Sheffield United maintained their unbeaten Premier League away record with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
Heung-Min Son gave Spurs the lead before David McGoldrick thought he had equalised. However, the goal was ruled out in yet another controversial decision from VAR.
The Blades were not to be outdone, though, and did level the score shortly afterwards through George Baldock. It means they are unbeaten in their first six league games on the road – the first time a newly promoted side has achieved that in 25 years.
The point at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium moved United above Arsenal into fifth after 12 games. Only Leicester City have conceded fewer goals in the top flight of English football this season. Leicester and Manchester City are also the only teams to have kept as many as the Blades’ five clean sheets.
The impressive Sheffield United stat from Tottenham
Yet what makes a draw away at one of last year’s Champions League finalists even better, is the fact it was achieved with the vast majority of the same players who earned them promotion from the Championship last term.
From the starting XI, ten were at Bramall Lane in 2018/19. Only Lys Mousset – a £10m summer signing from Bournemouth – wasn’t in the United squad this time last year.
This is no one off, either. Eight players have started all 12 league matches in 2019/20 and all of them were playing under Chris Wilder’s management in the second tier.
“Our group, apart from Phil Jagielka, have got no real Premier League experience,” Wilder told Goals on Sunday. “But they deserve a go.
“It was the same group that finished the Championship season off. It’s over to them. Can you handle it? Are you good enough?”
John Fleck – another who has risen through the divisions with the Blades – has only missed two fixtures because of injury. Otherwise, the Scotland international would probably have taken the total to nine.
The back three of Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell have been instrumental in the impressive defensive record. Basham and O’Connell both played for the Blades in League One.
Wilder has proven that getting promoted doesn’t have to mean an overhaul of a squad. Nor does a lack of Premier League experience.
And long may it continue.