Chris Basham

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Super sub Aguero saves Man City at Sheffield United

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Chris Wilder almost orchestrated another beautiful point Sheffield United, only to see Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero combine to produce a 1-0 win for Manchester City at Bramall Lane on Tuesday.

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City moves 13 points back of Liverpool, who have two matches-in-hand, while the host Blades are seventh with 33 points.

Man City out-attempted the Blades by an 18-4 margin, produced three big chances to United’s one.


Three things we learned

1. Aguero rescues win and improves Golden Boot credentials: The Argentine might turn 32 in June, but is showing no signs of slowing down. Sure his run and back post tap-in weren’t the most scintillating of his goals, but he’s onto 16 league goals. That’s one shy of Jamie Vardy‘s league lead, and right now you’d bet on him to snare a second Premier League Golden Boot.

2. Henderson aided by VAR: Gabriel Jesus‘ penalty was abject, but it certainly helped Dean Henderson that he was off his line early in the run-up to save. Video Assistant Referee somehow missed the offense, or there’s an explanation beyond our understanding. Pep Guardiola sure is livid.

3. De Bruyne continues record pursuit: Man City’s playmaker assisted Aguero’s goal was a terrific cross to give him 15 league assists this season. He needs six in the final 14 league outings of the season to break Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20.

Man of the Match: We’ll give it to Aymeric Laporte, whose fifth appearance of the league season was his first since Aug. 31. The long injury absence stung City deeply; With Laporte on the pitch, City improves to 4W-1D with three clean sheets.


Fernandinho cut out an early Blades challenge, and the next notable moment came as Muhamed Besic bladed the newly-returned Aymeric Laporte to only a yellow card.

Raheem Sterling stole a ball off Chris Basham and led a charge that led to a fine Dean Henderson save in the 20th.

Riyad Mahrez won a straight-forward penalty when Basham chopped him down in the 35th minute, Henderson bailing him out with a save on Gabriel Jesus’ tepid attempt.

Henderson was off his line, but VAR did not have a look.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Jesus nodded a shot to Henderson in the 62nd, the Blades’ Lys Mousset then nearly backheeling an opener on the ensuing bit of possession.

Aguero was given a rest to start the game, but Guardiola plugged him into the match and got an equalizer when John Egan couldn’t reach a terrific De Bruyne cross.

Scrappy Sheffield United comes back to win again

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George Baldock had a goal and an assist as Sheffield United came back to beat poor Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday.

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Enda Stevens also scored for the Blades, who got back in the win column after a loss to Newcastle at midweek. United is eighth, the top of three teams on 22 points.

Alex Tettey scored Norwich’s lone goal, the Canaries locked in 19th and four points back of safety.


Three things we learned

1. Baldock’s banner day: The Blades dangerous right back loves to whip in a cross, and it’s no surprise he got his assist that way. He’s been quite lively around the box this year, and his turn and fire to make it 2-1 was a fitting finish given the 26-year-old’s day.

2. Basham gets VAR reprieve: Sometimes it’s not black and white, and you go to VAR, and VAR decides the shades of gray. Chris Basham was sent off for a vicious tackle on Kenny McLean, but the Sheffield United man saw VAR decide it wasn’t quite so dastardly and Blades continued with 10 men. A tough one if you’re a Norwich supporter.

3. Buendia stays bright: Norwich playmaker Emiliano Buendia is keeping the Canaries in games, the proverbial don’t write it, don’t write it, don’t write it canary in a coal mine. Five more key passes for Buendia to accompany more fine dribbling and a surprisingly good battle for a player as skillful as the 22-year-old Argentine.

Man of the Match: Baldock.


The Canaries went in front through Tettey inside a half-hour of kickoff, a corner dealt with poorly from the Blades that the Norwegian struck well for 1-0.

Norwich was good money for its halftime lead, with an 8-4 edge in shots, 53 percent of the ball, and six corners to the Blades’ zero.

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The Blades leveled things through Stevens, who headed in a Baldock cross before the assister became the scorer. The goal was no small ask, Baldock navigating the 18 to get off his shot.

Mousset the super sub as Blades draw West Ham

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A festival of wasted chances mean both West Ham United and Sheffield United will rue their days in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium on Saturday.

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Irons veteran Robert Snodgrass saw his first half goal canceled out by substitute Lys Mousset.

West Ham moves ninth with 13 points, two places below the Blades on account of goal difference.


Three things we learned

1. Ink healthy Yarmolenko’s name on lineup card: We’ve written before of how good it’s been to see the former Dynamo Kiev and Borussia Dortmund playmaker thrive, but Andriy Yarmolenko looks as good as ever and needs to be an automatic starter for Manuel Pellegrini. His vision and touch to set up Snodgrass and Anderson was immaculate.

2. Mercurial Mousset the hero again: Le Havre Academy product Lys Mousset has had trouble delivering on his bags of talent during stints with both Bournemouth and Sheffield United, but came off the bench to continue a purple patch. Having scored the lone goal in beating Arsenal on Monday, he was back post to bound a shot across Roberto and into the goal for 1-1 with about 20 minutes to play.

It’s his third goal in eight PL matches for the Blades, the same number he scored in 58 PL apps for Bournemouth.

3. Wasteful from both in deserved draw: Between George Baldock‘s pair of miscues in the final third for Blades and Snodgrass’ missed back post finish late, this one could’ve seen either side score three or more goals on the day. The managers will have more shooting drills cued up this week.

Man of the Match: Yarmolenko, with a fair nod to industrious Declan Rice of West Ham and strong Sheffield United center back Chris Basham


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Sheffield United had a few chances and were the better money for a halftime lead, but the Blades were off the mark with finishing and the Irons also clogged shooting lanes fairly well.

