Chris Wilder expressed his frustration over the “self-inflicted” nature of Sheffield United’s defeat at home to Brighton on Saturday afternoon, as they were eliminated from the FA Cup. Despite rallying from a 2-0 deficit to level the score at 2-2 before halftime, United ultimately succumbed to a 5-2 defeat against Roberto De Zerbi’s side.
Wilder’s former striker at Watford, Joao Pedro, proved to be the catalyst for the visitors, inflicting damage with a hat-trick, which included two penalties both conceded by United defender Jayden Bogle. Facundo Buonanotte set the tone with a spectacular opener, while Danny Welbeck sealed a comfortable afternoon for the Seagulls with a late fifth, sneaking a shot past United’s debut goalkeeper Ivo Grbic.
Chris Wilder reflected on what he saw from his former player on Saturday at Bramall Lane: “[Wilder to Joao] ‘Not today, Joao’ I said before the game but he said ‘Yes’, which we know he can do with the type of player he is.”
He added, on SUTV: “We had a player with two opportunities to try and clear the ball and he tries to find two passes. They cross it and we give away a poor penalty. Real self-inflicted. They had a lot of possession and play but it wasn’t the Alamo.”
While it’s bitterly disappointing to crash out of the FA Cup, it should give confidence to the player at the top end of the pitch, who looked promising on several occasions. However, once again, it’s about lacking that clinical edge.
To concede five goals in a match is poor, but upon reflection that scoreline seems harsh – two world class strikes from the edge of the box and two penalties – nine times out of ten that won’t happen. The fifth goal, perhaps you could have questions marks over the new keeper but the damage was already done beforehand.