4/08/2018 5:30 pm
Referee: J. Simpson
|Sheffield United||Swansea City|
|Baldock, 62.||McBurnie, 71. Dhanda 85.|
|Basham||Van Der Hoorn|
Sheffield United succumbed to a 2-1 defeat yesterday to Championship newcomers Swansea City at Bramall Lane despite George Baldock’s second half strike taking the lead.
The first half ended surprisingly goalless compared to last season’s wave of goals which saw at least one goal during the first 45 minutes in the majority of games played.
Right Wing-Back Baldock was credited with netting United’s first goal of the 2018-19 season after he expertly turned home John Lundstram’s low cross. Swansea responded with a simple equaliser from Oli McBurnie and with five minutes remaining substitute Yan Dhanda scored to snatch three undeserved points.
The opening day of the season often indicates fresh blood making their debuts. Yesterday was no different as Dean Henderson, John Egan and David McGoldrick were all handed a place in the starting XI whilst Ben Woodburn was on the bench. Kean Bryan will have to wait a little longer until he is included in the match day squad.
The Sky camera’s were in force to witness the first encounter of the season. The opening exchanges saw United begin the game with decent play but it was the visitors who twice tested Henderson in the Blades goal – both from free-kicks.
United’s first opportunity came from a short corner. Clarke outpaced Van Der Hoorn and after Evans played the ball short to McGoldrick before whipping the ball into the box but the pace of the ball flashed beyond O’Connell and Basham.
As the clock ticked beyond the half hour mark the game saw no scoring chances. Swansea had lined up a defensive formation. The game was heated a little after Stevens accidently caught Fernandez with City’s bench protesting to the referee.
Appeals for a penalty were turned away shortly after as Basham went down under the challenge from Fernandez but referee Simpson ignored any appeals. Fulton lost the ball on the half-way line and McGoldrick saw his fierce effort deflect over for a corner. And, from the resulting kick O’Connell headed over the top at the far post.
Half-Time: Sheffield United 0-0 Swansea City
After McKay got the better of Basham the Blades were almost caught out within the first minutes of the second half. O’Connell and Egan combined to rescue Basham’s rare error to block out Asoro’s shot. United were now attacking the famous Kop end and had the shade at their advantage.
At the other end an awful back pass from Celina was hit straight to McGoldrick. He had time and space to run at goal before firing wide of the post from outside the box. A minute later the hosts should have celebrated taking the lead after a well worked counter-attack saw three on one in United’s favour. But after the ball was placed to Lundstram inside the box and with the goal virtually at his mercy, the midfielder sliced his golden opportunity over the top.
He immediately made amends but charging 50 yards to tackle Olsson. United did take the lead on 62 minutes as well worked play saw Lundstram on the left wing. He cut the ball low into the box and the advancing BALDOCK timed his run to side foot home; 1-0.
Swansea hit back and five minutes later Henderson spectacularly tipped Fulton’s goal bound header over the bar at the expense of a corner. Their next attack brought an equalising goal. Fleck and Henderson tried to avert any danger but after the keeper made a save, the ball fell kindly to McBURNIE who had a simple job of firing into a unguarded net.
The visitor’s spirits were lifted and McBurnie almost added a second after Montero got round Baldock. But the former Barnsley strikers’ header drifted wide.
The winner wasn’t long coming but two minutes prior to their 85th minute winner, Mckay’s ferocious effort smashed against the crossbar with United somehow clearing the ball to safety.
DHANDA had only been on the field less than 30 seconds when he put the ball in the net. Montero managed to get free on the right and he found McKay who teed up the substitute to fire home past Henderson.
United immediately went on the offensive and almost instantly scored but a cross into the box cannoned off Roberts but Nordfelt somehow tipped round the post. From the resulting corner Evans header flew high over the bar.
Four minutes of injury time saw United attempt to attack the Swansea goal but found themselves against 11 players in the box as the visitors dug in for the final few minutes. This proved to be enough despite Egan seeing his effort kept out by the keeper.
Full-Time: Sheffield United 1-2 Swansea City
Sheffield United: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O’Connell, Basham (Duffy 87), Lundstram (Sharp 79), Evans, Clarke, Egan, McGoldrick (Woodburn 72). Unused: Leonard, Stearman, Lafferty, Moore.
Swansea City: Nordfelt, Olsson (Grimes 72), Van Der Hoorn, Fernandez, McBurnie, Celina, Carooll, Asoro (Montero 63), McKay, Roberts, Fulton (Dhanda 85). Unused: Dyer, Roden, Amat, Mulder.