Sheffield United: Flashback to the start of Chris Wilder's success at Bramall Lane... and the overlapping centre-halves that have taken the Premier League by storm

Sheffield United’s overlapping centre-halves are currently the talk of English football... and it’s exactly three years to the day since they were unleashed on the world.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 12:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 12:58 pm
Sheffield United's Billy Sharp celebrates scoring the winner at Gillingham - Pic David Klein/Sportimage 04 September 2016 ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Following a poor start to life under boss Chris Wilder, freshly-appointed at Bramall Lane, Wilder changed United’s approach to a 3-5-2 formation away at Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium.

United trailed thanks to Bradley Dack’s excellent free-kick, but got back on level terms when full-back Kieron Freeman bundled home Billy Sharp’s centre.

And the Blades were off and running away from home that season in the last minute.

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Chris Basham showed a sign of what was to come when he overlapped down the right and crossed into the middle, where defender Josh Pask inexplicably handled the ball.

Sharp stepped up to smash home the winner from the penalty spot.

United had beat Oxford in the previous game, thanks to James Wilson’s header in front of the Kop, and Sharp said at the time: “The season is up and running now thanks to these two wins. I think we were a little unlucky in a couple of games earlier in the season.

“We didn’t get anything but we probably deserved to. Millwall was one of those. Their lad handballed it at Gillingham but it was the opposite at Millwall in the last minute, when Jack O’Connell did the same.

Chris Wilder celebrates victory at Gillingham - Pic David Klein/Sportimage

“Two wins on the trot, and one of those away from home, means we can go into another away game feeling confident. That can only be good for everyone.

“Team spirit comes from games like this. When you go into the dressing room, there is nothing better than doing that after a win in the last minute.”

United went on to win the League One title, with 100 points, and Sharp scored 30 goals.