David McGoldrick

Djenepo magic leads Saints past Sheffield United

Leave a comment

Southampton beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane on Saturday, as a thrilling end-to-end game was decided by a moment of magic from Moussa Djenepo.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

In his first Premier League start the Mali winger, a summer arrival from Standard Liege, danced past several Blades defenders before slotting home the winner in the second half, as Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s Saints completed back-to-back away wins for the first time since March 2017.

Sheffield United had former Saints striker Billy Sharp, who came on as a sub, sent off late on as they huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way past Angus Gunns and a resolute Saints defense.

With the win Saints now have seven points on the board and they are unbeaten in four games in all competitions, while Sheffield United are without a win since the second week of the season.

3 things we learned

1. Djenepo the difference: It is too early to say that Djenepo is finally Saints’ replacement for Sadio Mane, but it is not too early to say he will be a very important play for Southampton this season. He danced past several tackles after showing his strength to score a brilliant solo goal and that is his second stunning strike in as many games. Djenepo was the difference and for a Saints side looking to shore things up defensively, they have to make the most of their chances at the other end.

2. Saints still haven’t found correct formation: This wasn’t a great display from Southampton though. they looked disjointed as Hasenhuttl tinkered with the formation once again, with Djenepo, Cedric and Hojbjerg all looking like they played at left wing-back at times. Defensively Bednarek and Vestergaard have improved and one goal conceded in the last four games in all competitions points to that. But Saints don’t quite know their best formation yet, even though they are proving tough to beat.

3. Blades not sharp enough: David McGoldrick had some great chances and Ollie McBurnie had a goal disallowed as the Blades were blunted for the first time this season. Chris Wilder‘s side fly forward at every opportunity and gave it their all, but they just looked a little sluggish as Saints snapped into tackles in midfield and cleared crosses into the box. Sheffield United are a dangerous side to play against, but they didn’t have their shooting boots with them on Saturday.

Man of the Match: Moussa Djenepo – The winger has pace, power and trickery and looks like being a bargain buy at $18 million. Djenepo is 21 years old and has the potential to be Saints’ main goalscoring threat this season. Of course, he will be linked with plenty of big clubs if he keeps this form up, but right now it seems like Southampton have unearthed another gem.


Saints started well and Vestergaard got a header on goal which was saved comfortably by Dean Henderson.

A wild few seconds then saw former Sheffield United striker Adams smash a beautiful effort against the post and moments later David McGoldrick was put clean through but Angus Gunn stood his ground to make a superb stop.

The Blades finally got going before half time as John Fleck nodded over and they were causing plenty of problems down their right flank. However, Saints almost caught them on the break as Cedric somehow slotted wide from a great position.

In a lively first half Adams went close again as his header was saved by Henderson, then the Blades caused Saints all kinds of issues with their crosses into the box. Southampton continued to look dangerous on the break as Sofiane Boufal was set up perflectly by Moussa Djenepo but his tame effort was a huge let-off for the home side.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The Blades thought they had taken the lead at the start of the second half but McBurnie was offside as he tapped home Oliver Norwood‘s free kick to the back post.

Saints improved as the second half played out with Boufal and Djenepo getting on the ball in dangerous areas in the final third time and time again.

Djenepo did the business as Boufal once again won the ball back, then Djenepo fought off a defender, dribbled past a couple more and slotted home superbly to make it 1-0.

Late on Sheffield United chucked everything at Saints with plenty of balls into the box, as McGoldrick smashed a great chance over the bar.

Substitute Billy Sharp was then sent off for a lunging tackle on Stuart Armstrong as the Blades finished the game with 10 men and couldn’t find an equalizer.

Premier League stars shine on international duty

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Premier League stars are dazzling on international duty, as several have put in superb displays over the last week or so.

[ MORE: EURO 2020 roundup

From Harry Kane‘s hat trick to Kevin De Bruyne‘s hat trick of assists, lots of PL players are busy helping their nations try to qualify for EURO 2020.

With just a few more games to go, we round up the star performances from PL players over the international break.


Harry Kane – Spurs star captained England to a 4-0 win over Bulgaria and scored a hat trick, with two penalty kicks in the second half.

Raheem Sterling – Set up Kane’s first goal and the Man City star scored another as he now has seven goals in his last seven games for England.

Kevin de Bruyne – His amazing start to the season continued, with three assists, one goal as Belgium beat Scotland 4-0.

Teemu Pukki – Norwich’s in-form striker kept his run going (and took the Pukki Party to Helsinki), as he scored in Finland’s 1-0 win over Greece and 2-1 loss to Italy.

Daniel James – Man United’s red-hot winger scored a stunning, trademark curling goal as Wales beat Belarus 1-0.

Phil Foden – Man City’s young star scored twice for England’s U21 side against Kosovo in 2-0 win.

Jorginho – Chelsea’s deep-lying playmaker scored the winning penalty kick for Italy late on against Finland.

