Everything Match of the Day pundit said in hailing Sheffield United, their 'manacing' front pair and ‘resilient’ backline

There was praise thrown at the back and the front for Sheffield United after their 1-0 win over Brighton at the Amex on Saturday.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 12:50 am

United maintained their unbeaten away record thanks to Oli McBurnie’s impressive first half finish and for a while at least, sat in fifth position in the Premier League table, just a point off a Champions League place.

There wasn’t as much eye-catching football played by United as has been evident throughout, but the qualities that shone through still impressed the pundits on Match of the Day.

“They’ve played some of the best football I've enjoyed watching this year,” said Jermaine Jenas in his analysis. “Today was a different type of performance.

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David McGoldrick of Sheffield United flicks the ball over the head of Martin Montoya of Brighton during the Premier League match at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton and Hove. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“You can see why they get such good results away from home. The front today were absolutely menacing, I would say, in that first half.

“They threw their bodies into those two centre halves, holding that ball up.

“It wasn't such a creative display from them both but it was the type of display where you knew that the Brighton centre halves didn't enjoy having to deal with them. They just held up the ball much better.

On McBurnie’s goal, Jenas added, before going on to give more praise to the strikers, despite McGoldrick’s unfortunate miss: "Just pure desire and determination from McBurnie, he wants it more than Webster.

“Look at that, 'I'm going to win this'. He's stronger than Lewis Dunk, tells him to get off, sticks it in the near post with a brilliant finish.

"It was more of the same in the second half with David McGoldrick - he gets the better of Webster but it's just not happening for him. You feel so sorry for him, but he works his socks off. But both of them, McBurnie and McGoldrick, they work hard for the team."

It wasn’t just the forwards who took the plaudits, though.

Saturday was another day where the defence shone and that didn’t go unnoticed.

"You heard from Graham Potter, they huffed and puffed Brighton at times and they did that.

“This (United) team are resilient. The numbers they get back; they decide they are not playing great with the ball but they are not going to get beaten today.

“One of the opportunities Brighton get in behind, but look at this...desire, not to allow shots on goals. Bodies getting thrown at the ball.

"You never felt during this game that Bighton were going to break them down. They are well organised. They are well drilled.

"They pick their moments. Some teams just sit in but Sheffield United go 'no, when it's time to switch it on, we start pressing. We press with intensity, we keep our heads down and we get them away from goal.

“Brighton huffed and puffed all game and in the end Bassouma got really desperate and ended up diving, it was a shocking dive, he got booked for it and deservedly so."