Sheffield United: No need for spin doctors, The Blades were simply too good for Burnley

Lys Mousset of Sheffield United tackles Dwight McNeil of Burnley: Simon Bellis/SportimageLys Mousset of Sheffield United tackles Dwight McNeil of Burnley: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Lys Mousset of Sheffield United tackles Dwight McNeil of Burnley: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Alastair Campbell, previously Tony Blair's chief strategist and an ardent Burnley fan, was on hand at Bramall Lane in case his services were required.

But the margin of Sheffield United's victory, coupled with the manner in which it was achieved, rendered spin absolutely redundant. Chris Wilder's side were simply too powerful, too clever and too good for opponents who, before this brutal evisceration, had been described as one of the teams they should seek to emulate in order to prosper in the Premier League.

"It's been brilliant," midfielder John Lundstram said, after his brace lifted United to their highest position since the early Seventies. "Not just in terms of points but also our performances have been really good. Even in the games when we've not got our rewards."

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Urged by Wilder beforehand to make a fast and furious start, United immediately seized this contest by the scruff of the neck and never looked like letting go. Indeed, George Baldock and David McGoldrick had already gone close by the time Lundstram scored his first of the afternoon to set them on course for a win which stretched their unbeaten run to four games.

After profiting from an exchange involving McGoldrick and Enda Stevens, embellished by Lys Mousset's ingenious assist, Lundstram pounced again during the closing stages of the first-half from almost exactly the same position. Again, Stevens and McGoldrick were the architects, before Mousset, after James Tarkowski surrendered possession, sent John Fleck scampering through for United's third. The Scot, opening his top-flight account in England, saw Nick Pope advancing but swept the ball home in clinical fashion. It secured a result which saw United finish the afternoon in sixth; above the likes of their namesakes from Manchester and Tottenham Hotspur, where they travel to Saturday.

Although Ashley Barnes blazed over for Burnley soon after the re-start, it was the hosts who continued to threaten with McGoldrick forcing Nick Pope to parry before he denied substitute Billy Sharp. Lundstram, whose rise to prominence has been one of the stories of the season so far, could have claimed the hat-trick his performance deserved but was also thwarted by Pope before dragging wide of the far post during the closing stages after being unselfishly released by Sharp. Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, later acknowledged United had been superior in every aspect.

"It would have been nice to get three but I'm made up with two," Lundstram, who struggled for opportunities during last term's promotion winning campaign, said. "We're all just working together. That's a big part of what we do."

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Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham, Egan (Jagielka 80), O'Connell, Baldock, Stevens, Norwood, Fleck, Lundstram, McGoldrick (McBurnie 75), Mousset (Sharp 64). Not used: Moore, L Freeman, Robinson, Besic.

Burnley fan Alastair Campbell: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.Burnley fan Alastair Campbell: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
Burnley fan Alastair Campbell: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Cork, Tarkowski, Mee, Barnes, McNeil (Brady 59), Hendrick, Westwood, Pieters (Taylor 46), Rodriguez (Vydra 78). Not used: Hart, Gibson, Lennon, Bardsley.

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).

Attendance: 31,131.