Georginio Wijnaldum & Virgil Van Dijk – Both played in Holland’s 4-2 win against Germany and 4-0 win against Estonia. VVD captained the Netherlands, while Wijnaldum scored in both games from midfield.

Oleksandar Zinchenko – Versatile Man City youngster opened the scoring for Ukraine in their 3-0 win against Lithuania.

Bernardo Silva – Man City playmaker netted in Portugal’s 4-2 win away in Serbia.

Olivier Giroud – Chelsea’s forgotten man up top scored in France’s 4-1 win over Albania.

Christian Eriksen – Tottenham star scored twice for Denmark in their 6-0 thumping of Gibraltar.

David McGoldrick and Fabian Schar – Scored for the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland respectively in their 1-1 draw.

Victor Lindelof – Man United center back scored in Sweden’s 4-0 win against the Faroe Islands.

Josh King – Bournemouth’s striker scored as Norway beat Malta 2-0.

Euro 2020 qualifiers: Italy and Spain stay perfect, Eriksen shines for Denmark

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christian Eriksen‘s future at Tottenham Hotspur may be in serious doubt, but his future with Denmark has never been more secure. The 27-year-old again proved vital for his country as he assisted the opener and scored a brace from the spot in a 6-0 storming of Gibraltar.

His assist came just six minutes into the match on a cross from deep down the right flank, sending it in for a finish off the head of Robert Skov. Eriksen then scored his first penalty past the half-hour mark to put Denmark 2-0 up on the road, and again stepped up to the spot for a second in the 50th minute. Thomas Delaney bagged Denmark’s fourth, Christian Gytkjaer added the fifth, and the Lech Poznan striker picked up his brace with 12 minutes to go.

Like Eriksen, Teemu Pukki remained white hot as Finland secured a massive 1-0 win at home over Greece, pushing them to second in Group J on 12 points. The goal, Pukki’s fourth of the qualifiers, came from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute after Dimitrios Kourbelis fouled Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara. The tally marks Pukki’s sixth goal in his last five matches for club and country, already on top of the Premier League goal chart with five.

Italy, meanwhile, moved to five wins through five matches atop Group J with a 3-1 win over Armenia. Andrea Belotti bagged a brace while Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini added the third in Yerevan. The victory came in comeback fashion as FC Sochi striker Alexander Karapetian opened the scoring 11 minutes in for the hosts on an impressive counter-attack, but he was sent off just before halftime for a second yellow card and Italy preserved its perfect record.

Sergio Ramos scored from the spot to help give Spain a slim 2-1 road victory over Romania. Spain put eight shots on frame in the first half to Romania’s one, but could only record the one penalty goal. A second would eventually be coming, and it did just two minutes after the break as Paco Alcacer finished off a wonderful team goal that featured an assist from Jordi Alba on a wonderful far-post run that caught the Romanian defense out of sorts and played Alcacer onside. On-loan Brighton striker Florin Andone pulled Romania one back with a half-hour to go but they couldn’t get past a bunkered-in Spain reduced to 10 men for the final 11 minutes after Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente was sent off.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof was one of three goalscorers as Sweden hammered the Faroe Islands 4-0 on the road. All four goals came in the first half as the visitors coasted to build a three-point gap for a qualifying position behind Spain in Group F.

Newcastle defender Fabian Schar seemed to have given Switzerland a deserved 1-0 victory on the road at the Republic of Ireland, but a late 85th minute equalizer saw the scoreline level. The Magpies center-back marauded forward through the middle and contributed the finish to a wonderful bit of one-touch attacking with 15 minutes to go. Switzerland deserved to go in front despite the lack of Xherdan Shaqiri who made himself unavailable for selection as he fights for a place in the Liverpool squad. The home side would peg Switzerland back, however, as David McGoldrick delivered a header five minutes from time to share the spoils, moments after Glenn Whelan struck the bar.

Bosnia & Herzegovina poured it on late to top Lichtenstein 5-0. The hosts held 68% possession and popped off 28 shots to Lichtenstein’s eight, but could only muster an 11th minute effort from Amer Gojak for the majority of the match. It was 1-0 until the final 10 minutes when they poured four more on, with Edin Dzeko, Haris Duljevic, and Edin Visca all finding the back of the net plus a second for Gojak. The three points were vital as they pushed Bosnia & Herzegovina up to third in Group J, with a five point gap between them and second-placed Finland.

Norway topped Malta 2-0 at home as Bournemouth’s Josh King scored from the spot. 21-year-old Genk midfielder opened the scoring past the half-hour mark, and King delivered his penalty in first-half stoppage time as the home side cruised in Oslo. They jumped into third in Group F, but still sit two points back of Sweden.

Israel drew 1-1 with Macedonia at home, a disappointing result that sees their second-place spot in Group G suddenly in peril, with third-placed Austria and fourth-placed Slovenia now within striking distance as they both take the field tomorrow.

