Sheffield: Hours after being honored for his impact off the field, Marcus Rashford also delivered in front of goal.
The striker scored twice to lead Manchester United’s recovery to beat Sheffield United 3-2 in the Premier League on Thursday. The evening began with Rashford — in a pre-recorded segment at the FIFA Best awards — receiving the fair play accolade from world football’s governing body for his campaign to combat child poverty and pressure the British government into providing free meals.
“It will have a knock-on effect,” Rashford said, “because things will start to happen in other countries as well.” His goals at Bramall Lane lifted United to sixth in the league, five points behind leader and champion Liverpool with a game in hand.
It was a familiar situation for United. For the sixth successive away game in the league, Man United fell behind before winning. But it started badly for Dean Henderson in the United goal at the club where was previously on loan.
There was no sign of danger when United captain Harry Maguire played a return pass to Henderson but he dawdled enough for Oliver Burke to close him down and flick the ball into the path of David McGoldrick to score from close range after five minutes.
But Rashford raced onto a superb ball by Victor Lindelof from his own half and took a sublime touch before slotting in the equalizer in the 26th minute. It was a gut punch followed by a 33rd-minute uppercut. Paul Pogba found Anthony Martial with a clipped ball into the box and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale failed to deal with the forward’s initial effort, allowing him to convert the rebound in front of the empty stand.
Rashford was on target again six minutes into the second half. Pogba cut out a misplaced throw-in, turned smartly and produced a smooth pirouette to start a break from deep in the United half.
Sheffield United found find a way past its former goalkeeper again in the 87th minute as John Fleck swung in a corner and Lindelof’s header ricocheted back off McGoldrick into the goal. And the hosts would have pulled off a remarkable comeback draw was it not for Henderson thwarting Mousset in stoppage time.
Aston Villa was held 0-0 by Burnley despite having 27 shots as Anwar El Ghazi and Kortney Hause both hit the crossbar. Villa remains 11th and sits four points behind the top five. Burnley is a point out of the relegation zone.