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Match Reports

Blades 1-0 Betis - report

12 July 2019

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United opened Premier League preparations with an impressive victory over Spanish top flight side Real Betis.

At Portugal's Estadio Algarve, concluding a week on the Algarve for United's players, David McGoldrick scored the winner as Blades fans numbered 1,052 in the crowd of 1,520.

It was the first pre-season game for both sides and after an even opening 10 minutes, it was Chris Wilder's side who managed to force themselves on the opposition. Clarke was off target with a shot and O'Connell headed wide at the back post. On 14 minutes Kieron Freeman cut in from the right and his shot was fumbled around a post by former Everton goalkeeper Joel.

Clarke was convinced United should have had a penalty when he was fouled on the edge of the box by Javi Garcia but Portuguese referee Joao Bento decided to give a free-kick, which resulted in Norwood's effort being saved by Joel.

The Spanish side's first chance saw Camarasa head over a cross from Barragan but the Blades were quickly back on the offensive and Sharp had the ball in the net on 28 minutes, although the referee's whistle had already gone and, strangely, the game restarted with an uncontested drop ball.

The best chance of the first half, though, fell to the visitors on the stroke of the break. Following a cross from the right, Bartra's effort was spectacularly kept out by Moore and Loren looked set to put away the rebound but Freeman cleared off the line.

As planned, Wilder made eight changes at the break and included new boys Jagielka and Luke Freeman. From the first half team only Moore, O'Connell and Lundstram remained.

Freeman had an early opportunity to impress but he miskicked when played in by Stevens, whilst McGoldrick got around the back of the Betis defence but shot at substitute goalkeeper Marin.
Betis went close with a deflected shot from Juanmi and Raul just failed to latch on to the loose ball before United went ahead on 63 minutes.

On a number of occasions the Spanish side looked rusty when clearing from the back and this time they were punished - Lundstram won a header 25 yards out that dropped nicely for an unmarked McGOLDRICK to slide the ball home, beyond goalkeeper Marin.

United looked more assured at the back and that was the case on 70 minutes. Moore saved from Barragan and then Stearman acrobatically kicked away when Juanmi followed up.

Betis went close again on 76 minutes when Lainez's free-kick struck the base of a post from 25 yards and Juanmi curled over soon after.

The late pressure came from the La Liga side, Juanmi had another effort, which was deflected wide, and Lainez also lashed well wide as United held on to record a notable win.

Blades (first half team): Moore, O'Connell, Basham, Lundstram, Sharp, Egan, Norwood, K. Freeman, Bryan, Slater, Clarke.
Blades (second half team): Moore, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Lundstram, L. Freeman, Jagielka, McGoldrick, Stearman, Duffy.
Sub: Dewhurst.

Real Betis: Joel, Javi Garcia, Bartra, Camarasa, Canales, C. Tello, Sidnei, Loren, Joaquin, Barragan, Calderon.
Subs: Juanmi, Darko, Lainez, Emerson, Abreu, Rodri, Narvaez, Rebollo, C. Marin, Edgar, Robert, Raul, Ismael.


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