Sheffield Utd 1-1 Brighton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Blades Drop Crucial Points

​Sheffield United were forced to settle for just a point at home to Brighton as Neal Maupay swiftly cancelled out Enda Stevens' fantastic opener in the first-half.

Following a rather mundane start to proceedings, the game kicked into life just before the half-hour mark with goals coming at both ends. 

Stevens had initially given the home side the lead with a thunderous half-volley at the back post before Maupay levelled things up just three minutes later for the visitors. The Frenchman scoring his first goal since December after heading past Dean Henderson from Adam Webster's knockdown across goal.

Neal Maupay

The Blades' ability to create overloads in wide areas continued to cause Brighton problems for the rest of the first half, but the Seagulls' back three remained stout to ensure that Mat Ryan was rarely tested. Graham Potter's side, meanwhile, showed they could hurt the hosts in transition and from set-pieces.

Lewis Dunk missed a great opportunity to give his side the lead against the run of play at the start of the second period, but the defender blazed over in typical centre-back fashion after pouncing on the loose ball inside the Sheffield United box. 

The Blades were undoubtedly the superior side though, but they often failed to capitalise on good openings in the final third. Their big chance did come ten minutes from time, however, but Oli McBurnie miscued his close-range effort horribly wide after being found by an onrushing Jack O'Connell. 

Ryan then pulled off a superb save to deny McBurnie from grabbing the winner, as Brighton held on amid a strong finish by the home side


Key Talking Point

While not a disaster, Chris Wilder will certainly know his side missed an opportunity in this one.


The Blades dominated territorially and for the most part, dealt with Brighton's rather tame attack with ease, as Glenn Murray cut an isolated figure up top for the Seagulls. 

While their innovative interplay allowed them to work some glorious openings in the final third, they often lacked the final ball. They should've tested Ryan much more than they did.

Wilder will also undoubtedly be furious with the manner his team conceded just minutes after going ahead, as his typically stout defence failed to deal with a long 'punt' into the area from an Aaron Mooy free-kick.

The point means that the Blades are now four points adrift of the top-four. Still, you would've take that at the start of the season, Sheffield United fans?

Sheffield United Player Ratings

Starting XI: Henderson (6); Basham (7), Egan (6), O'Connell (8*); Baldock (6), Berge (6), Norwood (7), Fleck (8), Stevens (7); McBurnie (5), Sharp (6)

Subs: Osborn (5), McGoldrick (5), Lundstram (6)

Jack O'Connell

O'Connell has enjoyed a fine debut campaign in the Premier League, standing out once more in this one. 

Jack O'Connell

Not only did he not put a foot wrong defensively, but he also proved a huge threat going forward with his overlapping runs from centre-back - ensuring his side always had a man advantage down the left-hand side. 

O'Connell's passing range was also impressive, as he delivered several crosses from the left flank that troubled the Brighton backline. So often would he smartly try to find John Fleck in the channel or his two frontmen with delicate balls in behind the Seagulls' back three.


Key Talking Point

Another game, and yet another switch in system by Graham Potter.

Graham Potter

This time we saw Brighton take a more conservative approach, with Potter deploying a deep back five. 

Potter's possession-based principles seemed to go out of the window as his side struggled to retain the ball. Instead, they relied on the counter-attack and set-pieces to fashion any openings against Wilder's well-drilled men. 

Nevertheless, the result would suggest the Seagulls' boss got it spot on, with his three centre-halves superb throughout. 

Brighton Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ryan (7); Schelotto (6); Duffy (7), Dunk (8), Webster (7), Burn (7); Propper (6), Bissouma (7); Maupay (6), Murray (5), Mooy (6)

Subs: Trossard (5), Connolly (5), Bernardo (N/A)

Shane Duffy

It has to go to one of Brighton's centre-backs after their fantastic defensive effort, with Duffy shining in particular. 


While the Irishman was no-nonsense in possession, his positional awareness was nothing short of outstanding throughout as he, along with Dunk and Adam Webster, patrolled the box expertly. 

Overall, Duffy's defensive nous was a major player in both McBurnie and Billy Sharp enduring frustrating afternoons.

Looking Ahead

Sheffield United have another week off to enjoy due to Aston Villa competing in the Carabao Cup final next Sunday. Wilder's men are next in action the following Wednesday away at Reading in the FA Cup.

Brighton, meanwhile, host Crystal Palace in the A23 Derby next Saturday lunchtime. 

Source : 90min