Sheffield United lost for the second consecutive game in the Premier League this season, going down 1-0 against Aston Villa last night.
Ezri Konsa’s header was enough to see Dean Smith’s men over the line against the Blades, who had John Egan sent off before John Lundstram missed a penalty with the game at 0-0.
It was, again, a frustrating night at the office and one that was made all the more difficult by the red card.
With the game now in the bag and time for reflection, here are FIVE things to take away from last night’s clash at Villa Park.
Mountains to climb
For the second game in succession, the Blades gave themselves an absolute mountain to climb in terms of getting something out of the game.
Yes, the decision on Egan was a tad harsh but by the letter of the law, it was just about right. Once again, we were left with playing 80 minutes with a massive uphill task in front of us.
Just as against Wolves, it was just a bit too much to overcome. Put bluntly, we can’t continue to give teams a head start and expect to be ok. Wilder will be annoyed and rightly so. It has to stop.
Get off Lundstram’s back
I’ve touched on this before but the narrative around ‘Lunny’ not being up to the task and not pulling his weight due to his contract is, frankly, complete rubbish.
He was one of the better players for United last night and had he scored his penalty, wouldn’t be getting half the stick he is across social media channels.
We need to get behind him. This is a player who scored five times and runs his socks off most weeks. His last minute lunge to deny Villa a second goalscoring chance, epitomised his performance.
Oliver Burke showed his worth
We’ve been crying out for someone with pace and power in attack and in Oliver Burke, we may have found it.
His pass to Chris Basham to set up the penalty was sublime, while his running and harrying of the Villa backline deserves a mention as well. If he can continue that effort and quality, United might just have a bit of a bargain on their hands again.
However…we have to sign a striker
There’s no point going on about it. We need another striker. Wilder knows it. We know it. Supporters know it.
Questions over Ramsdale…already?
This was another inevitable conversation in the early weeks of the season but in fairness, Ramsdale hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory.
He should have done better against Wolves and at Villa, once again, he seemed to get ‘stuck in the mud’ as he tried to dive to save Konsa’s header.
Of course, it’s really early days and we are by no means criticising him. But as with any other position on the pitch, he’s up for scrutiny and Wes Foderingham might just fancy his chances of the odd game this season as things stand.