United's women's team went down 6-0 in the Continental Cup against two-times winners of the competition Manchester City but a young side did themselves no disservice.
With Nicole Kemp returning to the side, a start for Alethea Paul and more minutes for Izzy Ford, as well as a late debut for teenager Autumn Housley, United put in a dogged performance and could have scored on a night where they gave it their all in Manchester.
The hosts put out a strong side which included England starts such as captain Steph Houghton, plus Karen Bardsley, Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway.
City's strengths showed early on as Nick Cushing's side breezed into a 3-0 lead inside 25 minutes. A defensive slip after just eight minutes allowed Janine Beckie to score what would be her first of four goals on the night, before teenager Jess Park doubled the lead after Alex Brooks saved Beckie's initial effort.
A back pass from Ellie Gilliatt soon after allowed Beckie to add a third before United grew in confidence and had several chances to narrow the deficit before the break.
The best chance fell to Sophie Jones who fired wide after taking a neat touch from Paul's through ball, and United went close again at the start of the second half as they tried to take the game to their hosts.
Beckie though completed her hat-trick just minutes after half-time and a fifth followed soon after when Beckie was tripped inside the area, allowing Stanway to step up and send the ball just past the outstretched Brooks.
United's players though were determined to enjoy the occasion. Ford beat Beckie with a neat backheel flick in the second half as the 16-year-old once again looked at home in the Blades side.
Boss Carla Ward introduced Autumn Housley to make it three debuts in four games for the Blades but City had time to add a sixth as Beckie completed her four-goal haul with a tap-in as United's players tired late on.
Blades: Brooks, S. Barker, Tierney, Pennock, Kemp (Housley 85), Gilliatt, Jones, Paul (Ford 54), Marsden (Sarri 46), Merrick, Ibbotson.
Unused subs: Joyce, Hartley, Shaw.