Sheffield United lost out to Leeds today, succumbing to a 1-0 loss against Marcelo Bielsa’s men at Bramall Lane.
A late header from Patrick Bamford was enough to settle the contest, although it would have been different had it not been for a string of good saves from Ilan Meslier.
The Leeds stopper kept out John Lundstram and George Baldock brilliantly, before delivering an assured and calm display in the second period to help the Whites over the line.
However, it was a better day in general for the Blades, despite the result. Here, site writer, Lee Connor, picks out his five main takeaways from the game today.
More assured from Aaron Ramsdale
While the focus after the game was on the couple of saves Meslier pulled off for Leeds, the Blades stopper delivered a calming and assured performance to silence a few doubters.
Question marks had been raised following the opening two losses so it was nice to see Ramsdale pull off a number of fine saves. Is he the finished article? No. But was this a positive performance from our number one? Absolutely.
A lack of creativity from the middle
The focus is, rightly, on bringing in a new striker to the club but without John Fleck today and with a flatter three, United struggled to create through the middle.
As usual, most good bits of play came from wide areas with some neat play. We did, however, look more likely once Sander Berge moved to the right of the three. Lundstram and Osborn huffed and puffed and the former should have had us ahead.
But we need that bit of guile and inginuity from central areas at times and with Fleck missing, we defiinitely lacked.
Positive cameo from McBurnie
McBurnie was shunted to the bench as Wilder went with Oli Burke and David McGoldrick but did well when he came on for the final 25 minutes.
He was unlucky not to connect to a corner which Jack Robinson almost scored from, while he helped link play and put the likes of Koch and Cooper on the back-foot.
Most people are desperate to see McBurnie do well so a potential link with Burke could be interesting to see.
O’Connell a miss but Robinson more than capable defensively
Look, Jack O’Connell is going to be a huge miss for United. He’s been a mainstay of the team and his lung-busting rungs down the left are a big part of our make-up.
But Jack Robinson, at least defensively, was excellent. Given he had to deal with the likes of Helder Costa and Rodrigo, he did more than well. His only dip was losing Bamford for the goal in what was an otherwise assured performance.
The signs are there, do we need a bit of luck?
Last season, nearly everything went right. And you get the sense that this year hasn’t started off in the same sort of way.
Last year, John Lundstram smashes that chance past Meslier, while Robinson’s touch trickles in the bottome corner. Those are the little margins that win games and at the moment, we aren’t getting breaks.
Of course, we need to do more and be clinical and there’s no excusing that. But a little rub of the green wouldn’t go amiss given how the opening three games have gone.