Liverpool 3-1 Sheffield United – Report

Despite the outcome at Anfield on Thursday evening, there were numerous positives for Sheffield United to take from the game.

Since 1994, Sheffield United had not secured a victory at Anfield, and their chances of causing an upset were dismissed by many. Despite Liverpool ultimately clinching the three points, the Blades made the home team work much harder than anticipated.

Despite an early setback due to an error by Ivo Grbic, the Blades showed resilience and pushed their title-chasing hosts. They managed to equalise before the hour mark through Conor Bradley’s own-goal. However, late goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Cody Gakpo ultimately favoured the Reds, sealing the win.


Liverpool: Kelleher, Gomez (Gakpo 73), van Dijk, Konate, Diaz, Szoboszlai (Jones 73), Nunez, Mac Allister, Salah (Elliott 60), Gravenberch (Robertson 60), Bradley.

Unused: Adrian, Tsimikas, Clark, Danns, Quansah.

Blades: Grbic, Trusty (Brooks 78), Hamer (Osborn 62), Brereton Diaz (McBurnie 62), Ahmedhodzic, Robinson, Bogle, Souza, Arblaster, McAtee (Osula 62), Holgate (Slimane 87).

Unused: Foderingham, Norwood, Larouci, Curtis.

First half

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder had emphasised the need for an excellent performance from his side, and they nearly delivered. The Blades started strongly, with McAtee forcing a save from Kelleher just 32 seconds into the match after Ahmedhodzic flicked on Robinson’s long throw. McAtee’s inswinging corner caused concern for the home defence, but unfortunately, Brereton-Diaz couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity.

Liverpool took the lead after goalkeeper Ivo Grbic’s 17th-minute clearance was blocked by Darwin Nunez, resulting in the ball going into the net. Grbic then made a crucial save against the same player five minutes later. Just moments after the half-hour mark, Mac Allister attempted a shot from distance, but fortunately for Sheffield United, his effort narrowly missed the target.

The last significant moment saw Diaz narrowly miss the target for the hosts, while Jayden Bogle’s attempt was saved at the end of the first half, indicating that the game was still very much alive.

Second half

There was echoes of the first half at the start of the second period as the Blades started the stronger side, much to everyone’s surprise. Hamer forced a save from Kelleher with a free-kick, and the Dutchman would later play a crucial role in the equaliser before the hour mark. A header from the midfielder ricocheted off Conor Bradley, resulting in an own goal that leveled the score at 1-1.

As Anfield began to get jittery, the away end was injected with belief thinking they could get at least an unexpected point against the Premier League leaders. But that was short-lived as the man of the moment Alexis Mac Allister thundered a bullet-like volley into the top right corner from the edge of the box.

The momentum of the game changed once more as the Reds piled on the pressure in a bid to seal the win. The World Cup winner, Mac Allister, then hit a free-kick against the crossbar with Grbic unable to intervene.

In the 90th minute Gakpo headed home the goal that sealed the victory, connecting with Robertson’s precise cross. The anticipated result that many had expected all night finally materialised. Sheffield United gave it their best efforts of making this fixture a banana skin for a short spell, and had they scored inside 75 seconds it could well have been a different game.