Sheffield United battle past Crystal Palace

1 Comment

Sheffield United beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on Sunday, as the Blades’ first home game back in the Premier League ended in victory.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

John Lundstram was the hero at Bramall Lane as his goal just after half time sealed all three points for the Yorkshire club, which was their first PL win since 2007.

Chris Wilder‘s side have now picked up four points from their first two games back in the big time, while Palace have yet to score across their opening two matches.


3 things we learned

1. Bramall Lane can become a fortress: The home fans created a wonderful atmosphere in their first PL home game since 2007, and they dragged their team over the line late on. As hefty challenges flew in and Chris Wilder wound up his players from the sidelines, this will be an intimidating place for teams to play. If the Blades are going to stay up, their home form needs to be very good and it seems like that is going to be the case.

2. Overlapping CBs a joy to watch: Chris Basham and Jack O'Connell marauding down the flanks was a joy to watch, and something we will see a lot from Sheffield United this season. Basham and O’Connell are encouraged to fly down the flanks and join attacks, with the holding midfielders sitting in for them and it certainly gives opponents a very different tactical headache to solve. O’Connell pushed forward down the left wing for United’s opening goal and the overload it created in a dangerous area worked superbly. Pretty soon a lot of other teams will be copying the Blades.

3. Wilfried Zaha not up to speed: In his first start of the season, Zaha spent most of the first half having a row with the home bench and fans. Roy Hodgson was hoping he would be focused after a summer-long saga which saw him state his desire to leave Palace, but moves to Arsenal and Everton both fell through. Zaha’s display on the pitch looked like a player who doesn’t really want to be at Palace. That is very worrying for the Eagles.

Man of the Match: Chris Basham – A dominant force in the air and on the ground, the center back held United’s defensive unit together and he epitomized their gritty display. The Blades’ longest-serving current player stood tall.


After a steady start to the game for both teams, Sheffield United started to cause plenty of problems as David McGoldrick had a shot blocked and Palace managed to scramble clear from a corner as the hosts built up a head of steam in the first half.

Callum Robinson struck an effort over the bar as the Blades dug deep and substitute Luke Freeman (who replaced the injured John Fleck) brought plenty of energy to the midfield battle.

The Blades should have taken the lead just before half time as Lundstram’s perfect cross the back post found McGoldrick but Vicente Guaita saved well.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Sheffield United got off to a perfect start in the second half as Jack O’Connell raced down the left flank and Freeman cut inside and sent a ball across goal which Guaita saved but the ball fell to Lundstram who slammed home to send Bramall Lane wild.

That opening goal sprung the game into life as Andros Townsend‘s deflected shot from distance was pushed out by Dean Henderson and even though Palace tried their best to get into the game, Sheffield United’s defense held firm.

Some meaty challenges flew in late on as substitute Ollie McBurnie made a nuisance of himself, as the home fans roared their team to victory.

Sheffield United snatch late draw at Bournemouth

Leave a comment

Sheffield United struck in the 88th minute to secure a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Saturday.

The newly-promoted side snatched a point thanks to local lad and club captain Billy Sharp, as he jumped off the bench and scrambled home an equalizer.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chris Mepham‘s clinical finish had given the Cherries the lead, but Sharp did what he does best as he pounce in the box to send the travelling Blades fans wild.


Three things we learned

1. Fraser, Wilson carrying the Cherries without Brooks. And Bournemouth just looked a little lackluster in attack without their Welsh wizard who is out injured.

2. Blades unfazed by the big time. Very impressive on the ball and deserved their equalizer which was a lovely moment for local lad and captain Sharp.

[ MORE: Sharp, Wilder react to draw ]

3. Bournemouth’s defensive unit looked stronger, then let in another late goal as it was the same old story for Eddie Howe. They looked less dangerous in attack and still conceded, which will be a worry.

Man of the Match: Dean Henderson – Made one stunning save in the second half from Billing and held United’s defense together as Bournemouth piled on the pressure.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Sheffield United started well as goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale denied David McGoldrick who broke free. Ryan Fraser was causing problems out wide for Bournemouth as the Cherries settled into the game.

The Blades looked comfortable enough and were rattling into challenges as Wilder’s side held their own. Adam Smith was booked in the first half but VAR was used to rule out a red card as the game turned into a scrappy affair.

David McGoldrick was played in over the top but arrowed his effort just wide of the far post as the Blades grew in stature.

At the other end Bournemouth’s Phillip Billing forced Dean Henderson into a wonderful save as the Man United loanee denied the Danish midfielder at full stretch.

Moments later Bournemouth took the lead as Ryan Fraser whipped in a free kick to the back post and several players tried to hook the ball goalwards with Henderson denying Callum Wilson, then Mepham arrived to smash home.

Just as it looked like Bournemouth were going to win, Sharp pounced and celebrated wildly with the away fans on the South Coast.

Sheffield United celebrated being back in the big-time in dramatic fashion.