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Watch Live: Liverpool v. Sheffield United

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Liverpool host Sheffield United at Anfield on Thursday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the final game of the Premier League festive fixtures is here.

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Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds sit top of the Premier League with a 10-point lead and a game in hand heading into 2020 but they will not be taking Sheffield United lightly after almost coming unstuck against Wolves last time out.

For the Blades, they played well at Man City but lost and that, quite remarkably, was their first away defeat of the season. Chris Wilder‘s newly-promoted side are in the hunt for European qualification and were desperately unlucky to not at least grab a point at home against Liverpool earlier this season.

In team news Liverpool make one change as Naby Keita comes in for Adam Lallana.

Sheffield United make two changes as John Lundstram and David McGoldrick come back in.

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Sheffield United edge Brighton

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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.

Soon after Brighton were behind as one long ball caught out Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk, with McBurnie hunting it down and finishing off the near post to make it 1-0.

Jack O’Connell nodded wide at the back post as Sheffield United continued to do all the pressing.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]Β 

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.

Fleck leads Blades to easy victory against Villa

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Sheffield United beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Bramall Lane on Saturday as John Fleck was the hero for the Blades.

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The Scotsman struck twice in the second half as Villa struggled throughout.

With the win Sheffield United moved up to fifth and have 25 points, while Villa stay on 16 points.


3 things we learned

1. Blades get the job done: For most of this season Sheffield United have been really good to watch. They were dangerous when they got the ball wide but this wasn’t one of their better displays. Chris Wilder wants to get to 40 points as soon as possible and they are now 15 points away from that target. The Blades are solid defensively and force opponents to play their game with their wide players causing all kinds of problems. George Baldock in particular was brilliant and the Blades have taken the PL by storm.

2. Villa lackluster in attack: Villa have lacked cutting edge all season long and this game summed it up. Wesley was anonymous in this game and Grealish headed wide and hit the crossbar with a penalty kick. Villa have lost six of their last eight with just one win in that run and Dean Smith‘s side are in a relegation scrap. There’s no doubt about that.

3. Sheff United dreaming of Europe: This win moved them up to fifth, momentarily, and the Blades have now given themselves a huge lead over the teams stacked up in the bottom half. Their aim at the start of the season was to stay out of the bottom three but now it should be about pushing on for a seventh-place finish to qualify for Europe.

Man of the Match: John Fleck – Two great finishes and his midfield running caused Villa problems all game long. He keeps popping up in dangerous spots in the box. A real unsung hero.


A slow start in the Steel City saw the home side have plenty of the ball, with John Fleck and Lys Mousset linking up well.

The Blades dominated the ball as Villa struggled to get going in attack in a tight, tense first half at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United put in plenty of crosses but Villa dealt comfortably with the wide threat as Kortney Hause blocked one effort well.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Oliver Norwood whipped in a lovely cross at the start of the second half but David McGoldrick got his finish all wrong.

The home side then got the goal their dominance deserved as John Lundstram crossed and Fleck flicked home his third goal in his last four home games, as the Blades scored with their first shot on target.

A rare Villa attack saw Wesley go close as the visitors finally got going late in game, with Jack Grealish heading a chance just wide at the back post.

Hause then caught McGoldrick with a high challenge as he was booked, and moments later Sheffield United doubled their lead. Fleck ran into the box and McGoldrick flicked a brilliant ball over his own head to pick out the Scotsman to slot home his and Sheffield United’s second.

Villa were then awarded a penalty kick after a lengthy VAR check for handball, but Grealish smashed it against the bar to sum up a terrible outing for Villa.

McGoldrick could have finished a few chances late on but it was a deserved win for the Blades as they continue their fine return to the top-flight.

Blades, Red Devils engage in thrilling 3-3 draw

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A match with almost everything saw Sheffield United throw aside a 2-0 lead but rally for a 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Oli McBurnie’s stoppage time goal withstood VAR review, joining a great performance from Lys Mousset in helping the Blades to another memorable result in their return to the Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the changes that mattered at halftime, as his Red Devils rallied for the point.

