Sheffield United pushed the Premier League champions to their limits at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon. Jayden Bogle, in his first appearance this season, countered Erling Haaland’s opening goal, only for Rodri to secure victory for the visitors later in the day.
Manager Paul Heckingbottom made one change for the match against the treble winners, with Baldock returning instead of the injured Lowe. Hamer and Souza were given their home debuts, and Norwood broke Carl Bradshaw’s 29-year record for the most Blades Premier League appearances.
Blades: Foderingham, Baldock (Bogle 71), Hamer, Traoré, Egan, Ahmedhodzic, Norwood (Basham 80), Robinson, Souza, Osborn (Larouci 17), Osula (McBurnie 71).
Unused: Davies, Trusty, Coulibaly, Marsh, Brooks.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Kovacic (Foden 86), Haaland, Grealish, Rodri, Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, Gvardiol.
Unused: Ortega, Phillips, Doku, Gomez, Bobb, Palmer, Lewis, McAtee.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City dominated early but Foderingham was untroubled until the 12th minute when he comfortably caught Haaland’s header from Silva’s cross. Osborn suffered an injury and was replaced by Larouci. City had a goal disallowed on 20 minutes due to Rodri’s offside position.
Foderingham made a significant save to deny Alvarez as he came out to meet the attacker. The referee awarded a penalty after an unfortunate Egan handball, but Haaland hit the post from the spot. The first half ended with Rodri’s shot saved and Baldock cautioned for a rather unnecessary challenge on Grealish.
The second half resembled the first, with Haaland missing a chance and Rodri having an effort going wide. Osula was booked despite being fouled by Gvardiol, leading to frustration on the pitch and in the crowds.
But the Citizens broke the deadlock when Grealish clipped in a left-footed cross to assist Haaland’s leaping back post header in the 63rd minute. United then made changes, bringing on McBurnie and Bogle for their first appearances of the Premier League campaign.
On 74 minutes, Robinson’s long throw caused problems as Ederson only half dealt with the danger. The ball broke out to Hamer but his shot was blocked. Shortly after, Ederson misplaced a pass which fell to Ahmedhodzic, who’s attempt from distance just missed.
Souza was booked for a foul which saw Foderingham save a curling free-kick from Alvarez. Walker almost conceded a penalty when Traore drove into the City box, but the referee wasn’t convinced. John Egan was also cautioned after stopping a Manchester City counterattack.
In the 85th minute, Bogle equalised for Sheffield United, sending the fans into pandemonium. It looked as though the Blades were about to snatch a point, however, City quickly regained the lead. Walker capitalised on a poor piece of defending from Larouci, then the former Blade set up Rodri’s goal.
But United had chances to answer back once more. McBurnie sent in a delicious ball to the back post which was met by Ahmedhodzic, but the Bosnian’s effort was far from convincing. And then Larouci fired over an effort from just inside the penalty box.
Sheffield United were once again beaten by a lapse in concentration from the lefthand side, and once again in the final moments of the game.