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Match Reports

Bournemouth 1-1 Blades - report

10 August 2019

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United earned a deserved point on the opening day as sub Billy Sharp bagged a close-range strike with two minutes remaining to earn the Blades a draw at Bournemouth.

Last season's leading marksman was on hand to pounce after Oli McBurnie's effort was blocked to send the travelling United contingent into raptures.

The point was nothing more than the Blades deserved after an impressive first half, backed up by a strong finish at the Vitality Stadium.

Boss Chris Wilder named two close season arrivals in his first Premier League team with the returning Dean Henderson, and striker Callum Robinson getting the nod for the Blades' first top flight encounter since 2007.

There was also a return in defence for Jack O'Connell after he missed the back end of the pre-season friendlies, whilst new boys McBurnie, Luke Freeman, Phil Jagielka, Ben Osborn and Mo Besic were named amongst the substitutes.

United made an electric start in front of a packed Vitality Stadium. A ball over the top by John Lundstrum caught the home defence napping as David McGoldrick broke through, but on the stretch his effort was palmed away by ex-Blade Aaron Ramsdale.

Bournemouth quickly responded as Adam Smith raided down the right. His cross was cleared onto George Baldock where there was half a shout for a penalty after he brought the ball under control, but referee Kevin Friend waved away the appeals.

The hosts then enjoyed a spell of possession but United looked solid as the game settled down following a frenetic start.

The Blades were given a warning on 10 minutes as Lundstram's cross was headed clear, providing a platform for a swift counter which eventually came to nothing after Ryan Fraser's initial run was ended with a poor cross by Callum Wilson.

Despite the hosts enjoying pockets of possession, it was United who had the best chances. After some neat build up play which saw the ball moved from left to right, a pass was eventually slotted into the feet of Robinson. The ex-Preston hit man swivelled before shooting low to again bring a save out of Ramsdale to his right.

At the other end Philip Billing fired high and wide as Henderson remained largely untroubled.

The Blades continued to carry the greater threat in front of goal and when John Fleck's corner was returned to the Scot, he played it inside for Lundstrum who dragged a shot wide of the near post.

Bournemouth's best chance arrived on the stroke of half time when the ball fell fortuitously for Chris Mepham who drilled wide under pressure after a challenge by John Egan.

There was still time for Robinson to threaten before the interval but after some impressive control on the edge of the area his shot was blocked.

United started the second half on the front foot and created two quickfire openings. First Enda Stevens looked like he was clear on goal after he latched onto a flick around the corner, only for Mepham to get back and make a last-ditch challenge.

A minute later and McGoldrick chased a ball in behind before drilling a well-hit shot just beyond the far post.

Bournemouth briefly threatened as Jefferson Lerma took aim from 25 yards but Fleck was there to make an heroic block for the Blades.

Once again it was United who looked the more likely to break the deadlock. This time it was Lundstrum who advanced and his inviting low cross fizzed across the area, just beyond the lurking Robinson.

On the hour Henderson was called into action for the first time when he flung himself to his left at full stretch to keep out a fierce drive by Billing.

Despite United having the better opportunities, it was the home side who took the lead on 62 minutes. After Stevens upended Fraser, the resulting free-kick was kept alive at the back post. Wilson looked set to score, only to be denied by Henderson, with the follow up drilled home by MEPHAM.

United made the first change of the game as record signing McBurnie replaced McGoldrick. The Blades quickly regained the momentum, and inside the final quarter the pressure began to build on the home side.

McBurnie was unfortunate when he seized upon a long clearance, but Ake's accidental touch took the ball through to Ramsdale.

The Blades continued to crank up the pressure, but Fleck's aerial challenge brought about a VAR check for foul play, which was rightly waved off after review.

With two minutes remaining United's persistence finally paid off. After Freeman was fouled 30 yards from goal, a clever pass from Ollie Norwood found Baldock creeping around the back of the wall. His low crossed arrowed across the area, and after McBurnie's effort was blocked, SHARP was on hand to net from close range.

AFC Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Cook, Ake, King, Lerma, Rico, Mepham, Billing, Smith, Wilson (Solanke 89), Fraser. Unused: Boruc, Surman, Ibe, Daniels, Wilson, Simpson.

Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham (Sharp 82), Lundstram (Freeman 79), Robinson, Norwood, McGoldrick (McBurnie 64).
Unused: Moore, Jagielka, Osborn, Besic.


As it happened...

