Sheffield United break into top six with Burnley win
Sheffield United moved up to sixth in the Premier League table after a 3-0 victory against Burnley.
Blades boss Chris Wilder said this week that his side are still finding their feet in the top flight and they will improve, which bodes well for the remainder of the season based on their performance on Saturday.
John Lundstram’s double and another strike from John Fleck had United firmly in control at half-time. It was the first time the Blades had scored three goals in the first half of a Premier League game since May 1993, when they defeated Chelsea 4-2.
Wilder’s team did not add to their tally after the break but the result had Bramall Lane bouncing in the rain as United recorded back-to-back home wins and extended their unbeaten run to four league matches.
For Burnley it was a third straight league loss which leaves Sean Dyche’s men three places above the bottom three.
David McGoldrick scuffed an early chance wide following a cross from the right but it was from the opposite side that the hosts would do the damage.
All three goals came down the left-hand side, the first after 17 minutes and it was a fantastic team move.
Enda Stevens played a pin-point pass from the left-back position down the line for McGoldrick deep inside the Burnley half. McGoldrick’s low cross into the penalty area was touched at the front post by Lys Mousset into the path of the unmarked Lundstram, who steered his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The Blades survived a VAR review after the ball struck Jack O’Connell on the arm, before two goals in 90 seconds just before half-time took the game away from Burnley.
In a move not too dissimilar to the opening goal, a neat one-two between McGoldrick and Stevens saw Mousset missed out at the near post and Lundstram pop up at the back post to slot the ball home.
Mousset was involved again for the third goal. The French forward won the ball off James Tarkowski and slipped a pass in behind the Burnley defence for Fleck to race on to a finish first time with a left-foot shot across goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Burnley were shell-shocked and needed a big response. Ashley Barnes should have pulled a goal back after 50 minutes but he fired wildly over the crossbar from 10 yards out after a cross from Charlie Taylor.
Pope ensured the scoreline got no more embarrassing for the Clarets when he tipped McGoldrick’s header wide, before showing good agility to deny Billy Sharp.
Lundstram was on a hat-trick and tried his luck from long range, with Pope having to push away his effort.
The former Everton trainee should have completed his treble in stoppage time but, racing 70 yards to accompany Sharp on the counter-attack, he stabbed his effort wide after being set up by his team-mate.