Utd climb to sixth

24 Apr 2024
Man Utd lead

Late strikes from Fernandes and Hojlund secure 4-2 win against Sheff Utd at Old Trafford

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Bruno Fernandes produced a decisive double as Manchester United twice came from behind for a 4-2 win over Sheffield United at Old Trafford, easing the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag received criticism after his team surrendered a three-goal lead in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, who they beat on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

His team trailed twice on Wednesday, with Jayden Bogle punishing Andre Onana's error to score and Ben Brereton Diaz prodding home the Blades' second, either side of Harry Maguire equalising.

However, captain Fernandes equalised from the spot in the second half and then produced a brilliant long-range strike to put his side 3-2 up before finally teeing up Rasmus Hojlund for a late finish.

The win takes Ten Hag's side above Newcastle United and into the top six with 53 points. 

Race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
4 Aston Villa AVL 38 +15 68
5 Spurs TOT 38 +13 66
6 Chelsea CHE 38 +14 63
7 Newcastle NEW 38 +23 60
8 Man Utd MUN 38 -1 60
View More
How the match unfolded

Just 28 seconds had been played when Diogo Dalot worked Wes Foderingham from range, but if the hosts thought that effort would precipitate an assault on the Blades' goal, they were mistaken.

Alejandro Garnacho was denied by Foderingham after a mazy run, but the Red Devils were largely uninspired as the visitors sat back.

They gifted Sheff Utd the lead after 35 minutes as Onana passed straight to Bogle, who side-footed home at the near post.

Bogle goal

That sparked Ten Hag's team into life, though, and they were level within seven minutes as Maguire scored with a glancing header from Garnacho's cross against his former team.

Maguire goal

Foderingham denied Garnacho with a fine stop on the stroke of half-time, and Sheff Utd made that reprieve count within five minutes of the restart, Brereton Diaz pouncing to prod home from Ben Osborn's cross.

Brerenton Diaz goal

Yet Chris Wilder's visitors again failed to hold on as Auston Trusty wrestled Maguire to the ground from a corner, allowing Fernandes to fire into the top-left corner from the penalty spot.

Bruno goal

Fernandes then blasted home from 25 yards out to send Ten Hag's hosts ahead for the first time.

Bruno 2nd goal

The midfielder was not done there, teeing up Hojlund to make the points safe with a pinpoint cross from the right.

Hojlund goal
Fernandes rescues Red Devils

Ahead of Wednesday's encounter, Man Utd had only won one of their last seven Premier League matches, drawing three and losing three, and were winless through the last four of those, with three draws and one defeat – their worst such streak since 2019.

They twice looked on course for a embarrassing defeat, but Fernandes led from the front to down the Blades and boost his team's hopes of securing UEFA Europa League qualification.

He has now scored seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances, netting in each of his last four outings. This is just the second time he has enjoyed a four-match scoring streak with the Red Devils in the competition, having previously done so under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in February 2021.

Blades on the brink

While Sheff Utd can take heart from their performance at Old Trafford, the result does nothing for their slim hopes of remaining among England's elite.

Wilder's men are 10 points from safety with just four matches to play this season and will be relegated to the Championship if they lose to Newcastle Utd on Saturday.

The Blades could even see their fate confirmed this weekend with a victory, depending on Nottingham Forest's result against Manchester City on Sunday.

They have now conceded 92 goals in 34 Premier League matches this term, the most ever conceded in a 38-game season in the competition.

The relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
17 Nott'm Forest NFO 38 -18 32
18 Luton LUT 38 -33 26
19 Burnley BUR 38 -37 24
20 Sheffield Utd SHU 38 -69 16
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Club reports

Man Utd report | Sheff Utd report

Final Premier League fixtures
Key facts

Harry Maguire’s equaliser for Manchester United was the 1,085th Premier League goal scored this season, the outright most in 20-team campaign in the competition’s history. At the end of tonight’s games, the figure currently stands at 1,092.

Sheffield United have conceded 92 goals in the Premier League this season, the most by any side in a 38-game campaign in the competition’s history.

Manchester United scored four goals in a Premier League home game for the first time this season, with their last such instance coming in May last year against Chelsea (4-1).

Manchester United have conceded 50 Premier League goals this season. They’ve now conceded 50+ in two of their last three campaigns, having done so in just one of the first 29.

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