We're underway...


Ball over the top catches the Bournemouth defence napping but McGoldrick on the stretch has his effort clawed away by Ramsdale.

Response now from the hosts as Adam Smith raids down the right. His cross is cleared by the Blades, where we had half a shout for a pen after Baldock controlled. Referee Kevin Friend is having none of it...

After a frenetic start, the game is starting to settle down now. Bournemouth enjoying a spell of possession as they look to pick a solid looking United open.

A swift Bournemouth break sends a warning United's way.

Lundstram's cross is cleared, and the Cherries move swiftly upfield through Fraser. He finds Wilson but his low centre sails across goal and to safety.

George Baldock in action here at the Vitality Stadium

Another quiet period now as both sides continue to feel each other out.

Steve Cook then hits the deck after a robust challenge from Robinson, and it is a quiet word from the ref to the United front man.

Great effort from Robinson saved!

Great football from United as play is switched from left to right, and then through the middle. Robinson picks up the ball and turns smartly to create a yard of space, his low drive is then palmed away by Ramsdale.

First corner of the game for Bournemouth after O'Connell heads a long throw behind.

Looks like a routine off the training ground but it comes to nothing as Philip Billing shoots high and wide from 25 yards.

Terrific atmosphere inside the Vitality, United fans in great voice all the way through the first 30 mins.

Looks like Baldock is walking a thin line.

A block on a Bournemouth player brings a long chat from the referee, but no card. The resulting free-kick is easily claimed by Dean Henderson.

Small peice of hesitation from O'Connell allows Smith to cross, but it comes to nothing and it remains 0-0.

Routine catch for Dean Henderson who has been largely untroubled so far...

United win a first corner which is taken by John Fleck.

Bournemouth clear at the near post before the ball is worked inside to Lundstram but his tame effort is comfortably wide.

First chance for Bournemouth after a lucky break sees the ball land at the feet of Chris Mepham, who is still forward from a long throw.

John Egan may have done enough as Mepham fires wide from close range.

One minute added.

Just before the break Robinson almost gets a shot away after more good build up.

United have been good, but it remains 0-0.

Half Time: Bournemouth 0-0 Blades

We're underway again here at the Vitality...


The ball is turned around the corner and Enda Stevens looks like he's through until a last ditch challenge from Mepham saves the day for the hosts.

United close again!

Great start to the second stanza as United look menacing. This time it is McGoldrick chasing the ball in behind before drilling a shot just wide of the far stick.

John Fleck throws his body on the line and makes a fine block as Lerma takes aim from 25 yards.

United quickly back on the front foot as Lundstram's cross is narrowly missed by the lurking Robinson.


Henderson makes a fantastic save as he dives full length to his left to deny Billing.

United also survive a VAR check for a pen in the build up.

McBurnie is ready to come on for his debut.

Goal for Bournemouth.

Stevens fouls Fraser and from the resulting free-kick, the Cherries pounce after Wilson has his shot saved by Henderson, leaving Mepham to drill home the rebound.

McBurnie is on for his debut replacing McGoldrick.

Norwood's centre is headed behind...

Fleck's corner is good, but the ref blows for a foul on the 'keeper.

United rebuilding now, and enjoying a spell of possession.

Norwood again puts in a teasing centre, but Bournemouth handle it for now. 1-0 to the hosts.

Bournemouth a little lucky there.

A long punt forward is seized upon by McBurnie, but totally by accident it looks like Ake has got an important foot in to divert the ball back to Ramsdale.

A debut here for Luke Freeman who replaces Lundstram.

Fleck survives a VAR check for a red card. Nothing in it!

Stevens forces a corner as United build momentum.

The corner is taken short to Fleck but his cross is too deep and it goes behind for a goal kick.

Basham is off and replaced by Billy Sharp.

Persistence from Fleck almost creates a chance as he blocks Mepham's clearance.

The ball rebounds for Sharp but as he rounds the 'keeper from a tight angle, the flag is raised for offside.


SHARP!!!!!!!!!!!! 1-1

Well, he's there again and it is a deserved equaliser!

Freeman wins a free-kick which is taken by Norwood. He cleverly plays it to Baldock who fires a low cross in towards McBurnie. His effort is blocked, but Sharp is on hand to knock in the rebound.

Four minutes added

Free-kick right on the edge of the area for Bournemouth.

Fraser takes it but sends it well over.

Full Time: Bournemouth 1-1 Blades


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