- Jul 27, 2016
- Reaction score
Pod and match report below…..
It was the shock result of the season as the Blades went to Old Trafford and completely shocked the football world as they beat Manchester United 2-1. A first Blades goal from Kean Bryan gave United the lead but the Red Devils levelled via Harry Maguire in the second half. However, Oliver Burke smashed in a winner with 15 minutes to play and the Blades marshalled by old timer Jagielka with several outstanding performers saw it out. It was a tremendous team performance full of commitment, resilience, skill and real heart.
United were ravaged with injury and suspension issue and away from the mid-long-term O’Connell, Berge, Osborn and McBurnie, Enda Stevens was also out injured. With no John Egan, it was a hotch potch defence with Ampadu, Bryan and Jagielka joining Baldock and Basham. It was the normal midfield that has started the most recent games and Sharp kept his place after his man of the match performance at the weekend. McGoldrick came back into the side for the league game. United only named 6 of 9 subs and no midfielders.
Man Utd made changes with Tuanzebe making a rare start alongside Maguire. Telles came in at left back and Matic started alongside Pogba. The front-line featured Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford and Martial – four players that have caused the Blades problems in games in the last few seasons in different games with 6 goals from Martial and Rashford in the last two games alone between the two sides.
The game began with the Blades with a solid 5 in front of Rams dale and were compact as the home team had a lot of possession but did not hurt them. The concern had been if the Blades had conceded an early goal then the floodgates may open after seeing what happened to West Brom last night against Manchester City. Martial went down after a tackle from Jagielka as he fell awkwardly. After treatment, where he seemed to hurt his shoulder, he was deemed fit to continue.
The opening continued with Man Utd moving it about but the Blades had kept a decent shape although a clever ball over the top from Pogba saw Fernandes in but he mis controlled which was uncharacteristic. The away side did not have much possession but Lundstram and McGoldrick both gave it away meaning they had to surrender the ball for a period again. Good football down the left saw Wan Bissaka put over a cross and Rashford sidefooted narrowly wide with Ramsdale well beaten. It was the first chance and not far-off target.
Slowly, the Blades started to find a foothold though as Fleck was tripped and then soon after the same man broke but opted to pass rather than shoot and Bryan’s cross was blocked.
On 17 minutes, Sharp was played in and broke but his lack of pace saw men get back and hit shot was too close to De Gea. The flag was raised after although replays showed it may have been very tight. At the other end, Man Utd then sent a lovely ball over the top and Greenwood was in and rounded Ramsdale as the keeper did not know whether to come or go but the striker was crowded out by Blades defenders. Ramsdale then had to head the ball out as he came off his line with more decisiveness.
Ampadu then made a good block that led to Fleck coming away and down the right side, McGoldrick then won a corner. From the delivery, the Blades took a shock lead. Fleck whipped it in and BRYAN flicked it into the net. There was some contact from Sharp but the referee was happy to let the goal go and the lead was confirmed. VAR had a look but did not feel it was a clear and obvious error.
The Blades had a decent spell in the game and the goal gave them something to hold onto. Man Utd tried to awake from their slumber and Greenwood had a shot at Ramsdale who held the ball well. Wan Bissaka’s battle with Bryan continued to be a feature and the right back’s cross saw Greenwood nearly in but Jagielka did well.
On the half hour, Ramsdale came for a corner and as he went to grab, Maguire challenged and the ball dropped out of the error ridden keeper’s hands. Martial converted but the referee Bankes had already blown. VAR did not look at it as the referee’s decision had already been made. The contact was quite similar to the Sharp goal so maybe the Blades for once got the rub of the green.
Norwood played one or two decent balls and McGoldrick nearly got in but Man Utd were now dominating possession for the most part but the tempo suited the away side as it was quite slow. Lundstram was booked for a cynical pull back on Rashford as he threatened to run away.
Man Utd then produced their best move with Telles finding Fernandes who clipped a great first-time ball back but Jagielka did really well to clear under pressure. Norwood and Baldock linked well but the offside flag was up but the Blades were having some threat in terms of attacks and it was not one-way traffic. Indeed Man Utd had not had many chances at all so far and Ramsdale had been surprisingly underemployed.
