It looked like it was going to mirror the game in January 2021. A mistake from the keeper to allow Sheffield Utd to go ahead, as Onana passed to Bogle, who finished past him. Maguire would bring us back into it with a header. However, Sheffield Utd go ahead again surprisingly, with a Diaz strike. Then the Bruno show turned on, as a penalty, which funnily ruled out an own goal, a long range pearler and an excellent assist for Hojlund to wrap things up. Less of a heart raiser than the FA Cup semi final but with all the worries that presented as well.

The Scorpion and The Frog

The myth is well known – in order to cross the lake, the scorpion asks the frog to get him across. The frog, knowing what the scorpion does, says why should he trust the scorpion and rightly points out that he would drown as well. Halfway across, the frog’s greatest fear is realised and the scorpion stings him to send them both to their watery demise. As it happens, the frog asks why and simply, the scorpion says “it is what I am”.

Given the fact that Rashford hobbled off against Coventry, it meant that a spot in the attack was going to open up. It should have been likely to anyway with the way Rashford played but it was certainty now. Before the game, Ten Hag was asked about the lack of Amad’s inclusion in the starting XI, with which the manager said that he should have played more. The barrier to entry for the Ivorian is Garnacho when everyone is now fit but on occasions like this, it is Antony, the £86 million signing that was pushed by Ten Hag. He has let him down time and time again. His stay in the first XI was far too long for the performances he was putting up and Garnacho should have been the starting RW way before that.

Any chance there is that the Dutchman has where he can find a way to claw back some bit of respect for both him and Antony, he snatches at it. So today there was no surprise that Antony was going to be on the right. Ten Hag may act like the helpless Frog as he watches himself drown with Antony seeing as he gave Trusty of Sheffield Utd an incredibly easy night but in the story, the Frog had one chance. This is a continuation of Ten Hag knowing that better options are available to him yet he’d rather play the politics of protecting his decision of 2 years ago rather than focus on the much more pressing matter, which is the security of his job. It was almost an admission of this fact that with no barely of 8 mins of the second half passing, Amad was being readied as the Blades had re-established their lead and it was for Antony.

The Brazilian is not much of an attacker. He tries his best to carry himself like one and pretends to offer some sort of threat with his attempts of flair & skill but there is nothing intriguing anymore after almost 2 seasons of the same ineptness. The right hand side offered little compared to the left hand side, in which Dalot and Garnacho were constantly an offensive threat. Amad came on and it would be interesting to see how much more of the game was played down the right after his introduction. Perhaps it is the variety of his movement off the line or right on the edge. Sharp play from him led up to the corner that we got the penalty from. A better touch from Bruno and Amad would have set him in on goal. Even on Sunday, the width of the crossbar separated that combo again from going ahead against Coventry. It might be time for Ten Hag to look for a safer passage across the choppy waters rather than taking the route where he knows he is going to sink time and time again.

Other Thoughts

His last two substitutions have been great cause of talk in the past 10 days – one through his own doing and the other through no fault of his own. Garnacho’s liking of two tweets that criticised his exit against Bournemouth was reprimanded internally by the manager – as the Argentine apologised – and his second against Coventry, preceded the collapse that almost saw that historic, embarrassing defeat. Today, he was being played on the left, where he was at home before. As aforementioned, he was a threat. Our biggest in that first half. He rarely is never not a threat through the sheer way he plays and his mentality. The problem is that he didn’t take two chances that should have put us ahead. They were good interventions by Foderingham, who had a stellar half, but at least one should have nestled in the net. He is 19 so there is an expectation of the lack of quality now and it to be ironed out in the future but these misses could have been costly tonight.

It wasn’t because of Bruno Fernandes, who has turned it from the embarrassing defeat to the score in ended up today. He has been in magnificent goalscoring form of late. He made it 7 in the last 5 games. The penalty he dispatched with aplomb and the finish on his left to put us ahead for the first time in the game was brilliant as well.