Gary Neville slams Phil Jones after horror defending gifts Sheffield United goal against Manchester United

Phil Jones’ comical defending led to Sheffield United’s goal against Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has slammed Phil Jones after the defender failed to deal with Oliver Norwood’s ‘agricultural’ pass which led to John Fleck’s opening goal at Bramall Lane.

Neville predicted that his former club could be in for a tough afternoon before kick-off and his fears were confirmed as the Blades dominated in the early stages of Sunday’s only Premier League encounter.

David de Gea’s stunning double save kept Chris Wilder’s side out in the 12th minute but the Spaniard could do nothing about Fleck’s strike just seven minutes later.

Norwood played an aerial ball over Jones’ head and Lys Mousset barged the centre-back off the ball with ease before haring into the box and finding John Lundstram.

Lundstrum’s shot was saved by De Gea but the loose ball rebounded off Fleck into the corner of the net, to the dismay of former United right-back Neville.

Fleck put the Blades in front in the 19th minute (Picture: Getty)

‘If ever a goal had been coming… the warning signs were there. [Harry] Maguire and Jones, they can’t handle the running of Mousset and [David] McGoldrick in behind them,’ Neville said on Sky Sports‘ commentary.

‘It’s agricultural, it’s a channel ball, the easiest ball in the world for a centre-back to deal with and Phil Jones doesn’t deal with it.

‘Sheffield United get their just rewards. There’s a little bit of good fortune at the end.

‘Jones just has a look over his shoulder and in that moment he loses control of the duel and Sheffield United, look at them – four of them in the box!

‘Mousset gets his reward for following in.’

Neville added: ‘Manchester United’s record when they go a goal behind away from home has been poor.

‘Sometimes watching Manchester United away from home, it’s almost like they’re shocked that the other team are up for it, and they’re at it and have energy.

‘Look at them, getting to the ball.

‘Mousset had already given Maguire and Jones a tough time before that – third time lucky!

‘But for a centre-back… a channel ball that you can see coming from 50 yards away is such a simple ball to be able to deal with. It really is.’

MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains why he picked Phil Jones over Axel Tuanzebe versus Sheffield United


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