John Egan (left) celebrates with goal-scorer Anel Ahmedhodzic (centre) and Iliman Ndiaye after Sheffield United's second goal. PA

Sheffield United clinch Premier League return with victory over West Brom

Two years and nine days after they were relegated, John Egan’s Blades sealed their return to the top flight with three games remaining.

Sheffield United clinched promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Bramall Lane.

Second-half goals from Sander Berge and Anel Ahmedhodzic gave the Blades the victory they needed to claim automatic promotion.

Two years and nine days after they were relegated, the Blades sealed their return to the top flight with three games remaining. With Burnley claiming the title the night before, United knew that three points would be enough to get them over the line.

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom made three changes to the team that lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final, with Tommy Doyle, James McAtee, and Oli McBurnie coming in.

West Brom manager Carlos Corberan made just the one switch from the 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland, with Taylor Gardner-Hickman joining the starting XI.

The first chance fell to the away side when Jed Wallace’s cross from the right was met by Karlan Grant but the striker got his header all wrong.

At the other end, Berge had a go from distance but his effort sailed harmlessly over.

Wes Foderingham got down well to save Grant’s effort from the edge of the box before Eric Pieters was booked for a dangerous challenge. Next, Jack Robinson’s shot was gathered comfortably by Alex Palmer.

Wallace was causing more problems down the right but Gardner-Hickman saw his acrobatic effort saved. Iliman Ndiaye then had a penalty appeal waved away in the last action of the half.

The home side dominated the second half and they had lift-off in the 58th minute. United disposed the West Brom defence and after Ndiaye squared the ball to Berge, the Norwegian midfielder could not miss.

The Blades had several penalty shouts turned down as they ramped up the pressure in search of a second and they should have doubled their lead when Berge crossed into John Egan, but he placed his header wide.

United made the points safe in the 76th minute when George Baldock’s volley was turned in brilliantly by defender Ahmedhodzic.

From that point, West Brom struggled to offer anything going forward and it was party time for the home crowd, who can look forward to butting heads with English football’s elite next season.

The Baggies remain in ninth and two points off the play-off places.

Press Association
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