Chris Wilder orchestrated the first victory of his second stint as Sheffield United boss, with a well-deserved success over Brentford at Bramall Lane. James McAtee, a constant threat in the contest, secured the win with a magnificent curled effort.
The Blades delivered an impressive second-half performance that could have resulted in more goals.
For the clash against the Bees, Wilder maintained an unchanged starting XI, although there were two forced changes on the bench with youngsters Oné and Peck stepping in for Norwood (suspended) and Fleck (injured).
Blades: Foderingham, Trusty, Hamer, Archer, Ahmedhodžić, Robinson, Bogle, Souza, McAtee (Peck 81), Osula (Slimane 53), Brooks (Lowe 72).
Unused: A. Davies, Traore, Thomas, Oné, Larouci, Seriki.
Brentford: Flekken, Pinnock, Nørgaard, Maupay, Wissa, Ghoddos, Onyeka (Yarmolyuk 45), Mee, Lewis-Potter (Olakigbe 65), Baptiste (Damsgaard 65), Janelt.
Unused: Strakosha, Goode, Jørgensen, Peart-Harris, Roerslev, Adedokun.
On a damp afternoon at S2, United earned an early corner but Hamer’s delivery to the far post was overhit. Trusty received a caution for a challenge on Lewis-Potter, and Onyeka, who had previously escaped a booking for a foul on Brooks, was yellow-carded for a challenge on Souza’s ankle. Despite a lengthy VAR check, the decision stood.
The game picked up in the last 10 minutes of the half, with Onyeka’s shot saved before Osula fired into the side-netting from Souza’s pass. In the first of three added minutes, United took the lead as McAtee beautifully curled home a shot, leaving Flekken with no chance. This followed an excellent run down the left by Archer and a failed clearance by Pinnock, with Hamer earning the assist.
In the second half, Hamer delivered a set-piece narrowly missed by Ahmedhodžić. Osula was cautioned for catching Pinnock, and shortly after, Slimane replaced the Danish striker. Slimane quickly made an impact, with Flekken denying him at the near post and later palming away another effort from the midfielder after good work by Archer down the left.
United continued to dominate, and Mee’s well-timed challenge was the only thing preventing Archer from scoring after Brooks volleyed a cross across the face of the goal. With 18 minutes remaining, Archer received applause for another promising performance.
As expected, Brentford pushed United back, but Foderingham saved Wissa’s volley at the back post. At the other end, Flekken denied a strike from Archer, and Slimane missed a golden chance to secure the win after robbing Damsgaard high up the pitch.
The clock worked in United’s favour, and Ahmedhodžić had to block an effort from Mee. Bogle, Robinson, and Foderingham were all cautioned in the closing minutes.
After a late VAR check for a possible penalty on Nørgaard, referee Attwell blew the full-time whistle as Bramall Lane erupted with joy, and Wilder savoured the moment in his technical area.
United’s second victory of the season was much-needed, given the form of the other relegation candidates around them. They move onto eight points, joining Burnley, and Luton are a point in front – they play Manchester City on Sunday.
Sheffield United might still be bottom of the table, but this is a huge result.