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Huge controversy took center stage when Man City took the lead, as the Blades tried to play the ball into midfield but referee Chris Kavanagh was in the way and although the ball didn’t touch him, he caused a turnover. If the ball would have touched him that would have led to an automatic drop ball in Sheffield United’s favor. But it didn’t and play was waved on.
That led to Kevin De Bruyne setting up Sergio Aguero to slam home as the Blades were incredibly hard done by. Manager Chris Wilder was as diplomatic as he could have been after the game.
“I’ve been to see the referee and he has been honest about it. We make mistakes and I believe he made one too and I’m sure he did as well. It is a game-changer. It happened that quick and I thought he could have been helped by his colleagues a little bit,” Wilder said. “We talk about the new rule where if the referee touches ball then he has to blow up, so surely if he is in the vicinity and hinders us then he makes a sensible decision. If he made the sensible decision then I don’t think no-one in the ground would have said anything about it. Unfortunately that has gone against us.”
Would it have been sportsmanlike for Man City to allow Sheffield United to go down the other end and score a goal to make it 1-1? Probably. But it would have been over the top. This was just a case of the Blades being plain unlucky.
To add to their misery, Sheffield United also had a goal chalked out by VAR in the first half for an extremely marginal offside on Lys Mousset and Billy Sharp hit the inside of the post with a header in second half stoppage time.
It just wasn’t Sheffield United’s day.
“Yet again we had another goal disallowed by VAR, that’s about eight or nine over the weekend, this is not a situation helping the game and the small margins. But I will leave that for everyone else to talk about because I have said too much about it,” Wilder said.
The Blades sit in eighth place, six points off the top four and their unlucky defeat at Man City is their first away defeat of the campaign.
One of the stories of this season so far has been that the Blades are more than holding their own.