Dublin: 12°C Sunday 20 June 2021


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

Liverpool go into this game as strong favourites.

They are aiming to retain a 100% start to the Premier League season and win their 16th league game in total.

That said, Sheffield United have enjoyed a decent start to the season. They currently sit 10th in the league and have already denied Chelsea a win at Stamford Bridge this season.

sheffield-united-v-liverpool-premier-league-bramall-lane General view of outside the stadium before the Premier League match at Bramall Lane. Source: Richard Sellers

We’re under way…

Liverpool are on the attack straight away, with Sheffield United forced to do a lot of work off the ball.

As I type though, the Blades break down the left through McBurnie. His shot from the edge of the area is too central to trouble Adrian unduly.


Sheffield United continue to look dangerous on the counter through McBurnie.

Neither side has carved out a clear-cut opportunity yet though.


Liverpool have had plenty of possession, but they haven’t really got going yet and have lacked intensity and sharpness on the ball.

That said, Sheffield United look very well organised, so they won’t be easy to break down.


Liverpool have had 76% possession so far.

For the most part though, Sheffield United have looked fairly comfortable.


Sheffield United have their first nervy moment.

There’s a bit of a goalmouth scramble, Lundstram can only half clear and it falls to Wijnaldum on the edge of the area, before the midfielder’s shot is deflected wide.


Decent chance!

Fleck slides it through to Robinson. The striker’s shot from a tight angle contains plenty of power, but it’s well wide ultimately.


sheffield-united-v-liverpool-premier-league-bramall-lane England manager Gareth Southgate (right) during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane. Source: Richard Sellers


Good bravery from John Egan.

As he receives a pass, he slips. It looks like Firmino is going to get the ball and run through on goal. The Ireland international, however, gets his head to the ball while on the ground to deny the Brazilian attacker a clear run through on goal.


Big chance!

A simple ball over the top by Van Dijk finds the onrushing and completely unmarked Mane.

However, the Liverpool star makes a mess of the finish, uncharacteristically slicing the ball wide when through on goal.


The Irish players link up.

It’s a terrific cross by Stevens. Robinson gets in between Matip and Van Dijk, but mistimes his header and the attempt goes well off target.


Egan is having a good game so far.

The 26-year-old Corkonian has won a couple of headers and generally looks very commanding and assured in the centre of defence. 


sheffield-united-v-liverpool-premier-league-bramall-lane Sheffield United's John Fleck (left) and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold battle for the ball. Source: Richard Sellers


It’s somehow stayed out.

Liverpool break. Firmino squares it to Mane, whose finish comes back off the near post.

That’s a bad miss by the Senegal international’s standards.


Good play by Robinson.

He holds the ball up before crossing, finding Lundstram, whose header across goal is headed out for a corner by Matip, just ahead of McBurnie.


So half-time and Liverpool look in danger of dropping points here.

It’s been one of the few times this season when Jurgen Klopp’s men haven’t had it all their own way.

Sheffield United have been very well organised out of possession, while also sporadically threatening on the counter-attack.

That said, Sadio Mane will feel he should have at least one goal by now, as he missed two gilt-edged chances.

The Blades’ Irish trio have all looked decent, with Egan in particular one of the best players on the pitch so far.



The second half has begun…


Sheffield United are on the frontfoot straight away.

Fleck drives forward down the left, but his cross is cut out by the well-positioned Van Dijk.


Robinson plays through McBurnie, but Van Dijk is in the right place again to intercept.

Sheffield United are gaining in confidence and really growing into this game.


Norwood’s corner finds McBurnie, who heads just over, with Adrian coming for the corner and failing to claim it.

Liverpool look out of sorts right now.


Mane goes down in the box under a challenge from Lundstram.

Judging by replays, the Sheffield United player seemed lucky to get away with that rather rash lunge.


Sheffield United make a change.

Callum Robinson, who has done a lot of tireless running off the ball, is replaced by another attacker, Lys Mousset, who they bought from Bournemouth for £10m in the summer.


Norwood’s shot from distance forces a good save from Adrian.

Down the other end, Origi — who has just replaced Henderson — tees up Salah, but the Egyptian makes a mess of his finish.


Great work by Stevens in the build up, as Sheffield United go close on the counter.

After being played through by the Irishman, Fleck has a great chance with the goal at his mercy momentarily, but Robertson does well to make a crucial block.

Tellingly, Jurgen Klopp is very animated on the sideline.


Liverpool lead and it’s an absolute goalkeeping howler.

The ball falls to Wijnaldum on the edge of the area. His shot is straight at Henderson, but the stopper lets it slip through his grasp and into the net.

It’s very harsh on the Blades, who have arguably been the better side in the second half.


sheffield-united-v-liverpool-premier-league-bramall-lane Sheffield United's Callum Robinson reacts during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane. Source: Richard Sellers


17 clubs, 34 years of age and never played in the Premier League until now.

Leon Clarke has replaced Norwood. What a story it would be if he could score the equaliser.


A stray pass in the Sheffield United defence sends Salah through on goal.

Henderson partially redeems himself for his previous error by standing up well and making a good save when one-on-one with the Egyptian.


Great play from Stevens to outmuscle Salah as the attacker threatens to break away on goal.

The Irish international is down, however, after picking up a knock. It looks like he’ll be okay though.

Meanwhile, Adrian has been booked for time wasting.


What a chance!

Fleck plays a superb cross to Clarke, whose sliding attempt from close range goes over the bar under pressure from Adrian.


Liverpool make a change, as they bid to see out this game.

James Milner replaces Firmino.


Jack O’Connell edges John Egan to the man-of-the-match award.

Both players have been superb today.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time…


Liverpool still look nervy, as Alexander-Arnold’s clearance ricochets off McBurnie and goes out of play.

The Reds make a late change, as Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mane.

So that’s that.

Heartbreak for Sheffield United — they will feel they did enough to earn a point.

Liverpool had to dig deep for the victory, and were a tad fortunate with the goal, as the otherwise excellent Dean Henderson had a howler in dealing with a Wijnaldum shot that he should have saved.

It adds to the sense of momentum for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have now won 16 consecutive top-flight games and have not lost in the Premier League since 3 January.

Like Man United at their glory days, Liverpool are starting to make winning ugly a habit. Many of their players had off days — Mane and Salah both missed chances they would have been expected to convert — and so they will be relieved to escape Bramall Lane with all three points.

Sheffield United, though, can hold their heads up high, and on the evidence of this performance, should be more than good enough to stay up.

The Irish trio all did well, with John Egan relentlessly heading balls out of the area and unlucky not to emerge with the man-of-the-match award.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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