Sheffield United: Why Chris Wilder disagreed with suggestions his team have just experienced a eureka moment

The post-match talk was as predictable as the sight of Jamie Vardy, after being goaded by the home supporters for aligning himself with the city's other football team, cupping his ears in front of The Kop after scoring the goal which laid the platform for Leicester City's victory.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 25th August 2019, 3:01 pm
Oli McBurnie and George Baldock: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But rather than acknowledging that yes, lessons had been learned or pretend they had only just discovered what a ruthless division the Premier League can be, Chris Wilder resisted every invitation to feign ignorance. The quality of the visitors' efforts - sandwiched either side of Oli McBurnie's first in Sheffield United colours - was politely referenced. Harvey Barnes' strike, which settled this frantic but fractious contest, was labelled "magical" by both the 51-year-old and Brendan Rodgers, his rival across the technical area. Wilder, however, preferred to peddle a different narrative. One which challenged the assumption, held by many members of the media, about how his team plans to approach the rest of the Premier League campaign.

"When we play well, we create momentum and pressure," Wilder said, rejecting the notion that United try and overwhelm opponents by using numbers alone. "Even though people have ideas about how we play, we are possession based. We try and take care of the details. But you can't build possession if you keep turning the ball over."

United, as Wilder acknowledged, did that far too often against a club which appears equipped and destined to challenge for a top seven finish. But, when the dust settles on their first home defeat since the end of March, they can take some comfort from the fact City still required two moments of brilliance to prise them apart. Vardy's effort, after Chris Basham had been robbed of possession, was created by a delightful James Maddison pass. McBurnie restored parity by heading a George Baldock cross past Kasper Schmeichel after being summoned from the bench. But as United threatened to gather momentum and discover their rhythm, his fellow substitute Barnes produced something memorable; an unstoppable shot which flew through the air like a missile after Çağlar Söyüncü, either by accident or design, had nodded Christian Fuchs' centre back out of the United box.

"In terms of lessons learned, for me, it was nothing to do with intensity or the opposition," Wilder said, agreeing the introduction of record signing McBurnie and captain Billy Sharp had given United an edge. "On a Sunday morning, the opposition are going to get chances if you keep turning the ball over. We haven't done that for a long time. Sometimes, you have these days but it doesn't mean its right or we'll accept it."

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Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham (Morrison 78), Egan, O'Connell, Stevens, Baldock, Norwood, Lundstram, L Freeman, McGoldrick (McBurnie 54), Robinson (Sharp 54). Not used: Moore, Jagielka, Osborn, Besic.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Soyuncu, Evans, Tielemans (Mendy 89), Choudhury, Pereira, Fuchs, Praets (Barnes 65), Maddison, Perez (Morgan 78), Vardy. Not used: Ward, Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton.

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 30,079