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Match Reports

Blades 1-1 Brighton - report

22 February 2020

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United had to settle for a point against Brighton & Hove Albion at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Enda Stevens opened the scoring with a stunning left-footed strike, only for Neal Maupay to net minutes later and that was enough to secure a share of the spoils for Graham Potter's side at a blustery S2.

For the clash against Albion, boss Wilder named an unchanged starting XI and substitutes bench, following the win against Bournemouth prior to the winter break.

United were quickly out of the blocks and inside three minutes, they had a sight of goal, but Sharp volleyed wide at the back post after Duffy had only half cleared Fleck's cross. Baldock then got the better of Burn, but under pressure, McBurnie couldn't make a clean connection with a low cross.

Bissouma was carded for a foul on Fleck, his second in quick succession, but Norwood's free-kick came to nothing. At the other end, United, through Egan dealt with Mooy's free-kick, before Henderson was equal to Bissouma's scuffed effort.
Propper was then booked for a cynical foul on McBurnie as the Blades looked to break quickly.
On 27 minutes, the Lane erupted and show did the roof of Ryan's net as STEVENS scored a screamer on the angle after Burn had only partially cleared a short corner from the Blades. But within three minutes the visitors had restored parity, scoring from a set-piece of their only. Mooy sent the ball into the box, Webster headed towards goal and MAUPAY got across his marker to nod past Henderson.

The Blades response to the untimely setback was characteristically positive though as they forced a couple more corners in quick succession, but the Baldock had to be alert to the danger as Albion broke through Burn and Bissouma. Two minutes of added time were signalled and it was the Blades who we continuing to force the issue.

United were forced into a change at the break, with Stevens departing and Osborn taking his place. But it was Brighton who had the first sight of goal following the restart, but thankfully from close range Dunk fired over the bar from a corner.

But as the hour mark approached, it was United who came close to getting back in front. Norwood's corner held up in the wind, O'Connell forced the ball towards goal, his effort was blocked, before Ryan managed to smoother McBurnie's effort. The crowd were now right behind the Blades, as Fleck sent a powerful shot inches wide of the far post.

Maupay's dipping volley was close at one end, before Norwood's swirling cross looked to have caught Ryan out, but the Brighton stopper managed to regain his position to deny Osborn at the back post. The corner count continued to increase in United's favour, but more resolute defending from the visitors denied them a second.

McGoldrick and Lundstram were introduced from the bench, before McBurnie failed to connect cleanly from a promising position, after Osborn and O'Connell had combined on the left. There brief concern when VAR reviewed a possible red card following a 50/50 challenge between Lundstram and Dunk, but no action was taken.

The clocking was ticking against both sides, but Ryan had to be alert to deny McBurnie from McGoldrick's low cross, before Baldock was adjudged offside as Fleck headed back into the danger zone. Three minutes of added time saw United chase a winner, but an entertaining encounter ended all square.


Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens (Osborn 45), Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, McBurnie, Sharp (McGoldrick 74), Egan, Norwood, Berge (Lundstram 80).
Unused: Jagielka, Verrips, Mousset, Retsos.

Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto (Trossard 74), Dunk, Webster, Duffy, Burn, Bissouma, Propper, Mooy, Maupay (Bernardo 90), Murray (Connolly 74).
Unused: Button, Gross, March, Jahanbakhsh.


As it happened...

15:00
We're underway.

3'
United starting on the front foot as Fleck's deflected cross falls kindly for Billy Sharp to hit on the volley at the back post but he drills an effort wide. 0-0.

5'
United on the attack again as John Egan's terrific cross-field ball is taken down by George Baldock. He cuts a low ball back into the path of Oli McBurnie whose miscues his shot when under pressure. 0-0.

9'
Fleck moving forward is tripped by Bissouma. He gets up to take the free-kick, whipping in a dangerous free-kick which eludes everyone and goes behind. 0-0.

10'
Bissouma is into the book after another trip.

14'
Blades on top but the game has gone a little scrappy over the last five minutes or so. 0-0.

17'
Fleck floats a cross into the near post looking for McBurnie, it is just too high for the Scotland international and Brighton clear. 0-0.

18'
They were queuing up there as Mooy sends in a brilliant cross but John Egan is there to make a terrific headed clearance.

The attack ends for Brighton with Bissouma's daisy cutter being held by Henderson. 0-0.