The feckless first half Red Devils turned into a force through three second half goals from 19-year-old Brandon Williams, 18-year-old Mason Greenwood, and relatively ancient 22-year-old Marcus Rashford, who also recorded an assist.

Sheffield United moves into sixth place with 18 points, a point and three places above their visitors.


Three things we learned

1. Three kids give hope after Ole fixes formation: Brandon Williams scored his first senior goal for United with a quivering rocket in the 73rd minute. Daniel James was industrious all day if a bit sloppy, and helped set up the goal with a move down the right before Williams pounced on a ball at the back post. The behind the goal angle was sensational, showing a ball with only one destination.

Then Greenwood got on the end of a Rashford cross, one that Phil Jagiela was too slow to poke, as the Red Devils claimed an equalizer with 13 minutes to play. Greenwood turned 18 on Oct. 1, and Williams 19 on Sept. 3.

The subs fit in nicely, but the victory also came about after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the humility to change his miserable, porous first half game plan. Phil Jones was removed as the side went from something of a 3-4-2-1 to a 4-2-3-1. The payoff took 20 minutes to really arrived, but then it just kept coming until the Red Devils were in front.

2. Mousset, Blades cut through United’s miserable back line: David De Gea was standing on his head from moment one, as the Red Devils continuously got worked. And after the Red Devils took the lead, the back line gave it away.

Lys Mousset’s new lease on life continued to work wonders, as he destroyed Phil Jones en route to setting up the first goal and then cut into a danger area to slot a 22-yard shot past De Gea early in the second half.

I mean, this is staggering stuff.

3. David De Gea keeps gauze on a deep wound: While United was getting run off the pitch — really this could’ve been 3 or 4-0 at halftime — its Spanish keeper was his best self, making a number of phenomenal saves and commanding his area. Without him, the second half outcome isn’t remotely possible.

Man of the Match:Β Marcus Rashford might just be coming into his own. The English striker has shown himself quite the passer of late, and there are plenty of reasons to think he’s starting to fulfill his potential. Rashford has 10 goals and 4 assists in 18 matches across all competitions.


David De Gea made two incredible saves in the 11th minute, the second an acrobatic palming of David McGoldrick‘s header.

The Blades also had a pair of penalty shouts in the first quarter hour, both unheard.

Lys Mousset was lively, and bodied Phil Jones to set up John Lundstram for a chance well-saved by De Gea only to see another John, Fleck, pop the rebound inside the far post.

McGoldrick kept coming in a bid for the second, drilling a ball to De Gea.

Manchester United had some moments in counter attack, but overall everyone short of Fred an De Gea were extremely sloppy.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Red Devils snapped to life at halftime, with Rashford using a couple deft moves to create space for a swirling shot over the frame in the 48th.

Mousset made it 2-0 when a run dragged Harry Maguire away from the Frenchman’s dribble, allowing the players to tear into a shot from 22 yards.

Manchester United got one back in the 73rd through Williams’ vicious finish, and the wall was broken down. Greenwood got to Rashford’s cross to make it 2-2, and Rashford reaped the rewards of Anthony Martial and James’ playmaking to make it 3-2.

McBurnie then settled a cross calmly, somehow avoiding a handball before smashing home for a stoppage time equalizer.

Watch Live: Sheffield United v. Manchester United

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Sheffield United and Manchester United duke it out for fifth place status in the Premier League on Sunday at Bramall Lane (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The host Blades are unbeaten in five-straight since losing to Liverpool, and count a win over Arsenal and draw with Spurs amongst their streak.

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In-form Anthony Martial hopes to help the Red Devils move into fifth with a win, while a draw will obviously leave both sides short of their goals.

Andreas Pereira, Brendan Williams, and Fred will be the midfield to tangle with the Blades’ feisty combination of Oliver Norwood, John Fleck, and John Lundstram.

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