Chris Basham

Sheffield United
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Ranking every Sheffield United player

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How to grade the players who’ve combined in a rather even manner to produce the (probably) second-best Premier League story of the decade?

You just… do.

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Below we give each Sheffield United player a grade, ranking and grouping them together based on their seasons so far.

If a Blades player is listed in this ranking it is because they’ve played in more than five games in all competitions.


A-GRADE

Chris Basham: An absolute monster, averaging 2.2 tackles, 2.2 interceptions, and 4.5 clearances while playing all but 80 minutes of the league campaign. To do so after waiting nearly nine years between top-flight opportunities is all the more impressive. There are not a lot of center backs with four Man of the Match honors on their resumes.

John Fleck: Five goals, two assists, 80 percent passing with grit to fill a vacuum on the weakest side (let alone one as hearty as the Blades).

Oliver Norwood: Averaging an absurd 6.5 completed long balls per game (1.6 crosses). To have that ambition with the ball while still completing 81.1 percent of all passes is *chef’s kiss.*

Enda Stevens

John Fleck (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

B-GRADE

Dean Henderson: One of the stories of the summer will be how Manchester United views the homegrown loanee, especially considering how David De Gea has slipped a bit. For the most part, he’s been excellent.

George Baldock: One of two every-minute men (Jack O’Connell), Baldock delivers the goods in all thirds of the pitch.

John Lundstram
Jack O’Connell
John Egan


C-GRADE

David McGoldrick: The unluckiest player in the Premier League, he’s produced plenty of chances but hasn’t been able to finish them off. That’s keeping him from a B, or even higher. Problems of being a forward.

Billy Sharp: Getting a boost out of sentimentality, as his three goals and status as a club hero give anyone with a pulse a good feeling. Those goals coming in big spots tease a better grade.

Lys Mousset: The team’s leader in both goals and assists but offers almost zero in any other area of the pitch. Is that harsh? Blades fans might argue with the C.

Luke Freeman
Oliver McBurnie

Lys Mousset (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

D-GRADE

Callum Robinson
Ben Osborn
Muhamed Besic


INCOMPLETE

Leon Clarke, Ravel Morrison, Simon Moore, Phil Jagielka, Sander Berge

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.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

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.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

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.