Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool – Report

Despite a significantly improved performance, Sheffield United faced a defeat against Liverpool at Bramall Lane, holding on until deep into added time. Chris Wilder’s return to S2 saw Virgil van Dijk and Dominik Szoboszlai scoring in each half for the Reds, but both goals were highly controversial as they could’ve been ruled out because of fouls in the build-up. Simon Hooper and VAR did not intervene however.

In his return to the home dugout, Wilder made five changes to face Jurgen Klopp’s team, with Bogle, Souza, McAtee, Osula, and Brooks (making his first Premier League start) in the starting XI. Fleck, Thomas, and Norwood moved to the bench, while McBurnie (suspended) and Baldock (injury) were unavailable.

Line ups

Blades: Foderingham, Trusty (Lowe 88), Hamer, Archer, Ahmedhodžić, Robinson, Bogle, Souza (Norwood 86), McAtee, Osula (Traoré 74), Brooks (Fleck 74).

Unused: A. Davies, Thomas, Slimane, Larouci, Seriki

Liverpool: Kelleher, Gomez, Endo, van Dijk, Konate, Diaz (Nunez 67), Szoboszlai, Mac Allister (Jones 59), Salah (Elliott 67), Gakpo (Gravenberch 86), Alexander-Arnold.

Unused: Adrian, Pitaluga, Tsimikas, Quansah, Bradley.

First half

In a positive start for United, both Ahmedhodzic and Robinson narrowly missed connecting with Hamer’s dangerous inswinging free kick, while Salah volleyed over from a Gomez cross at the other end.

Archer’s break from a Liverpool corner found McAtee, but Kelleher denied the attempt. Archer then outpaced Konate, only for van Dijk to intervene at a crucial moment.

Konate’s header was saved by Foderingham from a recycled corner and Endo receiving a caution for a challenge on Trusty, but Liverpool took the lead on 37 minutes. Van Dijk, shaking off Ahmedhodžić, swept home an Alexander-Arnold corner, confirmed after a VAR check.

Liverpool continued to press for a second before half-time, with van Dijk heading over from another Alexander-Arnold corner. Foderingham comfortably gathered Salah’s tame effort, then tipped over a dipping shot from Mac Allister before the half concluded.

Second half

United continued to compete across the pitch in the second half, and Foderingham made a crucial save to deny Salah’s powerful volley from Alexander-Arnold’s out-swinging corner around the hour mark. Konate, who had avoided a booking in the first half, was cautioned for cynically halting Archer’s progress.

Osula and Brooks received applause for their efforts when Traoré and Fleck replaced them with 16 minutes remaining. Foderingham again came to United’s rescue, denying Nunez after a through ball from Alexander-Arnold. Gomez missed a chance with a high and wide strike. While Norwood and Lowe entered the game as United sought a deserved equaliser.

After Archer’s last gasp attempt went over the bar, Liverpool secured the points as Szoboszlai fired past Foderingham from Nunez’s pass. However, there was a strong possibility of a foul in the build-up by the Uruguayan striker.

It’s another defeat for the Blades but a much-improved performance in terms of effort and defensive structure, and the counter attack threat was much more of a frequent danger.

Sheffield United are next in action on Saturday afternoon as they host Thomas Frank’s Brentford, Blades supporters will be optimistic they can find three points after their display on Wednesday night against Liverpool.