The Highs and the Lows as Sheffield United beat Crystal Palace
The Star’s Sheffield United writer James Shield picks his high point and low point of yesterday’s win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Chris Wilder’s side finished the afternoon fifth in the Premier League table after beat Roy Hodgson’s side 1-0 in the capital, with an error from Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita proving to be one of the defining moments of the game.
HIGH: All eyes, well all of those in the away end at least, were on Sander Berge as the Norway international, who on Thursday became Sheffield United’s record transfer signing, made his full debut at Selhurst Park. Inevitably, given he only arrived at Bramall Lane from Genk late on Wednesday night, Berge took a little while to get to grips with the flow of the visitors’ game. But he got better as the afternoon progressed and also proved to be a willing and dangerous runner. It was also good to see John Lundstram, who together with Mo Besic appears to be most threatened by the youngster’s presence, perform well after replacing his new team mate during the second period. The midfielder produced some good touches, particularly around the Palace box, and that will not have gone unnoticed by his manager Chris Wilder.
LOW: Vicente Guaita, what were you thinking of? The answer, when the Spaniard stepped over his own goal line after collecting Oliver Norwood’s corner, appeared to be absolutely nothing. Much to the delight of Wilder and Roy Hodgson’s obvious disgust. It was a moment to forget for the 33-year-old. But you suspect, when the footballing blooper DVD’s start getting churned out nearer Christmas, he is destined to end up reliving it over and over and over again. Understandably, Guaita, previously of Valencia, looked absolutely crestfallen when he realised what he had done. Christan Benteke, once such a formidable player for Aston Villa, looked devoid of confidence throughout. The Belgian’s self-belief appears to have eroded beyond repair during his difficult spell at Palace and he missed three good chances here before being cheered off the pitch - and not in a good way - when his number was held up during the second-half.