Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton: Blades drop points in chasing Champions League after Neal Maupay equalizes only four minutes after Enda Stevens put hosts in front
- Enda Stevens gave Sheffield United the opener 26 minutes into the match
- Brighton equalized only four minutes later with the eighth goal of Neal Maupay
- Both sides had chances in the second half, but each had to contend with one point
- Brighton felt that John Lundstram should have seen a late red card
- VAR assessed the challenge on Lewis Dunk but decided not to show a red
It says much of Sheffield United’s heightened ambition – especially in the light of the impending European ban from Manchester City – that a result to hold them in sixth position in the Premier League is greeted with regret.
But that was the dominating emotion at another capacity and enchanted crowd here on Bramall Lane.
Chris Wilder’s namesake, Deontay, will bump at night with Tyson Fury in Las Vegas, but the Blades boss was frustrated because his party failed to land his own knockout, despite dominating the visitors.
The side of Graham Potter took a valuable point after a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United
Enda Stevens hit a powerful shot past goalkeeper Matt Ryan to give Sheffield United the lead
Stevens celebrates with his teammates because his goal opened the score after 26 minutes
Sheffield United’s lead lasted only four minutes when Neal Maupay scored the tying run
Yes, the point sees them move to level with the fifth placed Spurs with Jose Mourinho’s side expected here in early April, but this, you think, was a missed opportunity.
The stadium announcer roared completely right before the kick-off that there has never been a better time to be a Blade and they took a well-deserved lead at 26 minutes through defender Enda Stevens.
United was smart at working on a fast turn – short and giving Ollie Norwood the space to choose a man – so Brighton would have been relieved when Dan Burn stood up.
Chris Wilder was left frustrated by Brighton’s quick response to an equalizer
MATCHING FACTS AND LEADING LIST
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Series a
- La Liga
Sheff Utd (3-5-2): Henderson 6; Basham 6, Egan 6, O’Connell 6.5; Baldock 6.5, Berge 6 (Lundstram 81), Norwood 6.5, Fleck 7.5, Stevens 7 (Osborn 46, 6); McBurnie 6.5, Sharp 6 (McGoldrick 74, 5.5)
Subs not used: Jagielka, Verrips, Mousset, Retsos
Scorers: Stevens 26
Brighton (5-2-1-2): Ryan 6; Schelotto 6 (Trossard 75, 5), Dunk 6, Webster 6, Duffy 6, Burn 6.5; Bissouma 6.5, Propper 5.5; Mooy 6; Maupay 6.5 (Bernardo 90), Murray 5.5 (Connolly 75, 5)
Subs not used: Trossard, Gross, Jahanbakhsh, March, Button, Bernardo, Connolly
Scorers: Maupay 30
Bookings: Bissouma, Propper
Referee: Graham Scott 7
But such a delay was short-lived and Stevens took one touch to check before he was sent to the top corner from 18 meters with his left. It was a stunning performance and one that brought a collective sigh of appreciation when it was shown again in the ground.
The Blades were in fifth position in the live table, but their height lasted only four minutes. At about half an hour, Albion was at a level when Neal Maupay broke a target drought of nine games as he stooped to reach Adam Webster’s knockdown.
It was a soft concession from a home perspective and Wilder’s disappointment told on the touchline.
Oliver McBurnie debates a decision with both the referee and the assistant during the first half
Sander Berge fights with Brighton’s Lewis Dunk and Davy Propper for possession
He was just as charged moments later when George Baldock, well done to intercept and kill a promising Brighton counter, decided to dribble across his own six-yard area.
Ezequiel Schelotto slipped to challenge Baldock and the defender was lucky to see the ball through the post at the expense of a corner kick.
The hosts lost the excellent Stevens to a calf injury during the rest, but they still emerged the more threatening sides.
John Egan and Dan Burn exchanged words after a meeting in the second half
An amazing corner kick from Brighton saw Mat Ryan rushing in at Oli McBurnie’s feet, while John Fleck was unlucky with an ambitious drive whistling through the upright.
Ryan then denied McBurnie at the close post in the final stage and Brighton opposed the point that puts them four free of danger.
Graham Potter and his party will settle for that, the same cannot be said of Wilder and his Champions League-chasing magazines.
Brighton still has to win in 2020, but the draw can be vital to their survival ambitions