There was three minutes of stoppage time and Fleck helped kill a good portion of that by running at two men and drawing a bad foul by Tuanzebe who was rightly booked. The free kick from Norwood was really poor and the ball was cleared easily but the half time whistle came not long after.
The second half saw the home side up the tempo as you expected and a lovely ball through by Fernandes saw Greenwood in but he pulled his shot just past the far post.
More decent play saw Wan Bissaka drop on the end of a move and fire in a shot but it deflected wide with Ampadu doing well to get on the end of it. Bryan had seemingly took a knock and had to come off with Bogle going to left back.
Jagielka made a vital interception to deny a ball through and then Basham did the same. Man Utd had penned the Blades in but not had any clear chances outside of the Greenwood opportunity and the Blades came out and forced two openings for McGoldrick. The first saw patient football with Baldock involved and he played it into McGoldrick who tried an outrageous effort with the outside of his foot and it was not far over.
Soon after this the striker was in but he blazed over with the flag going up this time for a clear offside as he sprinted away. Fleck then won a corner with some good work down the left and again the Blades sent in an inswinging free kick that saw De Gea struggling but Matic cleared.
This mini spell had been much needed but then the home side came again and won two free kicks on the edge of the box with some unnecessary fouls. The first one saw Ramsdale make a save and did well to hold a dipping shot. The second one was deflected over for a corner. The issues from set plays came back to haunt the Blades again albeit versus a side with a number of bigger players. MAGUIRE came in and powered a header into the far corner to give Ramsdale no chance. Basham had been marking the former Blades player in the first half but this one ended up with Jagielka nearest to him and it ended up being a clear header
Cavani came on for Greenwood and you sensed Man Utd would go for the jugular but actually the Blades stayed in the game and Ampadu’s cavalier run of 50 yards was an embodiment of the efforts of the side and approach.
Cavani nearly got in on a cross at the other end but it drifted away before Basham stepped in to make a vital block. Burke replace Sharp and it was nearly in on a ball over the top straight away but it was not long before he was having a huge impact on the game.
With just over 15 minutes to play, the Blades stunned the home side and took the lead again. There was neat work down the right and Norwood’s pass put in Baldock. The cross came over but Maguire and De Gea got in a bit of a mess and the keeper kicked it away but not very far. Lundstram and Baldock combined again and eventually the former managed to roll it across to BURKE who toed a powerful shot that deflected off Tuanzebe and in off the underside of the bar. It was a real shock goal when most would have thought Man Utd would have gone on and got the next goal.
Man Utd tried to respond and Telles had a shot after it ran under Lundstram’s foot, but the midfielder got back to deflect the shot up and over and onto the top of the bar. The corner was cleared before Brewster came on for McGoldrick with just over 10 minutes left.
Cavani fired over after the ball dropped before van de Beek and Shaw replaced Tuanzebe and Telles as Man Utd tried to get men wide and force pressure on a well organised and resolute Blades side who had been magnificent defensively
Ampadu and then Jagielka made interceptions before Burke was away but Matic got a foot in as the last man. Jagielka headed out for a corner and then Basham read the danger as United’s low block continued to frustrate. The game ticked into 90 minutes and there was four minutes of additional time to be played. Burke managed to see out a period in the corner before a few final balls at the other end were cleared away. The Blades stopped any clear chances coming and after Ramsdale took a high ball, the unlikely win seemed to close. A final clearance saw referee Bankes blow his whistle and the shock result of the season was confirmed. A massively disappointing night for Man Utd who missed a chance to go back to the top of the league but a huge win and maybe some new life for Wilder’s Blades. The first win since 1973 for them at Old Trafford; 48 years, and one that no one saw coming!
United – Fantastic. I have thrown a lot of heat at this team/manager in terms of skill, organisation, aggression, will to win, togetherness, fight and belief – many of these qualities sadly have been lacking and we have been meek and limped to so many sorry defeats going down with a whimper. Sure, we have had some narrow defeats but many of these even though tight in results not sure we have done enough in our approach or application. Tonight was the complete opposite. We saw all the qualities you would want in a Sheffield United side. We played our hearts out, were resolute, together, compact, played when we could and on and off the ball every player did the best they could. We played with our hearts as I said, but also our heads. We never panicked and even after we gave away another set piece goal we went again and scored a decent goal albeit poor defending but some nice football in the build-up. We did not just defend for 90 minutes and broke and passed when we could. I felt we never got dominated in any area of the field and we saw a massive upswing in the performance both collectively and individually. I was really proud of them tonight. We all thought we would get a battering. No one, even our own fans, gave us a chance. Shows that football can still give fans the unexpected and United are never predictable!
