Sheffield United player grades in much-improved performance vs Liverpool

Chris Wilder’s homecoming to Sheffield United wasn’t a fairytale as his side lost 2-0 to Liverpool Wednesday night. Despite the defeat, there’s optimism for the future in their performance. Goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Dominik Szoboszlai, with United seeking a foul on both occasions, secured victory for the Reds.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 06: Dominik Szoboszlai of Liverpool scores his team’s second goal past Wes Foderingham of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane on December 06, 2023 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Player grades

Wes Foderingham: 8

Wes Foderingham had a solid performance, remaining untroubled until midway through the first half. Before that, his only challenge came from colliding with Ahmedhodzic, who slipped and fell into him while collecting a routine ball.

Foderingham had no chance with Liverpool’s opener, a well-struck shot by Van Dijk. In the second half, he made a superb reaction save to push over Salah’s powerful shot. Foderingham continued to perform well, denying Nunez when clean through later in the match, although it might’ve been ruled out for offside if he scored.

Jayden Bogle: 8

Back in the side due to Baldock’s injury, the player showed strong defensive performance in the first half, limiting Diaz’s impact on the Liverpool left. Playing in a four restricted some of his offensive freedom, but he still contributed to attacks whenever possible. Far better at dealing with the first and second phase of the opposition attack.

Anel Ahmedhodzic: 7

The Blades captain remained on the ground following Van Dijk’s opening goal for Liverpool. Replays indicated he tripped over the Dutchman’s leg during the corner, but VAR ruled it as no foul, and the goal was allowed. Other than that, he was solid.

Jack Robinson: 7

Facing his childhood team and positioned on the left side of two centre-backs instead of the usual three, Robinson displayed defensive prowess once again.

Auston Trusty: 8

He put in another commanding display, tasked with the challenging job of marking Mo Salah. Despite the difficulty, he managed to keep the Egyptian quiet for significant portions of the game from the left-back position as United adjusted their shape. He was replaced late on by Lowe, making his return from injury.

Vinicius Souza: 9

He significantly increased his physical presence in this game, diving into tackles early on and opting for simple passes when winning back possession. By far his best performance since joining the club.

Gustavo Hamer: 6

Operated on the right of United’s three-man midfield, displaying his usual industriousness by blocking an early shot with a self-sacrificing move. However, he lacked creativity and seemed to be hobbling towards the end of the game.

Andre Brooks: 6

Despite being a surprise starter, he showed no fear against the illustrious opposition. He made a crucial challenge on his own byline, denying Konate, and demonstrated maturity, game awareness, and courage by retaining possession in a tight spot before turning and running at the Liverpool midfield.

Cameron Archer: 6

Demonstrated perseverance in creating a chance for McAtee and had a promising opportunity himself. However, a momentary hesitation allowed Van Dijk to recover and block his shot. He tirelessly operated down the left channel, causing constant trouble for Alexander-Arnold and Konate. On another day, in a more confident mood, Archer could’ve bagged at least one goal.

Will Osula: 6

Didn’t have an awful lot to do, however, his pressing of the Liverpool back line was consistently smart. He also worked hard at screening off the easy passes into midfield.

James McAtee: 6

Had a dream chance early on when Archer won possession high and McAtee took a shot, but Kelleher made a crucial save. Almost reciprocated with a well-executed slide-rule pass that sent Archer free, but hesitation led to him pulling it back onto his right foot and the chance had gone.

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