Sheffield United finally got themselves a piece of the VAR pie as they saw off West Ham 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
The Blades were good value for their lead after a much improved second-half performance. They went in front when John Fleck capitalised on a goalkeeping error to slide across for Oli McBurnie to grab his fourth of the season.
However, with the Blades looking comfortable, Robert Snodgrass thought he’d got his equaliser for the Hammers in injury time.
But this time, and luckily for the home side, VAR came to the rescue of Sheffield United. Declan Rice was adjudged to have handled the ball and VAR implemented the new handball rule.
United saw out the remaining time with minimal fuss to get a valuable three points. It was a win that rocketed the Blades back to fifth and onto 32 Premier League points.
Here’s how site writer, Lee Connor, saw things at Bramall Lane last night…
Dean Henderson – 7
Had little to do but pulled off a superb save to deny Manuel Lanzini from an excellent free-kick in the second period.
Enda Stevens – 7
Looked back to his best after a tough few weeks and was a constant threat down the left-hand side.
John Egan – 6
Not his finest game as Sebastien Haller caused problems. A couple of mistimed headers almost proved costly, too.
Jack O’Connell – 7
Linked well with Stevens but will have been disappointed not to get forward as much as usual. Still, defended well when required.
George Baldock – 6
Did well down the right but didn’t quite get beyond as much as usual. However, still did little wrong throughout the game.
Oli Norwood – 7
Featured prominently and was hounded by the Hammers midfielders throughout. Remained calm and used the ball well at times.
John Fleck – 8 (MOTM)
A fine performance from the Scottish midfielder and did well to set the goal up. His value to the Blades increases by the week.
John Lundstram – 5
For some reason, just not at the races. Lost the ball cheaply and didn’t seem to want to get forward as much. Should have scored with a volley too in the opening period.
David McGoldrick – 6
Worked hard but had little influence on the game for once. Subbed off for Lys Mousset with 30 minutes left.
Oli McBurnie – 8
Probably his best game in a Blades shirt. Got the vital goal, put himself about, and won countless headers before being withdrawn.
Lys Mousset – 7
Caused all sorts of problems when he came on and once again made a big impact.
Mo Besic – 6
Comfortable with the ball and more or less eliminated the excellent Anderson from the game with a scything challenge.
Billy Sharp – N/A
Sheffield United New View
In the balance of the game, a win was just about right for the Blades. A poor first-half was followed up by a much-improved second period.
They were lucky with the VAR decision but have been owed one, in fairness. Oli McBurnie was superb up top while John Fleck was once again instrumental.
The magical 40 point mark edges ever closer and it’s wonderful for Sheffield United fans at the moment.