Site writer, Lee Connor, compiles his match report and player ratings from a frustrating night for Sheffield United against Newcastle.
The Blades were stifled by a resilient Newcastle Untied team last night. Steve Bruce’s men came away comfortable 2-0 winners in the end. Goals from Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey sealed the three points for the away side.
There was controversy in the game thanks to Shelvey’s winner, however. VAR was once again the talking point as it overruled an initial flag from the linesman to allow Shelvey’s finish to stand.
Confusion surrounded the whole of Bramall Lane. Players in red and white stopped, as did most fans and the managers. Shelvey, though, kept going and kept his cool to slot past Dean Henderson, who had also seemingly stopped.
It capped a frustrating evening for Chris Wilder’s men. They have now lost four times at home this season.
Wilder started with a front two of Oli McBurnie and Billy Sharp as he rested some of his key players. But the decision appeared to backfire in the main.
In fairness, the pair did compete admirably. McBurnie twice went close and Sharp perhaps should have scored a glancing header.
United couldn’t muster much following the VAR decision as the game played out. Newcastle, in the end, probably ran out deserved winners.
Sheffield United player ratings
Dean Henderson – 6
Why did he stop? That’s the question a lot of people will be asking. Out of all the XI, Henderson should have been the one to keep going. Had little to do and could do nothing about the first goal.
George Baldock – 6
Like Enda Stevens on the other side, was stopped by Newcastle’s game-plan. Got forward in the first half and towards the end of the second but didn’t deliver much in terms of quality.
Chris Basham – 6
Once again caught out for the opening goal. Didn’t see Saint-Maximin coming and seemingly lost his way as the Newcastle man headed in. Huffed and puffed but struggled to get forward as much as usual.
John Egan – 8 (Blades MOTM)
Dealt with Andy Carroll with relative ease for most of the night. Unlucky to be on the losing side really although was slightly at fault for the controversial second.
Jack O’Connell – 7
Quiet enough but efficient night for O’Connell in the main. Dealt with Almiron with ease throughout and continues to look assured.
Enda Stevens – 5
Uncharacteristic display from Stevens. Looked sloppy in possession at times and stumbled over the ball more than once. Looked tired towards the end and might well need a game off over Xmas.
Oli Norwood – 7
Looked assured with the ball and controlled the midfield for large parts. Having said that, he was hardly put under any pressure but still managed a few stray passes.
John Lundstram – 6
A relatively quiet game for Lundstram. He worked hard and tried to probe but again looked tired towards the end. A frustrating night really for the midfielder.
John Fleck – 6
Like Lundstram, was quieter than he’d have liked to be. Did little wrong but did little to impact the game either.
Billy Sharp – 6
Worked hard and perhaps should have scored. Delayed a few passes at crucial times when United could have been in and will have been disappointed in his first start.
Oli McBurnie – 7
A strange night for McBurnie. At times looked a real threat in the air and linked play well at times. However, will have been annoyed with himself not to score and got knocked off the ball one too many times for man of his size.
Lys Mousset – 6
Little to no impact from Mousset as Newcastle sat deep. Did one bit of nice play which got Basham in behind.
David McGoldrick – 5
Never really got involved and slashed a volley high, wide, and handsome to sum up his goalscoring woes.
Luke Freeman – 5
Late in the day for Freeman to join in too much but did little to really impact other than a nice ball in for McGoldrick.
Overall, it was a frustrating night for Sheffield United, which the player ratings probably reflect.