‘Need to be better’ - Sheffield United boss takes “big lessons” from Man City defeat

Blades boss’s reaction after City run out 3-0 winners to book FA Cup final spot
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Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom believes his side can learn “big lessons” from their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City this afternoon after a day tinged with frustration at Wembley.

United gave a good defensive account of themselves against the treble-chasers and could have gone ahead inside the first two minutes, but Iliman Ndiaye saw a glorious chance spurned.

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The Blades almost held out until half-time before falling behind just minutes before the break, after Daniel Jebbison fouled Bernardo Silva and allowed Riyad Mahrez to score the first of his three goals from the penalty spot.

Poor defending from Max Lowe helped Mahrez net a second before the Algerian sealed his third from Jack Grealish’s cross to send his side to Wembley.

“I saw a team going right to the end, as we expect,” Heckingbottom said. “I can’t get away from we gave City two goals, that’s the frustration.

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“There were big lessons from that game. If we get to where we want to be, that’s the benchmark. We need to understand that everyone, myself included, to a man, need to be better in how we prepare, how we play and then how we execute.

“We didn’t score when we had the first two chances, which is critical against the best, and we knew we’d have to be disciplined in moments where we had to suffer without the ball.

“But within that we can still get an element of control, which we did, and to concede the penalty is poor on our part. The second is probably the most frustrating because it’s an uphill battle then.”

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