Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford: James McAtee’s strike seals Chris Wilder’s first win as returning Blades boss… but it’s not enough to lift them off the bottom of the Premier League table
- Sheffield United secured their second league win of the season on Saturday
- Chris Wilder got his first win since returning as Blades manager in midweek
- Man City have dipped, but Gary Neville is WRONG to say they’re complacent – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
With one sumptuous swish of his educated left boot, James McAtee breathed new life into Sheffield United’s fight against relegation.
The Salford-born Manchester City midfielder is on a second successive season-loan loan at Bramall Lane having helped the Blades to promotion last term.
His moment here came on the stroke of half-time when he collected possession on the right-hand side of Brentford’s 18-yard box.
The highly-regarded 21-year-old is nicknamed the Salford Silva because he grew up idolising City legend David Silva and boasts similar qualities.
He proved that once again by showed daring and ambition to curl a brilliant left-foot shot past Mark Flekken and into the top corner of the Bees goalkeeper’s net.
James McAtee opened scoring on the stroke of half-time as Sheffield United finally capitalised
McAtee guided his left-footed effort through Brentford’s defence to score the game’s only goal
Blades manager Chris Wilder celebrated his first win since returning to the club in midweek
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On a filthy afternoon of incessant rain and driving wind, there had been precious little quality until McAtee took matters into his own hand.
It was his first Premier League goal and certainly worthy of winning a game at this level. When the ball hit the net, the heart of every United supporter soared.
It certainly stirred the blood of boss and boyhood Blades fan Chris Wilder, a rain-soaked picture of delight at pitchside.
Bramall Lane erupted and Blades fans were soon singing about staying up.
Could they beat the drop? You would have your doubts. Still. Even after this victory, only their second in 16 games.
But Wilder’s return – following the axing of Paul Heckingbottom in the wake of last week’s abject 5-0 surrender at Burnley – has revitalised the Blades.
Brentford’s Frank Onyeka was fortunate to escape a red card following a VAR review
Thomas Frank was helpless to stop his team sinking to a seventh league defeat of the season
Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford: Match facts
Sheffield United (4-4-2): Foderingham; Bogle 6, Ahmedhodzic 7, Robinson 6, Trusty 6; Souza 6, Hamer 6, Brooks 7 (Lowe 73min, 6); McAtee 7.5 (Peck 81); Archer 6, Osula 6.5 (Slimane 53, 6.5)
Booked: Trusty, Osula, Bogle, Robinson, Foderingham
Subs (not used): Davies, Traore, Thomas, One, Larouci Seriki
Scorer: McAtee (45+1′)
Brentford (4-3-3): Flekken 6; Ghoddos 6, Pinnock 6.5, Mee 6.5, Janelt 6; Onyeka 6 (Yarmolyuk 45, 6), Norgaard 6, Baptiste 6 (Damsgaard 65, 6); Wissa 6, Maupay 6, Lewis-Potter 6 (Olakigbe 66, 6)
Subs (not used): Strakosha, Goode, Jorgensen, Peart-Harris, Roerslev, Adedokun
Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire) 6
They grew in confidence after McAtee’s opener following a tepid first half which saw precious few chances at either end.
There were also two moments of controversy during the opening 45 minutes which Blades defender Auston Trusty and Brentford midfielder Frank Onyeka booked.
Trusty scythed through Keane Lewis-Potter and was perhaps fortunate to escape with just a yellow card in the 17th minute.
In the 29th minute, Onyeka caught Vini Souza with an ugly challenge, going over the top of the United midfielder with his studs.
Referee Stuart Attwell referred the decision to VAR where Robert Jones deemed the challenge worthy of just a booking, much to the disgust of Wilder and the home faithful.
Wilder had been left fuming by the officials after what he felt were three major decisions which went against his team during Wednesday’s 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
But, as the interval approached, Gustavo Hamer found McAtee and he struck in exhilarating fashion to put United ahead.
That poured confidence into Wilder’s men and captain Anel Ahmedhodzic narrowly failed to connect with a free-kick shortly after the interval.
Cameron Archer then crossed low for substitute Anis Slimane, whose close-range effort was blocked by Flekken.
With 10 minutes remaining, Archer broke clear of Brentford’s backline and hit a powerful shot which Flekken parried.
Moments later, McAtee was given a standing ovation after being replaced by Sydie Peck as the chant of ‘Chrissy Wilder, he’s one of our own’ was belted out at the final whistle by the home fans.
Sheffield United have a long way to go before Premier League safety can be assured next term
Wilder emphatically celebrated as Bramall Lane breathed a sigh of relief at full-time
Brentford slumped to defeat on the road on a gloomy night for the west London visitors
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