Blades 3-3 Crewe - report
A six-goal thriller is the best way to describe Tuesday's League One encounter against Crewe.
Shaun Miller, against his former side, and Harry Maguire, with his first league goal of the season, gave the Blades a two-goal lead.
But Crewe, who previously had only ever scored two goals at Bramall Lane, hit back with three goals either side of half-time. However, Nick Blackman, with his tenth of the campaign, rescued a point for the Blades.
Chief Wilson named the same matchday squad following the 4-1 victory over Stevenage at the weekend and the formation was also unchanged with Blackman on the right and Porter and Miller leading the front line.
Miller was facing his former employers and took just four minutes to hurt them. It was his shot which was deflected to win the game's first corner and after the ball returned to Blackman to cross, MILLER was positioned at the near post to divert home at the near post, a touch off a defender helping ball into the top corner, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Martin.
Porter could have doubled the lead almost instantly but his sidefooted effort was over, whilst Collins snuffed out Crewe's first sight of goal when he recovered to prevent Dalla Valle getting in a shot, which drew warm applause from the Kop.
Aneke, Murphy and Moore all fired wide from distance, whilst the visitors also won a number of corners as they enjoyed a spell of possession. However, it was a corner at the other end that produced the next goal, on the half-hour. McDonald robbing Moore paved the way for United winning the set-piece and from Blackman's delivery, MAGUIRE found space to head home from six-yards.
Goalscorers Maguire and Miller went close to extending the lead from Blackman's free-kick but Robertson cleared and the visitors pulled a goal back with their next effort, as half-time approached. Murphy's long-range effort cannoned off the crossbar and ELLIS reacted first to head home the rebound with Long still attempting to return to his feet after his initial dive.
Worse was to follow for the Blades as Crewe levelled with their next attack. From Murphy's free-kick, Long could only punch the ball against one of his defenders and the ball fell invitingly for POGBA to slot home from close-range.
It is fair to say that Unitedites were stunned at the break and it didn't end there. McAllister - on as a half-time replacement for Flynn - headed over following a Miller cross before the visitors went down the pitch and took the lead. Robertson's cross found ANEKE in space and he slotted beyond the left hand of the diving Long. It could have even worse when Dalla Valle came through a one-on-one with Long but he lacked composure when faced with an the unguarded net.
The pulsating drama continued as the Blades levelled with the very next attack. Miller worked himself room for a shot and although the effort came back off a post, BLACKMAN picked up the loose and powered home, goalkeeper Martin getting his hand to the ball but unable to keep it out.
Aneke and Murphy were off target with long-range efforts, whilst in a game that had become very open, Dalla Valle was narrowly wide with another effort from a Robertson cross. United went on the offensive - Porter was unable to get on Blackman's whipped in cross and then the number nine headed at Martin following Doyle's cross. Appeals for a penalty, when Blackman went down under a Robertson challenge, resulted in referee Adcock dramatically saying no.
Long was heavily involved as Crewe attacked again. His challenge with Moore saw the ball pop out to Dalla Valle but his shot was blocked by Westlake and then the United goalkeeper made a fine reaction save from Pogba's far post header.
In the final ten minutes, Miller poked a shot wide following a melee from a corner and the Blades did most of the attacking late on. Doyle had a shot blocked and Porter failed to connect with a Miller cross but the home fans had to settle for a point in an exciting fixture after the last kick of the game, from Blackman, was saved by Martin.
Blades: Long, Westlake, Maguire, Flynn (McAllister 45), Doyle, Porter, Blackman, McDonald, Miller, Collins, Williams.
Unused: McAllister, Cresswell, Cofie, Philliskirk, Ironside, McFadzean, Coyne.
Crewe: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Murphy, Pogba, Moore (Dugdale 90), Robertson, Osman, Aneke (Clayton 73), Dalla Valle (Turton 90).
Unused: Phillips, Guthrie, Daniels, Colclough.