Sheffield United shake off Premier League worries to clinch FA Cup win over Plymouth

A goal in either half from Chris Basham and Billy Sharp was enough for the Blades as they march on in the Fifth Round.

United looked tentative in the opening stages as Rhian Brewster’s drive tested Michael Cooper.

But United were not to be denied a key opener before the break as Basham powered home Sharp’s deep cross.

And Wilder’s hosts kept up their strong tempo after the break as Sharp raced onto Oliver Norwood’s clever pass to make it 2-0.

The under-pressure Brewster then missed another gilt edged chance to extend United’s lead before Plymouth star Panutche Camara slotted them back into it with 15 to go.

Enda Stevens and Oli Burke both tested Cooper in the closing minutes as United looked to make the game absolutely safe but Wilder’s side find themselves safely into the next round.

Full Time at Bramall Lane it’s Sheffield United 2 Plymouth Argyle 1

Blades set for competition in race for unwanted midfielder

The Man United midfielder is expected to leave Old Trafford on loan in order to revive his career, with Bramall Lane looking like a certain destination for the 28-year-old at one point this month.

But in the past few days, a potential reunion with Jose Mourinho at Spurs has been mooted, with interest from French side Nice cooling.

Chris Wilder desperately needs reinforcements quickly as his side sit rock bottom of the Premier League, winning just one of their 19 games this season. Unfortunately for them, it’s not possible to play Newcastle every week, and solutions need to come quickly if a great escape is to be actioned.

Lingard was one of the Blades’ main targets and they did hope to have this one wrapped up already, but it looks likely to drag on into the final week of the transfer window, robbing United of precious time for extra reinforcements.

Spurs put Blades to the sword with magical goal from Ndombele

Tottenham put themselves back in contention for the Premier League title this season with a convincing victory and a couple of wonder goals at Bramall Lane.

The Blades got off to the worst start possible, with Spurs going ahead with only 4 minutes on the clock. Aaron Ramsdale did well to save from Steven Bergwijn, putting the ball out for a corner, but the keeper them seemed to switch off from the resulting dead ball at which the unmarked Serge Aurier nodded in.

Spurs seemed determined to address recent criticism that they like to sit back on a lead, and came close to another goal when Son Heung-min was kept out by the post. Just before the break Harry Kane scored a stunning goal, set up by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, firing a low shot into the corner of the net.

David McGoldrick gave the home team hope as he finally took Sheffield United’s goal tally into double figures for the season, reducing the deficit just before the hour mark.

But that hope was extinguished a few minutes later with an unbelievable goal from Tanguy Ndombele. Picking up a chipped pass, he will surely be in contention for goal of the season, after lobbing the keeper with the outside of his foot.

This defeat leaves Chris Wilders men cut adrift at the bottom of the table, 11 points from safety and having played more games than their nearest rivals. As for Spurs, they move up to 33 points and are very much in the race for the Premier League title, and after all, it is a year that ends in 1.

Premier League: Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs will arrive at Bramall Lane in mixed form, having lost none of their last six games in all competitions, but having only picked up one win in their last six Premier League games – that being a 3-0 win over Leeds earlier this month.

As a result, Jose Mourinho’s side have gone from top of the table in December to 6th in January, and need a win over the Blades if they’re to keep up the pressure in the free-for-all that is the title race.

Much of Tottenham’s problems has been a lack of creativity, despite boasting the fearsome duo of Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, who have contributed 23 of Spurs’s 30 league goals this season. The pair also have 16 assists between them, most of which have been for each other.

However despite the form of those two, killing games off has been an issue for Spurs, with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at home to Fulham a perfect example.

Sheffield United will be hoping they can build on their 1-0 win against Newcastle, although Spurs are unlikely to be as easy to play against than the awful Geordies were.

Billy Sharp scored the winner in that game but will likely return to the bench, which Chris Wilder should be able to fill after injuries meant he could only name seven subs for the Newcastle game.

