It was a miserable night in London for Sheffield United, who lost to West Ham with considerable ease despite going into the game in good form.
A double mistake from Enda Stevens and then Ollie Norwood allowed Jesse Lingard to sprint clear and win a penalty in the first half, which Declan Rice duly dispatched to put the Hammers 1-0 up.
Issa Diop then headed home from a corner – a pattern we’ve seen far too often this season for United – before Ryan Fredericks netted late on to put the seal on a comfortable night for the Hammers.
Although the Blades had their chances and had enough of the ball, West Ham never seemed overly trouble by United and deserved their win.
And speaking about the game on BT Sport after, former Hammer Rio Ferdinand had a worrying short assessment of things.
“They (West Ham) didn’t get out of first or second gear,” Ferdinand said.
“They didn’t have to do much to get a result tonight.”
The win for West Ham moved them into the Champions League places, while for Chris Wilder, he sees his side remain 14 points from safety.
To cap things off, John Egan looks like he’s going to miss a big period with injury, while John Fleck was admitted to hospital at the weekend.
Ferdinand is right, for all Sheffield United’s decent play we are toothless
West Ham’s first goal summed up one of the big problems for the Blades this season. We went from having the ball in an attacking area down the left, to putting our foot on it, going backwards, playing a few sloppy passes, and losing it before being punished.
Yes, David McGoldrick should have scored from a couple of crosses but apart from that we lacked any sort of fizz and zip in our attacking play.
Sadly, it looks like Championship football for United next term. And no matter what league we are in, the team has got to get some of its confidence back in the final third or we risk facing the exact same issues again.