Manchester United beat Sheffield United 2-1 on Saturday on an emotionally charged evening as the Premier League giants said a “big goodbye” to club great Bobby Charlton, who died earlier in the day.
Charlton’s family announced that the England World Cup winner, who enjoyed a glittering career with United, had “passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning” at the age of 86.
Tributes poured in from across the football world, with former United player and England captain David Beckham praising Charlton as a “national hero”.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Manchester City beat Brighton 2-1 to return to the Premier League summit and Arsenal came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Chelsea.
Manchester United’s players paid a moving tribute to Charlton before kick-off against bottom club Sheffield United in the late game at Bramall Lane.
Captain Bruno Fernandes laid a wreath and a picture of the former attacking midfielder was displayed on a giant screen, while the fans chanted Charlton’s name during the match.
United manager Erik ten Hag praised the fans for their tribute.
“It was fantastic,” he told Sky Sports. “We have to pay our contribution, pay our big goodbye, remembering Bobby Charlton because what he did was magnificent.
“He was outstanding on the pitch and off it. We wanted to remember Sir Bobby and I think we did it in a decent way.”
The sluggish visitors went ahead against the run of play in the 28th minute when Scott McTominay controlled the ball on his chest and found the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
But the lead lasted just six minutes as Oli McBurnie scored from the penalty spot after McTominay handled James McAtee’s cross.
Ten Hag made three changes shortly after the hour mark, bringing on Anthony Martial, Alejandro Garnacho and Christian Eriksen in a desperate search for a winner.
But it was defender Diogo Dalot who produced the moment of magic to win the game in the 77th minute with a fine strike from long range to lift United to eighth in the table.
– City return to top –
Earlier, City manager Pep Guardiola also expressed his condolences for Charlton’s death and called him “a big legend” after the champions held on to beat Brighton.
City’s win was their 21st consecutive victory at the Etihad in all competitions, setting a new record for a winning run at home by a Premier League club.
The treble winners, who had lost their previous two league games, took an early lead through Julian Alvarez before Erling Haaland doubled the lead — his ninth Premier League goal of the season.
It was a different story after the break. Ansu Fati pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute to heap the pressure on the home team, who held on despite the sending off of defender Manuel Akanji.
Liverpool had fortune on their side against Everton at Anfield, where Mohamed Salah scored twice in a 2-0 Merseyside derby victory.
Everton’s Ashley Young was sent off before half-time for two bookable offences, while Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate escaped a second booking in the second half with the game still goalless.
Chelsea appeared to be on course for their third straight league win against after goals from Cole Palmer and Mykhailo Mudryk.
But Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice halved the deficit in the 77th minute, finishing from outside the box after Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez misplaced a pass straight into his path, and Leandro Trossard equalised.
“The way the team reacted to the second goal is phenomenal from the players on the pitch and the players on the bench thinking ‘how the hell am I going to change this game?’,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. “I loved that.”
Newcastle, whose early-season struggles are now a distant memory, romped to a 4-0 win against sorry Crystal Palace and are now fifth in the table.
Brentford beat Burnley 3-0 while Wolves came from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1. Luton recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Nottingham Forest.
Tottenham, who started the day at the top of the table, are not in action until Monday, when they host Fulham.