George Baldock and Enda Stevens missed that game as a precaution, but both should be back to feature in some capacity, but Oli McBurnie is expected to be absent. Sander Berge and Jack O’Connell are long-term absentees. Wilder did mention in Friday’s press conference that he has seven players unavailable, but didn’t say which new doubts he had after the Newcastle game.

Spurs only have two players with injury worries ahead of the trip to the Steel City, with Giovanni Lo Celso out with a thigh injury and not expected to play for a few weeks, and Gareth Bale not yet fully fit after a calf injury. Steven Bergwijn missed the draw with Fulham but should return after illness.

A win for Sheffield United could take the Blades off the bottom of the Premier League table for the first time, if West Brom lose to Wolves on Saturday afternoon, while three points for Spurs could take them as high as second in the table.

Sheffield United take on Spurs at Bramall Lane on Sunday, January 17th. Kick-off is at 2pm.

Sheffield United 1-0 Newcastle United: Blades secure first league win of the season against miserable Magpies

The club captain, 34, came on as a second-half substitute and showed all of his experience to remain calm and score a 73rd-minute spot-kick as the Blades won 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The goal ended a dismal run of 15 defeats in 17 Premier League matches during the 2020-21 campaign and was the least Chris Wilder’s team deserved after dominating against a negative and unimaginative Newcastle side.

The Magpies were uninspired and mundane before Ryan Fraser’s red card just before half-time made their task even harder.

Wilder’s men were on the front foot for the majority of the first half and certainly did not look like a team adrift at the bottom of the table and unable to win.

The Blades cut open their opponents on several occasions with crisp passing but, as has been the case so often this season, they were not clinical in the final third.

Reported Rangers target John Lundstram was at the heart of most things early on, threatening with a couple of long-range efforts which flew narrowly wide before sliding a pass behind the Newcastle defence for David McGoldrick, who forced Karl Darlow into a decent save down to his left.

McGoldrick went close again when he got on the end of a Ethan Ampadu cross but he powered his header over the crossbar. It was a big miss by the former Republic of Ireland international.

Newcastle were unable to get out of their own half, with Callum Wilson isolated, as Wilder’s side continued to apply pressure in search of a deserved goal.

Federico Fernandez made a goal-saving challenge, sliding in to block John Fleck’s shot.

Despite the Blades’ dominance, it was Newcastle who almost took the lead against the run of play just before the half-hour mark. Wilson, anonymous until now, found a yard of space off the shoulder of John Egan at the near post to get on the end of Fernandez’s cross but he headed the ball wide from eight yards out.

It would have been a sickener for the hosts had they fallen behind but it served as a warning that perhaps they were being too gung-ho at times in their desperation to get that maiden win.

Fernandez made another superb block to get back and deny Oliver Burke when he raced into the penalty area as half-time approached. If the defender had got that wrong he would likely be sent off.

Fraser did see a red card before the break. Two tackles on John Fleck and then Lundstram in quick succession meant he would not be coming out for the second half – a half in which his team-mates now faced an uphill battle to get anything from the game.

Newcastle had been negative all night and with 10 men they obviously offered nothing more.

Darlow produced a fine reaction save to thwart Jayden Bogle at the start of the second half, after DeAndre Yedlin failed to properly clear the ball.

Wilder, sensing this was a golden opportunity to get that first Premier League victory on the board, made an attacking change after 51 minutes, taking off defender Chris Basham and bringing on Rhian Brewster. Sharp soon followed.

And it was the club captain who secured the match-winning penalty. A long ball forward was contested between Sharp and Fernandez into the box, with the Blades striker going down under the challenge. There was also a suggestion the ball hit the arm of the Newcastle defender.

Referee Andy Madley awarded the penalty after consulting VAR and Sharp put his team in front against the 10 men and on the brink of victory, rolling the ball into the bottom left corner as Darlow dived to his right.