20'
We've had a delay so the balloons can be burst. Brighton fans making their presence felt...

24'
Blades break with Fleck but McBurnie is felled as he tries to go with him. The ref gives an advantage but as the attack breaks down, Propper is cautioned by Graham Scott. 0-0.

26'
GOAL!!!

AND WHAT A GOAL!!

Blades corner is played short. Norwood crosses to the back post, flicked away by Dan Burn and rifled into the top left corner by Enda Stevens. 1-0.

30'
Almost an immediate equaliser for Brighton.

Mooy's free-kick from distance is headed on by Webster and there's Neal Maupay to head in. 1-1.

33'
Jack O'Connell driving forward, he sends in a dangerous low cross which only just misses a stray ballon and the onrushing Sharp. 1-1.

34'
Fleck with a half chance he creates himself after dancing clear of Mooy's challenge but he slams his effort wildly over the bar from the edge of the area. 1-1.

37'
Baldock takes a chance as he tries to run the ball clear through his own penalty area. He almost presents Brighton with a chance before blocking an effort behind for a corner.

The resulting corner causes panic in the area as the ball goes loose, but Henderson grabs it eventually. 1-1.

41'
O'Connell furious he didn't get a free-kick after a challenge by Schelotto. Both square up to each other but the handbags are over and the game continues. 1-1.

45'
Two minutes added.

45'
Blades 1 - 1 Brighton

United had the lead through Enda Stevens but Neal Maupay levels soon after.

16:01
The teams are back out...

45'
We have a change for United here as Stevens is replaced Ben Osborn.

16:02
We're underway...

49'
Blades on the front foot at the start of the second half, as Osborn just avoids a lunging challenge from Shane Duffy. 1-1.

51'
Big chance for Brighton.

Corner is nodded down at the back post for Dunk to hit it on the turn but he blasts over from eight yards. 1-1.

54'
Patient build up down the right by United as Norwood resists the urge to shoot by playing it square to Fleck who hits it first time from distance but drags his shot wide. 1-1.

58'
Neat play by Osborn who finds Fleck. He turns the ball in behind first time for Sharp to chase and Brighton have to turn it behind.

The resulting corner flashes all the way across goal and Brighton clear. 1-1.

59'
Chance for United.

Norwood's corner is deep. O'Connell chests it into a good area for McBurnie to stab towards goal but Ryan saves and gobbles up the rebound. 1-1.

60'
It's all United at the moment.

Fleck with a stinging strike which flashes just past the far stick with Ryan beaten. 1-1.

63'
Maupay with a dipping volley just over the bar for Brighton. 1-1.

64'
Berge almost played in but his touch is too heavy and he loses the ball. 1-1.

65'
Shout here for a penalty. It has gone to VAR. It was against Osborn as Schelotto crossed and it was quickly waved away. 1-1.

67'
Egan heads over a deep cross to the back post as United keep knocking on the door. 1-1.

16:27
Attendance: 31,888 (2,863)

73'
Change for United as Billy Sharp is replaced by David McGoldrick.

74'
Double change for Brighton as Glenn Murray is replaced by Aaron Connolly.

Leandro Trossard has replaced Schelotto.

81'
Change for United as John Lundstram replaces Berge.

82'
Chance for United as Osborn feeds O'Connell on the overlap. Fleck steps over the low cross into the area with McBurnie waiting behind but he scuffs his effort wide when well placed. 1-1.

85'
Lundstram challenges Dunk who stays down and we have gone to VAR...

86'
Dunk miss-controlled and allowed Lundstram to put the challenge in, after a review there is a no red but Dunk still having treatment.

88'
Brilliant cross by McGoldrick into the near post, McBurnie gets a touch on it but Ryan makes a top save from close range and Brighton block Baldock's follow up attempt. 1-1.

90'
Clever free-kick from United frees Lundstram down the side of the wall, his low cross is blcoked behind for a corner. United take it short but it doesn't work out and Brighton clear. 1-1.

90'
Three added minutes.

90+1'
United piling on the pressure as a Norwood corner drops in the area and Brighton clear when it could have gone anywhere. 1-1.

90+2'
Brighton substitution as Maupay comes off and Bernardo is on.

16:53
Full time

Blades 1 - 1 Brighton

Maupay cancels out Stevens' opener and despite dominating the second half the Blades can't find a winner.


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