One highlight and one lowlight of Sheffield United's win over Bournemouth
The Star’s Sheffield United writer James Shield identifies his high point, and his low point, of today’s win over AFC Bournemouth, as goals from Billy Sharp and John Lundstram lift Chris Wilder’s side to to fifth in the Premier League table.
HIGH: They haven’t had to demonstrate it too often this season. Which, by the way, is a huge compliment. But Sheffield United showed plenty of durability during the first-half of their game against AFC Bournemouth, with Billy Sharp drawing them level just before the interval following Callum Wilson’s opener. For 20 minutes at least, Chris Wilder’s men were on the ropes as, thanks to a combination of their own lack of assurance and the visitors’ pressing and movement off the ball, they struggled to establish any sort of foothold in the game. For spells, in fact, they were clinging on by their fingertips. However, they dug deep, dug in and got their rewards when Sharp scored a typical poacher’s effort following a scramble inside the box; just as he had done six months earlier when the two teams met at the Vitality Stadium. He might not be the quickest forward in United’s starting eleven, he might not be the most expensive either. But Sharp is still the best and most instinctive finisher at United’s disposal. John Lundstram’s match-winner, following Lys Mousset’s assist, was pretty clinical too.
LOW: Storm Ciara kindly decided to take a breather when this match kicked-off, with conditions inside Bramall Lane seemingly perfect for football midway through the first-half. But she had done her worst - well, nearly her worst - earlier in the afternoon, with social media postings revealing a piece of cladding had been torn off the side of the Copthorne Hotel, forcing United to close some of the turnstiles into the ground. Predictably, even though club officials relayed this information via their own accounts, long queues developed outside the stadium with many fans missing the start of the game. But with television broadcasting the fixture live across the UK, there was never any chance of the start being delayed. Because football has sold its soul - and ceded influence over its own affairs - to rights holders, folk who actually pay their hard earned money to turn up and watch now come way down the list of priorities. Behind the executives and shareholders of satellite TV firms, behind those who pay exorbitant subscriptions and those who prefer to watch the action in the pub.