However, the closing stages would not be as comfortable as the hosts had hoped. Wilson should have done better than send a header straight into the arms of Aaron Ramsdale, while Jacob Murphy found the goalkeeper’s midriff with a free-kick from a dangerous position on the edge of the penalty area.

In between, Brewster was unlucky to see his 20-yard effort strike the foot of a post.

Confusion in stoppage time between Bogle and Ramsdale put Blades hearts in mouths as a chested pass back went wrong, leaving the goalkeeper scrambling towards his line to retrieve the ball – which rolled inches wide.

Wilder’s team survived the resulting corner for a first Premier League win of the season and first in 21 games since defeating Chelsea at Bramall Lane on July 11.

Premier League: Sheffield United v Newcastle United

The Blades picked up their first win of the season on Saturday, beating League One side Bristol Rovers 3-2 in a game where they were twice pegged back by their lower league counterparts.

Shortly after, Newcastle exited the competition after losing 2-0 to Arsenal after extra time, missing a host of chances to win the game within 90 minutes.

As attention turns back to league competition, this game serves as one that both sides will regard as important, with Sheffield United’s time running out to begin their fight against the drop.

They’ve yet to win this season in the league, but will fancy their chances against a Newcastle side that haven’t won any of their last six games in all competitions.

As such, the bookies have Chris Wilder’s side as the favourites to win the match, which outlines just how the Magpies have slumped recently.

Steve Bruce’s back five system remains unpopular with fans, but a back four formation may be used as they target a win against the Blades which could ease the gap between them and the bottom three.

The Newcastle boss confirmed that he left some players out of the visit to Arsenal in order to be fresh for the trip to the Steel City, with Fabian Schar, Karl Darlow and Federico Fernandez all ready to return to the squad. Whether Darlow will get the nod over Martin Dubravka remains to be seen, after the Slovakian stopper turned in an excellent performance at the Emirates on his return from injury.

Allan Saint-Maximin is waiting for COVID guidelines to rule when he can return to training so will miss out, but Jamaal Lascelles got through most of the Arsenal game before being substituted due to fatigue, and could make the squad.

Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey were among those who didn’t travel to London, and should both make the squad, along with Jamal Lewis, who has been struggling with a knock recently.

For Sheffield United, Chris Wilder has five players who are struggling with injuries and will be assessed closer to kick-off. Lys Mousset, Enda Stevens and George Baldock are more likely to make the squad than Phil Jagielka and Billy Sharp though. Sander Berge is out for up to four months with a tendon injury.

A win for Sheffield United could take them to within three points of West Brom at the bottom of the table, while a Newcastle victory would put them 11 points clear of the relegation zone after 17 games.

Newcastle United take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, January 12th. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Sheffield United pick up first win of 2020/21 with FA Cup victory at Bristol Rovers

Chris Wilder’s team have endured a miserable first half of the campaign but a 3-2 FA Cup win over Bristol Rovers should provide a little respite.

Wilder’s team have looked a shadow of themselves in the last few months but he was handed an early boost in this one as Joe Day bundled home an own goal.

But despite the early setback, the visitors kept their composure as Alfie Kilgour nodded home a Zain Westbrooke free kick.

Both sides looked to force the issue after the break, as Oli Burke fired home John Fleck’s pass before Max Ehmer scuffed home a second Rovers equaliser.

But in a season with little going in United’s favour they conjured an immediate response as Jayden Bogle tucked home inside the box.

Scottish international Burke struck a post late on as United pushed for a fourth but in the end there was no need as Wilder’s struggling side march on.

Full Time from the Memorial Stadium it’s Bristol Rovers 2 Sheffield United 3

Crystal Palace deepen Sheffield United’s misery with 2-0 win

Chris Wilder’s side remain on the brink of a record points low come the end of season as Palace ended a five-game Premier League losing streak.

The hosts were clearly the sharper of the two sides early on as Roy Hodgson’s hosts deservedly edged in front on five minutes.

