Comfortable on the ball, not strong enough: Sheffield United player ratings from Manchester City defeat
Sheffield United couldn’t pull off a second shock in a matter of days as they narrowly lost 1-0 to top club Manchester City this afternoon.
United went behind early on when Gabriel Jesus converted Ferran Torres’ cross, but stayed in the game and could have nicked a point late on.
Here’s how we rated United’s players at The Etihad.
Aaron Ramsdale 8
Touched the ball only a handful of times in the first half but unfortunately for United, one was to pick it out of his own net after his defence left him horribly exposed for not the first time this season. Made his first real save with 20 minutes to go when he smartly palmed away Zinchenko's shot, before tipping over Laporte's header from the resulting corner. Made his best save of the lot in injury time as he palmed Jesus' shot around the post
George Baldock 6
Enjoyed a quieter time of things on the right flank than Bogle on the left, who seemed to be targeted by Torres and Walker. Baldock kept Foden and Zinchenko largely quiet, but City's tactics meant that he couldn't get forward on a consistent enough basis to cause them problems going the other way. Went into the book late on for a slightly mistimed challenge on Foden and 'survived' a late call for a penalty when Foden's cross struck his hand, but it wasn't handball in a million years
Chris Basham 6
Had a few hearts in mouths early on when he twisted and turned in his own penalty area, but he was in control the whole time with two City strikers sniffing around him. For some reason decided to squeeze up as Torres crossed, leaving Jesus unmarked for City's opening goal. Replaced by McBurnie as Blades changed shape in an attempt to get back into the game
John Egan 6
Came straight back into the side after suspension, despite Phil Jagielka's incredible display at Old Trafford in midweek. Was thankful to his goalkeeper's intervention after he was caught ball-watching and lost Jesus in the middle as the cross came in. Booked in the late stages of the game for the most professional of fouls as he dragged back Fernandinho after losing the ball
Ethan Ampadu 6
Wasn't strong enough in the tackle as Torres beat him and Bogle to set up Jesus for City's first goal. Did improve after that and looked to break out of defence when the chance arose
Jayden Bogle 5
A difficult afternoon for the young right-back, played out of position on the left in the midst of an injury crisis with Stevens, Osborn and Bryan all injured, and Lowe only fit enough to make the bench. Didn't do enough to stop Torres turn away from him and set up Jesus for City's opening goal and was grateful for Basham's intervention after he misjudged the flight of a ball, allowing Torres to race clear. But he’ll learn from the experience
Ollie Norwood 6
Almost caused a bizarre second goal for City when his attempted header back to Ramsdale was glanced goalwards by Silva, but the contact wasn't enough to send it past the United goalkeeper. Was booked for a foul on Foden in midfield and pressed with real intent as he tried to minimise the space afforded to Fernandinho to dictate play in midfield.
John Lundstram 6
Had lengthy treatment in the second half after a nasty-looking clash of heads with Phil Foden, after Jesus pushed Lundstram into his City teammate. Showed brilliant desire to throw himself in the way of Zinchenko's shot soon after and looked to break the lines as United chased a way back into the game.
John Fleck 8
United's best player in the first half, looking comfortable in possession and skipping away from his man on a couple of occasions. Looked like he may have rescued a point for the Blades with a few minutes remaining when Sharp knocked down a cross into his path, but his well-struck volley flew just wide of Ederson's left-hand post with the goalkeeper flailing
Rhian Brewster 6
Dropped deep to try and link the play and tested Ederson with a shot from distance, United's only one of the first half. Linked up well at times with Burke before making way for McGoldrick on the hour mark. A really tough ask for United's forwards against a team that had so much of the ball and Brewster was chasing lost causes for most of the game.
Oli Burke 6
Had an early chance to stretch his legs when Brewster sent him clear down the right, but Dias did well to dispossess him. Gave Blades an outlet with his pace and almost had an opening when he blocked a clearance, but Dias was alive to the danger and snuffed it out. Chased down everything before being replaced by Sharp
David McGoldrick 6
Came on for Brewster but had no more success in getting the ball to 'stick' up front
Oli McBurnie 6
Made his return to the squad after a spell out with injury, and came off the bench to replace Basham - taking a knock to the head seconds after coming onto the pitch after colliding with Laporte
Billy Sharp 7
Came on for Oli Burke and got a lot of change out of former Blade Kyle Walker, almost setting up a Blades equaliser when he chested down for Fleck to volley narrowly wide