Sheffield United drew 2-2 with Middlesbrough today despite taking the lead inside the opening minutes through Sander Berge and leading again in the second half.
Berge had fired United into an early lead with a well-taken turn and shot from the edge of the box. It was the big Norwegian’s second in as many league games and it should have set United on their win to win. However, and to Chris Wilder’s Middlesbrough’s credit, the home side twice fought back as Chuba Akpom scored twice from close range.
For United, it was a decent enough point although there will be a feeling of two points being dropped. And according to former Blades midfielder Mark Duffy, goalscorer Berge needs to show more for the full 90 minutes.
“Sander got into a great position and just turned and used his pace and power and took that shot early which is always difficult for the keeper to save. I just think after that Sander faded a little bit and we just wanted a little bit more from him,” Duffy said on SUTV Live.
Certainly, Berge did drop off in the second 45. Duffy was noticeably frustrated on commentary as well, with the ex-United man repeatedly calling for Sander to drive at the defenders more often.
Our View: Berge Quality But Duffy Makes Great Point
Whether it was the heat, how the game panned out, or Sander did take the foot off the gas a bit, there was a definite drop off in the Norwegian’s performance in the second half today.
That is one of the criticisms Berge gets from those still not overly enamoured with the midfielder. Sure, at times, he is unstoppable. But equally, that’s where the frustration comes from and that is what Duffy is hinting at here.
However, Berge is still one of United’s biggest threats and while ever he is in the XI, the Blades have a better chance of winning games of football.