Sheffield United: Ben Osborn on target as Blades beat Barnsley while Ravel Morrison also features
Less than 24 hours after completing his move from Nottingham Forest, Ben Osborn was on target for Sheffield United during their victory over Barnsley.
The midfielder, who yesterday signed a three year contract with Chris Wilder's side, powered home to lay the foundations for this hard-fought but deserved win against spirited opponents.
Another new arrival - goalkeeper Dean Henderson - also featured after Manchester United sent him back to Bramall Lane on loan. The former England under-21 international, who kept over 20 clean sheets as the visitors won promotion from the Championship last term, enjoyed a relatively trouble-free afternoon until Cameron McGeehan equalised for Barnsley after the break.
Two goals from Callum Robinson enabled United to wrestle back the momentum, as Ravel Morrison was summoned from the bench during the closing stages. The 26-year-old had not previously featured for United since completing a successful trial and could be set to enjoy a more prominent role when his new club's preparations for the Premier League season conclude at Stade de Reims next weekend.
The opening goal - indeed the only goal - of the first-half came following the type of intelligent and incisive move United must produce on an almost minute by minute basis in order the consolidate their position at the highest level.
David McGoldrick and Robinson exchanged quick passes in midfield but, using the latter as a decoy, it was John Lundstram who made the difference; producing an angled run to peel away from his marker before driving a low cross into the area.
Osborn, who had ambled into space on the other edge of the box, suddenly burst into life. Barnsley reacted too late, with the former England youth international producing a clinical finish to beat Sam Radlinger.
Although the Austrian was powerless to prevent Osborn's shot reaching the back of his net, he did deny Robinson soon after.
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Barnsley, with Daniel Stendel braving the elements on the edge of his technical area, also appeared lively. But until Luke Thomas' centre fizzed dangerously in front of Henderson, struggled to rattle United where it truly mattered. Not that it stopped the tenacious Conor Chaplin from trying his best with a series of biting midfield challenges.
That persistence was rewarded after the interval when McGeehan levelled. Stendel was delighted with the shot, and quite rightly so. But Wilder, also braving the sodden conditions by refusing to retreat into the dug-out, will have been disappointed by some careless play beforehand.
Robinson restored United's lead when he threaded the ball beyond Radlinger soon after, with substitute Billy Sharp going close moments after coming on. However, before he was replaced by Morrison, Robinson was on target again as he reminded why Wilder was so keen to secure his services from Preston North End earlier this summer. Luke Freeman added another during the closing stages.
Barnsley: Radlinger, Williams (Pinillos 80), Andersen (Moon 88), Diaby, Sibbick (Cavare 80), Thomas (Thiam 64), Mowatt, McGeehan, Wilks (Halme 75), Woodrow (K Moore 80), Chaplin (Miller 75). Not used: Collins.
Sheffield United: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, Basham, Lundstram (L Freeman 64), Robinson (Morrison 75), Egan, Norwood, McGoldrick (Sharp 70), Osborn (Bryan 85). Not used: S Moore, Jagielka, K Freeman, Stearman.
Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire).