Chelsea 2-2 Sheffield United: Blades complete amazing comeback in the capital

Lys Mousset was still claiming it, even after the official annoucement that Kurt Zouma had actually been responsible for turning it into the back of his own net.

Friday, 30th August 2019, 17:49 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st August 2019, 17:49 pm
Sheffield United faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

But for once, from Sheffield United's perspective, the tiny details did not matter as Chris Wilder's side completed a remarkable second-half comeback at Stamford Bridge.

Two goals down at the interval, the visitors could have been forgiven for fearing the worst. Twice they had been guilty of careless defensive slips. And twice Tammy Abraham had pounced. But Callum Robinson's effort at the beginning of the second-half changed the course of the game. With hope and a renewed sense of optimism, the visitors began to heap increasing pressure on the five-time Premier League champions. And, with only minutes remaining, Frank Lampard's men cracked when Zouma, sliding in to try and prevent Mousset reaching Robinson's pass, instead diverted it beyond a despairing Kepa Arrizabalaga. Cue ecstatic celebrations in the away dug-out and, as the substitute raised his arms aloft in front of United's supporters, in the right hand corner of The Shed.

Wilder, who watched Enda Stevens and Luke Freeman deliver excellent performances in west London, will be delighted with both the result and the courage his players displayed. Indeed, it bodes well for United's chances of establishing themselves at the highest level that, were it not for their earlier lapses in concentration, they might well have returned home with an even greater prize.

United had just enjoyed their best period of the game so far when they received another reminder that mistakes seldom go unpunished at the highest level. Abraham's finish, hooking the ball home from close-range at the second attempt, was clinical enough. But there were three poor pieces of defending during the build-up. First, Cesar Azpilicueta was allowed to roam free down the flank, before delivering a cross into the box which should have been pressurised more. Then, when Abraham climbed highest to nod it goalwards, Dean Henderson failed to gather the ball under pressure from Christian Pulisic. As it bounced clear, the young centre-forward swivelled, connected and converted.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

United's response, came in the shape of Chris Basham shot which flew past Arrizabalaga and into the Matthew Harding end. But moments after nearly conceding a second - Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic dragging his low shot just wide of the far post - Wilder's men really should have been back on level terms. Again Basham, always a willing runner, was at the heart of things. But Robinson, stooping to meet the centre-half's cross, misjudged his angles. It proved to be a costly error, with Abraham taking full advantage of another woeful lapse at the back to extend Chelsea's lead.

After watching John Egan and Jack O'Connell fail to deal with Jorginho's lofted pass - which allowed the Chelsea striker to slot home - United needed to do something to change the complexion of the game. Whatever was said in the dressing room worked a treat as, no sooner had the second-half begun, Robinson reduced the deficit. On target for the first time since leaving Preston North End, he wheeled away in celebration after directing Stevens' centre into the back of Chelsea's goal.

Henderson made a fine save to deny Abraham his hat-trick. But momentum was now with United. Kurt Zouma was forced to clear Chelsea's lines as Robinson went close again, while Stevens caused all manner of problems down the hosts' right wing.

But it was Mousset's introduction which proved decisive, with the Frenchman's presence forcing Zouma into the late mistake which completed United's comeback.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Jorginho, Barkley (William 61), Abraham (Gilmour 80), Zouma, Kovacic (Batshuayi 80), Mount, Pulisic, Azpilicueta, Tomori, Emerson. Not used: Caballero, Alonso, Christensen, Giroud.

Sheffield United: Henderson, Stevens, Baldock, Basham (Osborn 80), Egan, O'Connell, Norwood, Lundstram, L Freeman (Mousset 79), Robinson, McBurnie (McGoldrick 63). Not used: Moore, Sharp, Stearman, Besic.

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

Attendance: 40,560.