Maybe over possession and territory or even chances (although not sure they had many more than us really) we did not deserve it but actually I would say for the way we went about it and our sheer will to win and doing the little things we did deserve it in some ways and for once had a bit of luck/decisions go for us but after the wretched luck/things not gone out way it was nice for things to go in our favour. I was so pleased for the manager and team. They have had pelters and looked so downbeat much of the season so to see them smiling even at the end during the game as they fought to protect the three points was great. They have been such a special group and tonight we saw the grit and fire we have not seen this season but had seen for 3-4 years previous. It felt like our United and our players (Fleck, Norwood etc) were back! I was buzzing at the end. In the grand scheme of things not sure we will even get close to staying up – we have given ourselves too much to do but now we at least have some pride and can at least probably overhaul that Derby team. We could go past West Brom even and not be the bottom side. I think staying up would still be almost impossible. We would have to win almost every other game and that is not going to happen but I just want some performances like tonight and a chance to build for next season.
I saw the team and the names of Bryan, Jagielka and Amadu in the back and even Sharp up top I thought was the wrong move. I saw we had so many out and you just thought it really could be damage limitation. I recall a better team being destroyed at Man Utd in the first lockdown and the start of project restart. I was genuinely concerned it could be a lot more than that 3-0 and similar to the West Brom defeat to City the previous night. I just thought please do not get humiliated and stay in the game in terms of not getting a real hammering.
The game started and we kept them to few chances and when Rashford missed that one I thought yes we have survived the first 10 minutes. Then we scored and had the let off from their goal. Once we got to half time you thought maybe but you sensed they would have a real go but it never really came They had some chances and free kicks but nothing major and it was so frustrating when we concede a set play but they were so much bigger (had Baldock on Pogba!) so it was hard but after that you thought like Man Utd have done to other teams (and us earlier in the season) they would just pull away but it never happened and then we got a goal at a great time and then just saw out each 5 minute spell. They did not really threaten too much with one looped shot and a Cavani shot well over but we actually saw it out really professionally and were very composed.
Huge credit to players I never thought could perform like that (Jags/Bryan or instance) and some who showed a bit of a renaissance. I thought everyone worked so hard and gave everything. They will be knackered tonight and of course with a confident and assured Man City side, that will be another challenge and will be incredibly tough after the efforts of tonight but the players do have some confidence at least now and as a team for a few days now at least they will be smiling. I had almost forgot what it was like to feel like I did tonight. A huge performance and a winning one against the odds. Even if/when we go down, the result and performance probably will go down in folklore a bit – we do not win there very often and it was so unexpected with the way the season has gone. Cannot really criticise much at all about the way we played and that is kind of all we ask of our Blades team really. A great night in a shambolic season but one where we can be proud again.
Can't criticise anybody (much) for that result, good report to read, we don't get many like that in what has been a terrible season.
"In the grand scheme of things not sure we will even get close to staying up – we have given ourselves too much to do but now we at least have some pride and can at least probably overhaul that Derby team. We could go past West Brom' even and not be the bottom side. I think staying up would still be almost impossible"
Improbable but not impossible - we have to keep hunting them down, first West Brom' then Fulham, Brighton and the bar codes, wouldn't it be nice to send the bar codes down, especially if Bruce is still in place
I thought Lunny was in "Rolls Royce" mode, looked really comfortable on the ball, never panicked, sometimes he was to comfortable and made the odd mistake.
Norwood could have let them in for an equaliser near the end with his customary "switching off moment" and then waved his arms for somebody to pick up the man he had just given the ball to! - but overall like all of them deserves plaudits for the performance.
Can we repeat that against City? or will they do to us what we all expected to happen last night ? - which "Sheffield United will turn up ?
Keep the faith, the "fat lady" hasn't arrived yet.