“They caught us by surprise”- Harry Maguire says Manchester United were surprised by Sheffield United in one major area

Manchester United star Harry Maguire admits Sheffield United caught them off guard

Manchester United had to dig deep against minnows Sheffield United at Bramall Lane as the Red Devils began their post-international break set of games with a much-needed win.

Erik ten Hag”s side were far from their best and looked shaky early on. They, however, gradually grew into the match and took the lead when Scott McTominay found the back of the net midway through the first half.

However, the hero turned villain soon after as McTominay conceded a penalty that Oli McBurnie converted to draw the home side level. The Red Devils went close on numerous occasions before a wonder strike from Diogo Dalot earned them the win in the second half.

Manchester United star Harry Maguire admits Sheffield United caught them off guard.
Harry Maguire of Manchester United held firm against a buoyant Sheffield United side.

It is fair to say that Sheffield held the edge in the early exchanges and Harry Maguire acknowledges that. According to the BBC, the English international claimed that the Red Devils were caught out by Sheffield’s formation and initially struggled to adapt to it.

“They caught us by surprise with the formation they were playing but I felt we adapted.”

Maguire’s words need not be twisted out of context as the Blades appeared to be deploying a three-man backline ahead of kickoff during the warmup. It elicited memories of the formation that they’d deployed against Newcastle United earlier this season, losing 8-0 on the night.

However, once the game kicked off Paul Heckingbottom’s men reverted to a more traditional 4-4-2. United can be forgiven for being caught out but soon adapted to the situation and readjusted tactics.

The Red Devils went close on numerous occasions, striking the bar more than once. But a general lack of killer instinct in front of the goal saw us struggle to break down the Blades’ defence with ease. Thankfully Dalot came out trumps and earned us a massive three points.

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With Lisandro Martinez unavailable and Raphael Varane not fully fit, Harry Maguire was once again handed a starting XI spot. The under-fire Englishman rose to the challenge and ended the clash as the man of the match. Hopefully, he will continue to impress as tougher challenges await.

Written by Pranav Nair

An Engineering postgraduate with a keen interest in statistics, pop culture and football.

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