Leeds United 2-1 Sheffield United
Leeds are the Pride of Yorkshire tonight after a well earned win over Sheffield United to move up to 42 points and into the top half of the Premier League table.
Jack Harrison finished off a fine Leeds move to open the scoring but the hosts were pegged back by Ben Osborn before the break. An own goal by Phil Jagielka restored Leeds’ lead and the Whites collected a deserved three points.
Since the sacking of Chris Wilder, the manager who gave Sheffield United an unexpected tilt at top flight football and a successful first season, Paul Heckingbottom has taken charge at Bramall Lane for the rest of the season but, 14 points from safety the Blades are only heading in one direction.
Highlights of the game
The hosts wasted no time in getting after their visitors and played some of the best free-flowing football we’ve seen at Elland Road this season as Kalvin Phillips brought a good save from Aaron Ramsdale with a fierce drive.
But the Whites only had to wait 14 minutes for the goal their play deserved.
Leeds’ success over the past couple of years has been built upon the solid foundations of players like Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, but Marcelo Bielsa added more quality for their new adventure in the Premier League. And it was one of the 2020 signings, Raphinha, who benefited from the industry of Dallas when the Northern Ireland man fought hard to win the ball back to release the Brazilian down the right flank. He jinked his way to the bi-line before squaring for Jack Harrison to tap in the simplest of goals.
In a rare Sheffield attack David McGoldrick curled an effort just wide of the post but the visitors were hanging on just to stay in the game.
Harrison should have scored his second when he was clean through but Ramsdale made himself big to get a crucial deflection and the ball rolled just wide.
Leeds continued to swarm forward but couldn’t get their second and the Blades hit back just before the break. Oli McBurnie did well on the left side of the penalty area to square for Ben Osborn who fired home at the back post.
Sheffield may have felt themselves lucky to be level at the break but they were unlucky to go behind again early in the second half. Harrison fired a dangerous ball across the six yard box and Jagielka had to deal with it as Raphinha prepared to tap home, but the veteran centre back could only slide it past Ramsdale and into the net.
Dallas came close to adding a third for Leeds but his shot shaved the post and went wide, and then Ramsdale made a great save to deny Patrick Bamford. But Sheffield were still in the game and Ayling made a fine block to steer a shot from Jayden Bogle to safety. Then, with the clock ticking away Oliver Burke came close with a shot from just outside the penalty area but it skidded inches wide.
Leeds were chasing a Yorkshire derby double against Sheffield United having won by a narrow 1-0 margin at Bramall Lane earlier in the season, and the Leeds United vs Sheffield United predictions backed a similar result or better.
Sheffield stayed in the game throughout but the stats show Leeds’ domination as they won the shot-count by 21 to nine and seven to one on target.
The Blades conceded first for the 23rd time this season when Harrison opened the scoring, but they did manage a goal of their own, for only the second time in the last eight games.
SBOTOP Premier League 2021 has been a roaring success for Leeds and they have a tasty run of fixtures coming up against three of the Premier League’s biggest guns. Manchester City away and then Liverpool and Manchester United at home are all mouth-watering prospects, the last two particularly rich in history. These are the type of fixtures Leeds fans have been waiting for and with another season in the top flight all but guaranteed they can enjoy every minute.
And here at SBOTOP we’ll be there all the way with all the latest Premier League 2021 news, highlights and results as the season reaches its climax.
Meanwhile the Blades have two very difficult fixtures coming up, but then almost every game this season has been hard work for the bottom club. Arsenal at home and then Wolves away are next on the agenda and Sheffield United could be mathematically down if they draw two more blanks.
The South Yorkshire club is heading to the Championship while their West Yorks neighbours are looking up.
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