Rio Ferdinand accuses three Man Utd stars of 'walking' during Sheff Utd winner

Rio Ferdinand was left enraged by the lack of desire shown by several Manchester United players in the buildup to Sheffield United’s winner.

The former United centre-back accused Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matic and Alex Telles of ‘ambling’ and ‘walking’ as Chris Wilder’s side began an attack.

It resulted in Oliver Burke’s deflected strike flying past David de Gea – who Ferdinand said should have cleared the ball beforehand – into the back of the net as rock-bottom Sheffield United secured a famous 2-1 win.

But while Ferdinand was full of praise for the away side’s efforts, he couldn’t believe the attitudes of certain Manchester United stars during the match.

‘Recently United, in terms of reaction to certain situations, have been fantastic and that’s what’s got them to this point,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport. ‘But tonight it just seemed to come crumbling down in that respect.

‘The ball went into Martial, who had an off night in itself, and the ball goes into him – and I don’t think this is his fault, this is Matic. He’s given the ball to him and run past him.

‘In the end he’s got three players around him surrounded. Where’s he expecting to go Matic? You’ve got to support the play and wait for him to play the ball back into you.

‘It’s about the reaction. Martial… he ambles back. I want to see a reaction, him sprinting back. Jogging, in yesteryear that doesn’t happen.

‘Two or three passes have gone on and he’s still jogging, ambling back. I want to see an intensity or a reaction.

‘I don’t see that intensity here. It’s not just about Martial here. David de Gea should clear his lines, get it out the stadium.

‘Hands behind the back as well, which I hate. Walking. A man unmarked in the penalty box, it ricochets and the reaction of the players… Martial, please sprint to him. Please go out there and affect the man on the ball. He doesn’t.

‘Please, Mr Matic, get out to the ball and affect people. It’s desire.’

Ferdinand pointed out that Bruno Fernandes had at least been ‘sprinting’ to try and help his team-mates, but was annoyed by the lack of ‘urgency’ from others.

‘This is also understanding where you are. There’s Fernandes, he’s the only one I see sprinting, bursting to life.

‘There’s got to be a desire, a switch that says we need to get to the other end of the pitch and try to take this game by the scruff of the neck and win it.

‘In that sequence of play there, there’s not one ounce of urgency, which I cannot understand when you’ve got yourself in a position like this, showing urgency, showing desire above all the quality you’ve got in your squad.

‘Man City laid the gauntlet down last night. 5-0 West Brom, put that team to bed. We are the team top of the league.

‘These are the games you have to bring your A game to every week. Bottom of the league, it doesn’t matter. Last week, Liverpool, tremendous performance.

‘Bottom of the league, dour. Lifeless, almost. The inconsistencies, they don’t win you the title. That’s what we’ve said about Manchester United for many, many months.

‘The inconsistencies of individuals in this team is what’s holding them back. We thought we’d seen the back of that and it’s just reared its head, that’s the unfortunate thing.

‘Listen, it’s not the end of the world. They’re still one point off Man City, yes they’ve got a game in hand. But this is a reality check.

‘It’s not a panic stations situation. Refocus, reset, let’s go again.’

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