Christian Benteke’s deflected shot ricocheted around the United box and Jeff Schlupp coolly waited for his chance to tuck past Aaron Ramsdale.

That goal failed to spark either side into life before the break with substitute Eberechi Eze waiting until first half added time to make it 2-0.

The former QPR star has enjoyed an eye-catching start at Palace and he dipped in and out of Blades tackles from halfway before bending home past Ramsdale.

Wilder threw on Lys Mousset and Rhian Brewster for the final half hour to inject some urgency into things, but they could do nothing as the Blades took another step inevitable step closer to the drop.

Full Time at Selhurst Park it’s Crystal Palace 2 Sheffield United 0

Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Sheffield United

The sides share a very even record in the Premier League head-to-head, with 2 wins apiece.

Last season though it was The Blades who came out on top, completing a league double over the Eagles, winning both games 1-0.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Roy Hodgson’s side after their 1-1 draw with Leicester in midweek.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder though is keeping his fingers crossed for the results from the latest round of coronavirus testing.

United’s clash with Burnley went ahead on Tuesday despite two players and several members of staff testing positive for Covid-19.

The club’s players underwent more testing on Thursday and, although no-one else has shown symptoms, Wilder admitted he would not be surprised if Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace is not able to go ahead.

If it does, the game at Selhurst Park on Saturday is the Premier League’s only 3 o’clock kick off.

Sheffield United’s striking struggles leave Chris Wilder worried

A 1-0 defeat at Burnley ensured they would head into the new year with just two points from a possible 48 this term, in addition to three successive defeats at the end of last season.

The Blades are fighting hard to stay in games, with 11 of their 14 defeats coming by a solitary goal, but at the other end of the pitch there is little cause for cheer.

With just eight goals they are now adrift as the division’s lowest scorers, Burnley having pulled clear with Ben Mee’s winner on Tuesday evening.
Reflecting with a touch of gallows humour on what it might take to arrest that slide, Wilder suggested: “About £30-40million and £70-80,000 a week.”

In the absence of such lavish expenditure in January, it will be a case of tapping into the formula that saw United finish ninth in the previous campaign on the back of 14 victories.

Wilder insisted nobody at the club would be throwing in the towel, despite relegation now already appearing more of a likelihood than a possibility.

Burnley deepen Sheffield United’s misery with 1-0 Turf Moor win

Chris Wilder’s miserable run stretches on into the New Year but the Clarets find themselves cruising away from the drop zone.

Burnley have forged a well-earned reputation of being tough to crack at home, and they were on the front foot early on, as Ashley Barnes tested Aaron Ramsdale.

And with Dyche’s team firmly on top in the first half, skipper Ben Mee nodded them in front before the break.

The Blades tried to make a fist of it after the restart, with David McGoldrick bringing a smart reflex stop from Nick Pope.

But the expected United onslaught never really materialised as they limped to another disappointing defeat.

Full Time at Turf Moor it’s Burnley 1 Sheffield United 0

Premier League: Burnley vs Sheffield United

The blades have endured a record-breaking-ly poor start to the season, becoming the first team to ever reach boxing day without a win.

If Chris Wilder’s side needed proof that a fast turn-around was possible, he’ll only have to look across the dugout.

Sean Dyche’s men have propelled their season in to gear and jumped out of relegation places after picking up 8 of their 13 points this season in their last 5 games.

The Burnley boss does have injury problems, however, with Matej Vydra, Jack Cork and Johann Berg Gudmundsson all expected to remain sidelined for Tuesday’s home game against Sheffield United.

Dwight McNeil (groin) and Robbie Brady (hamstring) also missed out at Elland Road, but both wingers could return to contention.

The visitors also have some availability issues, with three forwards all potentially missing the tie.

Oliver Burke departed midway through their Boxing Day match against Everton, while neither Lys Mousett or Oli McBurnie are at full fitness, claims Wilder.

The game is a 18:00 pm kick-off on Tuesdsay 29th December.