Sheffield United 2-5 Brighton – FA Cup – Report

Sheffield United’s FA Cup journey for this season reached its conclusion at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon, as they faced a formidable Brighton & Hove Albion side.

Despite falling behind by two goals in the first half, United showed resilience before halftime, with Gustavo Hamer and Will Osula finding the net to level the score. However, Brighton & Hove Albion asserted their dominance in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals to secure their place in the fifth round.

Goalkeeper Grbić made his debut for the Blades against the Seagulls, as manager Wilder implemented five changes to the starting lineup. Archer, Norwood, Osborn, and Norrington-Davies were all reinstated to the XI, while Foderingham, Robinson, Souza, McAtee, and Brooks were relegated to the bench.


Blades: Grbić, Trusty, Hamer (Souza 76), Archer, Brereton Diaz (McAtee 62), Ahmedhodžić, Norwood, Bogle, Osborn (Brooks 62), Osula (McBurnie 62), Norrington-Davies (Larouci 56)

Unused: Foderingham, Robinson, Slimane, Seriki.

Brighton: Verbruggen, Julio (Dunk 62), Webster, João Pedro, Gilmour (Baleba 84), Groß, Ferguson (Welbeck 62), van Hecke, Estupiñán, Buonanotte (Lamptey 71), Hinshelwood (Lallana 71).

Unused: Steele, Milner, Moder, Baker-Boaitey.

First half

United started the match positively, earning a couple of corners in quick succession. Ferguson appeared to have scored from a Hinshelwood cross, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Norwood received a caution for a late tackle during this period. However, on the 14th minute, the visitors took the lead in stunning fashion as Buononatte unleashed a shot into the top corner from long range, leaving Grbić with no chance.

Despite conceding, the home side looked to respond immediately. Osborn’s through ball found Osula, whose shot was blocked, and Hamer’s follow-up was also denied by Juilo’s block. Just before the half-hour mark, Brighton doubled their lead from the penalty spot, with Joao Pedro converting after being fouled by Bogle.

However, United managed to pull one back before halftime. Hamer reduced the deficit by firing home after Verbruggen could only parry a low cross from Osula, who then turned from provider to scorer by heading in from Bogle’s delivery. Both goals had to withstand lengthy VAR checks for offside, but they stood, giving United hope going into the second half.

Second half

Unfortunately, the momentum shifted in favour of the visitors after halftime. Pedro secured his second penalty of the afternoon, with Bogle penalised for handball by referee Singh Gill.

The former Watford striker completed his hat-trick on the 68th minute, firing a low and powerful shot past Grbić, following a triple substitution by the Blades and a series of corners.

Although the tie seemed out of reach, the Blades persisted until the final whistle. Trusty headed wide from a Norwood corner, and McAtee struck the underside of the bar in a late surge. However, the last action of the game saw substitute Welbeck score a fifth goal for Brighton, as he raced clear of Larouci and found the back of the net.

It’s a tough pill to swallow considering the Blades initially conceded a wonderstrike against the run of play. And just when they took back the initiative before halftime, they were suckerpunched once more in the second half. It would be fair to say the score was quite deceiving.