Before facing Chelsea at Bramall Lane, Sheffield United had yet to lose a match in which they took the lead this season. Their streak continued, as an apathetic Chelsea side completely failed to show up during a 3-0 loss to the Blades in the Premier League today.
Despite playing at home, Sheffield United were comfortable with cushioning Chelsea’s pressure. Sitting deep and tight at the back, the hosts seemed glad with a gameplan consisting of picking a few scoring chances here and there with long passes from defence while letting the visitors have most of possession to themselves.
Too bad that their plan worked for the opener. From a rebound out of an attempt from centre-forward Oliver McBurnie after an unattended cross in our box, fellow striker David McGoldrick got his first ever Premier League goal after 25 matches in the competition 18 minutes into the game.
15 minutes later, McBurnie would get his goal. Another unattended cross, another moment in which our defence seemingly lost awareness of their surroundings for a few seconds — just enough to get the Scottish striker time and space needed to connect his head to a ball that would end up in the back of our net.
At half-time Mason Mount and Andreas Christensen gave way to Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rüdiger, respectively. Changes took place in our team shape, too, as we began playing in a three-man defence to “mirror” Sheffield United. Those looked promising in the first few minutes, but did not go beyond that.
In fact, things went from bad to worse with Sheffield’s third goal. McGoldrick got his second ever Premier League goal, in another exposition of baffling midfield play and ensuing defending from the Blues.
- Changes in the starting lineup seen in midfield due to injury, since youngster Billy Gilmour is likely out for the remainder of the season due to a knee problem. Italian-Brazilian vice-captain Jorginho takes his post. The other change is upfront, with Tammy Abraham — who ended his ten-match goalless streak in the previous game against Crystal Palace — taking over the centre-forward role from veteran striker Olivier Giroud.
- Subs are Marcos Alonso for Mason Mount, Antonio Rüdiger for Andreas Christensen, Olivier Giroud for Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi for Reece James and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Ross Barkley.
- There is no denying that Kai Havertz is a great talent that could add a lot to most squads, including Chelsea’s. But maybe we should shift focus to other sectors who might be in direr need of upgrades.
- We have just turned David McGoldrick into a football quiz question.
- Chelsea keep third place at least until tomorrow when Leicester face Bournemouth, the latter which will be entering the pitch on a nine-match winless streak.
- Next up: newly-relegated Norwich at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League.