A good old fight back and a dramatic late goal saw Sheffield United move into fifth place in the premier league as they overcame a determined Bournemouth in blustery conditions at Bramall Lane yesterday.
The only premier league game to survive Storm Ciara, the win see’s Sheffield United who only won promotion to the Premier League last season move above Tottenham and close the gap on fourth placed Chelsea to two points as they dream off a Champions League spot and what could be their first ever chance at appearing in a major European competition next year.
With Manchester City’s game against West Ham postponed along with all the game’s in the Women’s super league and top flight matches throughout Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany effected by the weather, there was somewhat of a surprise when the game was given the go ahead amidst a torrential down pour and gust of up to 50mph in the hours leading up to the game.
However, the weather timed it perfectly as the rained eased off and for brief periods throughout the game the sunny made an appearance through the clouds as both sides looked to produce what was a thrilling encounter.
The visitors struck first in the 13th minute when Callum Wilson (pictured) was quickest to react to a rebound and tap the ball into the net as Harry Wilson’s effort was well blocked. However, despite the early pressure the visitors couldn’t maintain their momentum and eventual after some closes misses from Jack O’Connell, Oli McBurnie, Ollie Norwood and Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale producing a brilliant one handed save to deny McBurnie again, some sustained pressure on the Bournemouth goal lead to Billy Sharp equalising two minutes into first half injury time.
The second half was littered with chances from both sides, although the home side were the most impressive with Sharp, Sander Berge and substitute Lys Mousset all missing great chances, although the visitors did have one great chance for which Blades keeper Dean Henderson most be credited with keeping the home team level with a fantastic shot stopper that denied Ryan Fraser what looked a certain goal.
Despite both sides efforts to seek an winner the crowd had to what untill the final minutes when substitutes John Lundstram and Mousset combined to produce a classy winner as Lustrum’s first touch nudged the ball past Aaron Ramsdale and into the Bournemouth net.
Speaking after the game Blade’s boss Chris Wilder was full of praise for his side as they continue to break new ground and compete with the countries elite sides;
“We were hanging on at times. We grew into the game and I felt a goal was coming. I was delighted to go into the break on level terms.
“We try to build momentum and create pressure. They controlled the game early on but our reaction was great. We really went for it in the second half and the belief the boys have is amazing.
“I'm sure when we were coming off our fans were singing that we're safe. We're not there yet but there's no let-up from us. There are no comfortable footballers in our changing room – they all have something to prove.
“I'm a bit controversial in that I'd want to carry on – I'd like it if we had a game next week. But we'll come back refreshed for the next part of the season.”
With the Winter break now set in Sheffield United have only one more game this month with Brighton the guests at Bramall road on the 22nd Feb, before a further week off as Aston Villa will be playing Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. Bournemouth also have a similar period to wait for their next game when they travel to Burnley before entering Chelsea the following week.