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Match Reports

Blades 1-0 Palace - report

18 August 2019

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The return of Premier League football at Bramall Lane yielded a deserved success in front of the Sky cameras on Sunday afternoon.

John Lundstram scored the only goal of a game the Blades dominated throughout the second-half, as Chris Wilder's side made it four points from a possible six.

For the first home fixture back in the top-flight, boss Wilder named an unchanged matchday squad, following the opening day draw at Bournemouth.

The noise inside the stadium at kick-off was nothing short electric and the Blades were quickly out of the traps kicking towards the Kop.

There was early concern after a positive start for the Blades, following a clash of heads between O'Connell and Benteke, but after treatment, the defender was able to return to the action. But it was Palace, who had the first attempt on goal, as Benteke got the better of O'Connell before shooting tamely at Henderson.

Lundstram was the first to be carded by referee Coote having caught Zaha. The Blades sprung forward though moments later and forced a corner, after Baldock found space on the right-wing, but Fleck's deep delivery was headed wide by O'Connell. Robinson looked a threat in the wide areas and his work helped fashion a chance for Lundstram, but he dragged an effort wide from distance.

As the first half progressed, the visitors started to threaten when in possession and Basham produced a vital header to deny Benteke from Townsend's cross. At the other end, all four sides of the stadium appealed in vain for a penalty, despite Stevens shot appearing to catch the arm of Ward, before being blocked by Kelly.

On 28 minutes, the Blades were forced into a change, with Luke Freeman replacing the injured Fleck. United broke swiftly minutes later and Freeman picked out the run of Robinson, but from the edge of the area, under pressure from Dann he fired over. United's endeavor continued to create half chances, this time Freeman had an effort blocked after Lundstram and Norwood had got the better of Milivojevic.

With three minutes of the first half remaining, United created a golden opportunity to take the lead. Lundstram robbed Van Aanholt high up the pitch and whipped in an inviting low cross, but Guaita somehow denied McGoldrick from point-blank range.

Within three minutes of the restart, United deservedly hit the front, as LUNDSTRAM fired home on the rebound after Guaita had denied Freeman, with O'Connell and Stevens also involved in the build-up down the left wing, ramping up the atmosphere inside the Lane again. Palace looked for an immediate response, but Henderson was equal to Townsend's effort.

Robinson received a warm hand as he departed the action, as did his replacement McBurnie, on his home debut. Norwood's glorious pass almost created another opportunity for the Blades, but Van Aanholt managed to stop Baldock's cross at the expense of a corner, from which Guaita scrambled the ball clear.

The visitors made a couple of changes, but it was still United looking to force the issue in search of a second. After Guaita had punched clear a corner, Basham lifted the ball back into the danger zone and O'Connell almost squeezed his back-post header under the Palace goalkeeper.

A clash between McCarthy and Baldock saw both players booked, after the Blades defender attempted to make a block high up the pitch. With substitute Freeman continuing to have a big impact on the game, the Blades forced another corner and only the presence of a defender stopped McBurnie heading home.

As the clock slowly ticked down, Freeman was booked for a foul on Ward, but United defended the resulting free kick from the right, with no alarms. The Blades snuffed out a Palace attack, with Zaha denied much to the delight of the home faithful, before the Lane rose to welcome the return of Jagielka as he replaced McGoldrick.

The fourth official indicated a minimum of seven added minutes, but the Blades safely saw the game out, to net a deserved win, one that was celebrated ecstatically by the vast majority of the 30,000 crowd inside S2.

Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck (L. Freeman 28), O'Connell, Basham, Lundstram, Robinson (McBurnie 56), Norwood, McGoldrick (Jagielka 89).
Unused: Moore, Sharp, Jagielka, Osborn, Bešić.

Palace: Guaita, Ward, Dann, Kelly, Van Aanholt, Meyer (Schlupp 65) McArthur (Wickham 82), Zaha, Townsend (McCarthy 69), Benteke.
Unused: Hennessey, Kouyaté, Ayew, Cahill.


As it happened...

We are underway...

United start on the front foot and win an early attacking throw.

Palace snuff out any threat and counter themselves as United flood back to stop any early momentum.

Possibly the loudest ever rendition of "Greasy Chip Buttie"? Well, it must be close. Terrific pre-match atmosphere.

Jack O'Connell down receiving treatment after a clash with Christian Benteke.

Lengthy treatment for Jack. He's back up. An accidental clash, and we are underway again.

First opportunity goes to the visitors.

A counter attack almost catches out O'Connell with some hesitancy but Benteke shoots tamely at Henderson from a tight angle. 0-0.

First yellow of the game.

John Lundstram into the book for a foul on Zaha. The resulting free-kick is headed behind for a corner.

Any further danger is averted by the referee's whistle. Free-kick to the Blades.