The assist on West Ham’s opening marker was a thing of beauty, Yarmolenko well aware of Snodgrass and the space all around.

The Blades should’ve been level when George Baldock found himself in acres of back post space, but he took a touch and then his time before striking a hard shot that Irons keeper Roberto blocked and a teammate kept off the line.

Felipe Anderson came close to making it 2-0 in the 57th, but Dean Henderson did well to stop the Brazilian’s shot which was again set up by Yarmolenko.

Baldock missed another back post effort in the 62nd minute, covering his face with his hands at the bad Fortune.

Fortunately for him, Mousset arrived in the final 20 minutes to bound a back post effort past Roberto for a share of the points.

Sheffield United beat Arsenal with stellar defensive display (video)

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Sheffield United secured a signature victory on Monday, upending Arsenal, one of the Premier League‘s big boys, 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

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Lys Mousset scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half, and Chris Wilder‘s side put forth a defensive clinic to frustrate the Gunners and wrap up their fourth clean sheet of the still-young season.


3 things we learned

  1. Arsenal’s midfield needs a shakeupGranit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock is a thoroughly industrious midfield trio, only lacking someone with the tactical discipline to hold position in front of the backline. All three are at their best when on the ball and pushing forward, which too often leaves the (shaky in its own right) defense far too exposed.
  2. Sheffield United rock-solid defensively — For a newly promoted side to come up and hold the joint-best defensive record (7 goals conceded in 9 games, tied with Liverpool) in the PL is no small accomplishment. The Blades were just short of impenetrable on Monday, allowing just nine shots (three on target) to one of the big-six sides.
  3. No Plan B for Arsenal — Given the speed they possess on the wings and up front, Arsenal are clearly built to be a counter-attacking team that can punish you at the slightest opening. Against a team like United, though, what happens when the game never opens up and presents those chances? When the game sets up for them, they’re great, but Unai Emery could do with a Plan B. The other option would be to continue dropping points against (with all due respect) much lesser sides.

Man of the Match: Chris Basham


Nicolas Pepe whiffed on the game’s first golden scoring chance in the 21st minute. Sead Kolasinac tore down the left wing and delivered a cross to the top of the six-yard box where Pepe was three yards clear of the nearest defender.

United went ahead right on the half-hour mark, when Mousset tapped the ball home from close range after Oliver Norwood‘s corner kick was headed down by Jack O'Connell. Mousset had worked himself free in the center of the goal mouth and applied the finishing touch from three yards out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The more desperate Arsenal got in the second half, the tighter United’s defensive hold became. The Gunners managed just two shots from inside the penalty area in the second half, as the Blades’ line of confrontation dropped deeper and deeper and refused service into the box.

The victory sees United climb six spots in the PL table, up to ninth place, now four points clear of the relegation zone. Arsenal, meanwhile, fell to fifth place after entering the weekend third, thanks to victories by Leicester City and Chelsea.

Chelsea collapse as Sheffield United grab draw

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Chelsea let a 2-0 lead slip at home against Sheffield United on Saturday, as Frank Lampard‘s men coughed up goals at the start and end of the second half.

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In control for large portions of the game, Tammy Abraham scored twice in the first half to put the Blues in a commanding position.

But Sheffield United scored through Callum Robinson early in the second half and his 89th minute cross was hooked into his own net by Kurt Zouma to grab an unlikely point for the Blades.

Chelsea have one win and five points from their first four games, as Sheffield United have the same points tally.


3 things we learned

1. Defensive issues continue for Chelsea: 2-0 up and cruising, Chelsea blew it once again. They failed to deal with crosses into the box and they’ve now conceded nine goals in their first four games. No matter how good your attack is, if you concede two goals a game you aren’t going to finish in the top four of the Premier League. Chelsea were pinned back and took their foot off the pedal once again in the second half, and it cost them dear.

2. Abraham delivers once again: Four goals in his last two games has seen Abraham become the main man at Chelsea. He could have had a hat trick and led the line really well. Chelsea looked lost when he came off the pitch and it was a head scratcher as to why Lampard subbed him off.

3. Sheffield United dominate in wide areas: Their overlapping center backs get a lot of praise and the Blades once again dominant out wide. Robinson finished off Stevens’ cross for the first and then whipped in a great delivery for the second. Chelsea’s wide players were pinned back for most of the game and Sheffield United made the most of it.

Man of the Match: Callum Robinson – Scored early in the second half and set up the equalizer. Should have scored in the first half, but was a constant threat for Sheffield United. What a display.


Chelsea dominated early on and scored with their first big chance.

Pulisic picked up the ball and played in Cesar Azpilicueta who crossed for Abraham who nodded down and Pulisic forced Henderson into a fumble which Abraham tucked away for the opener.

Mateo Kovacic went close to doubling Chelsea’s lead after a fluid move, with the Blues feeling their way into the game.

Overlapping center back Chris Basham then teed up Callum Robinson with a fine cross from the right but the forward nodded wide from close range when he should have scored. Chelsea mad them pay for that, as a defensive mix up played the ball to Abraham who finished with a low effort to make it 2-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Sheffield United pulled one back seconds into the second half, as Enda Stevens worked his way down the left and crossed for Robinson to finish.

Abraham was then denied a hat trick after a brilliant save from Henderson as the Sheffield United goalkeeper atoned for his earlier error.

Chelsea looked to be managing the game fairly well, but the Blades then equalized in dramatic fashion.

In the 89th minute Robinson sent over a cross which Kurt Zouma deflected into his own net under pressure as the traveling Blades fans went bonkers at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard’s Chelsea collapsed once again in the second half.