Sheffield United beat Brighton 1-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as Chris Wilder‘s side continue their incredible start to life back in the Premier League.
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Ollie McBurnie scored the only goal of the game in the first half as the Blades had two goals chalked off by VAR but held on for the win despite Brighton improving after the break.
With the victory Sheffield United are in fifth place and have 28 points for the season, while Brighton have 20 points and are five points clear of the relegation zone.
3 things we learned
1. Blades stay sharp: Sheffield United are fifth in the Premier League table as we approach the halfway point. Fifth. The newly-promoted side didn’t have it all their own way at Brighton but they found a way to win, as they looked dangerous from set pieces and McBurnie was bullish on the break as their usual prowess out wide was halted by Brighton and their possession-based style. Chris Wilder is doing a fabulous job and even though he won’t admit it, Sheffield United look set for a season-long battle to qualify for Europe.
2. VAR gets it right: Sheffield United had a goal in each half chalked off by VAR and the technology got it spot on. First John Egan saw the ball hit his hand last and then go in, and in the second half Jack O'Connell had an effort which he bundled home but was clearly offside. A good day for VAR, for once.
3. Half time subs have impact for Brighton: Glenn Murray and Aaron Connolly came on at half time and they made a big difference. Brighton pinned Sheffield United back and were more direct than usual, which shows they do have a Plan B, but Graham Potter will be disappointed with the lack of clear chances his side created. For all of their good play early in the season, the Seagulls are in the relegation scrap. Murray and Connolly should play a more prominent role in the weeks to come as Neal Maupay needs more support in the final third.
Man of the Match: Ollie McBurnie – Took the winning goal really well and gave the Sheffield United attack a vocal point.
The Blades thought they had got off to a perfect start as John Egan bundled the ball home but the goal was ruled out via VAR as the Sheffield United defender saw the ball hit his thigh and then his hand as it went over the line.
John Lundstram then smashed a shot into the side-netting as Sheffield United continued to do all of the early pressing.
At the other end Brighton thought they had gone ahead but Martin Montoya was offside as he played in Neal Maupay to slot home.
Jack O’Connell nodded wide at the back post as Sheffield United continued to do all the pressing.
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In the second half David McGoldrick broke free and rounded Mat Ryan but somehow sent his shot against the post with the goal wide open as Sheffield United should have doubled their lead.
Moments later they thought they had but O’Connell was ruled offside after finishing from close range, as for the second time in the game VAR denied the Blades.
Half time sub Aaron Connolly made a difference off the bench as Dean Henderson saved well from his powerful shot, as he and Glenn Murray made a difference in the second half.
Yves Bissouma went down in the box late on and was booked for simulation as he Seagulls lost.