The roof lifts off the Lane as persistence by Robinson forces Palace into a number of errors.

The result of which sees Baldock's low cross put behind and from the resulting corner O'Connell heads wide.

Some useful build-up play from United.

First real period of sustained possession as the ball is zipped around crisply in tight areas.

The move is ended when Lundstram takes aim from distance, with his low shot seen wide by the Palace 'keeper.

A Baldock cross from the by-line causes one or two alarm bells inside the Palace area.
Some more encouragement for the Blades who can't profit this time. Even stuff so far. 0-0.

Zaha raiding down the left, challenge from Baldock, corner...

First test for Henderson and he passes.

Corner from Milivojevic is punched clear by the Blades 'keeper.

An important header from Basham to clear.

Cross into the area looked threatening for a time until Basham heads away. It goes behind and the resulting corner is cleared. 0-0.

Well, that was interesting.

Stevens fires in a fierce drive and there's a huge shout for handball as it hammers into a Palace player inside the area. Nothing given.

Palace swiftly counter but United see off the visitors' efforts after a corner.

Great work again from Baldock as he drills in another dangerous centre.

Palace clear to Norwood who lets fly from distance. His shot is deflected over and from the corner a low effort from O'Connell is blocked inside the six-yard area.

Stoppage now as Fleck is down injured.

Fleck can't continue and he's withdrawn. A home debut now for Luke Freeman.

Opportunity for United as the game opens up.

Freeman carries the ball forward deep into Palace territory. His ball over the top picks out Robinson who has to wait for the ball to come down before driving it over.

Freeman having an impact for United as he hammers in a shot from distance which is blocked by Martin Kelly.
The ball comes back to Robinson in a wide position but he sails his cross beyond everyone. 0-0.

Best opportunity of the game. Palace make a huge error at the back. Robinson picks up the ball and plays it to Lundstram. The cross is perfect for David McGoldrick but somehow Guaita keeps out his effort from close range.

Baldock stops a Palace counter and escapes with just a talking to. 0-0.

Three minutes added time

Another Milivojevic cross, this time a free-kick near the corner, is clawed away by Henderson. Still 0-0.

There's the whistle. It is all square at the break. 0-0.

Both teams are back out here for the second half

And we are underway again...

GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Freeman who bursts into the area and his low effort is palmed back into danger by Guaita.

Lundstram is quickest to the loose ball and he coolly slots home to give the Blades the lead.

The atmosphere has cranked up a couple of notches as the Blades fans enjoy the moment.1-0.

Some work there for Henderson.

A tame looking effort from Townsend takes a deflection which makes it awkward for the United stopper, but he gets down to push the ball away to his right.

Robinson down injured inside the centre circle, looks like another change...

Here comes another home debutant, Robinson is coming off and Oli McBurnie is on.

McBurnie straight into the action blocking an attempted clearance by Kelly, the rebound spirals into the air as the ex-Swansea ace goes for it a second time, this time claimed by the 'keeper. 1-0.

Glorious pass by Norwood finds Baldock out wide. Maybe United didn't make the most of that as Baldock's cross is blocked behind. The corner which followed is right under the bar, but Palace scramble the ball clear.

Lengthy stoppage as Townsend gets some treatment. We're back underway, 1-0 United.

Palace making a change here. Jeffrey Schlupp is into the action and Max Meyer is off.

United free-kick as Basham is felled. Norwood delivers and Palace clear. Lundstram puts it back into the mix and Palace again answer the question. Good spell for United. 1-0.

So close to another glorious Norwood pass as United start to dominate possession.

This time his pass in behind has just too much on it as Baldock scampers forward again.

Another change for Palace as Townsend is off and James McCarthy is on.

Attendance: 30,197


Norwood's corner is cleared as far as Basham who cleverley hooks the ball back in towards the back post. O'Connell rises but his close range effort is smothered by Guaita.

Altercation between Baldock and McCarthy ends with a booking for each.

Freeman, who has been outstanding, wins a corner for United as the home side press for a second.

This time McBurnie attempts to head towards goal, but with the ball slightly behind him, he turns it over the bar.

Sub for Palace as McArthur is off and replaced by Connor Wickham

United win another free-kick in a good position and it is Norwood to deliver.

Again McBurnie makes good space for himself inside the area, but the ball is slightly behind him once more and he turns his header over the bar.

Freeman into the book for United.

A second debut coming up for Phil Jagielka, he replaces David McGoldrick.

SEVEN minutes added.

Just over two minutes of the seven played as United try and eek down the clock on the far side. The Blades win a corner...

Not surprisingly the corner is taken short and the ball is held in the corner before Palace finally clear.

United see off a Palace attack, five of the seven minutes played.

There's the whistle!!!!!!!

United 1 - 0 Palace

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