On Sunday afternoon at Bramall Lane, Sheffield United tested the Premier League champions to their maximum after a brilliant defensive display. But the Blades once again shot themselves in the foot to concede a late goal which denied them a hard earned point.
Wes Foderingham: 9
Foderingham made so many crucial saves on Sunday. The best of them were from the two one-vs-one’s he faced. He closed down Alvarez who looked certain to score a tap in. And later on he denied Haaland in a similar sort of fashion as he read that the Norwegian was looking to chip him.
Foderingham made seven saves in the game, and if it wasn’t for him the Blades would’ve been well out of sight.
George Baldock: 8
Baldock, just like in the FA Cup semi-final, marshalled Grealish the best I’ve ever seen any other right-back do. The best you can hope to do against Grealish is limit his impact on the game and he did exactly that.
But unfortunately, Grealish eventually got the better of Baldock for the first goal as he was given enough space to clip over a ball to the far post for Haaland’s header.
Anel Ahmedhodzic: 7
This was the best performance from Ahmedhodzic so far this season. His marking was on point, he blocked shots and swept up most of the danger in the box. He will be kicking himself for missing his opportunity at the far post which he should’ve scored. That chance had an xG of 0.32 [SofaScore].
John Egan: 7
At times Egan was left man-for-man up against Erling Haaland, and with that in mind, he did excellent up against last season’s Premier League golden boot winner. Egan committed a penalty in a very unfortunate manner but his defensive performance earned a bit of luck when Haaland’s penalty hit the post.
Jack Robinson: 7
Defended the left side of the box well, and intervened with a tackle inside the box when Walker got to the byline. Robinson was instructed to mark Bernardo Silva tightly, and even sometimes stepped into midfield to restrict his space.
Ben Osborn: 6
Osborn went off with a groin injury on 20 minutes. While he was on the pitch, he did well up against Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker.
Vinícius Souza: 7
The big Brazilian showed his defensive screening ability against the best team in the world. He helped double up on Grealish at times, and then also had to guard the edge of the box with Rodri and Alvarez lurking. He won seven of 13 duels [SofaScore]. And he almost stole the ball off Bernardo Silva inside City’s box.
Oli Norwood: 7
When the ball was out wide, Norwood dropped just in front of the defensive line to act as the first line of defence for crosses, and he did get his head to most. Excellent defensively, but could he have injected a little more composure on the ball. It’s a tough ask when defending all game and up against the best team in the world.
Gustavo Hamer: 7
Positionally, he was excellent up against an elite midfield. We almost saw him score another long shot when Ederson punched the ball out to him. His strike was on target but an outstanding block from Dias stopped the ball from finding the back of the net.
Bénie Traoré: 7
The Ivorian was the Blades biggest threat. His pace in transition is scary for any defender, even the best in the world. In the few times when he was given a quality pass, he drove at Gvardiol and got past him and delivered a decent cross, but Osula was the only one in the box.
He also forced Walker into an uncharacteristic error which eventually led to United’s equaliser.
Will Osula: 6
Tireless worker yet again. Did his best to contest Dias and Gvardiol but was often beaten. For me, he had opportunities to hold up the ball and bring others into play, but he instead chose to try and trick his way past his opponent which saw him give the ball away.
Larouci 4 (Osborn, 18)
McBurnie 7 (Osula, 71)
Bogle 7 (Baldock, 71)
Basham 6 (Norwood, 80)