Sheffield United edge past Bournemouth to keep European ambitions alive


John Lundstram came off the bench to score a late winner and keep Sheffield United firmly in the hunt for European football.

The midfielder, sent on by manager Chris Wilder to replace new signing Sander Berge, slotted in from the edge of the six yard box with his left foot, after a perfect layoff from another United substitute, Lys Mousset. 

It was the Blades who started the game the brighter of the two sides and created the first clear cut chance in the second minute. Oli McBurnie made a clever run down the right channel and pulled the ball back for John Fleck whose goal bound effort was bravely blocked by Bournemouth captain Simon Francis.

After a few minutes, Bournemouth began to grow in the game and seven minutes in they had a chance of their own. Ryan Fraser’s cross was met by Harry Wilson but he was unable to direct his stooping header on target.

It was these two players combining again that led to the first goal of the game. Fraser, who was dangerous throughout, pulled the ball back to Wilson whose shot was blocked. The ball then broke to Callum Wilson who smashed the ball high into the roof of the net.

Going behind seemed to spark the home side into life, however, as they began to press for an equaliser. Billy Sharp hit the side netting from an Enda Stevens cross, Jack O’Connell headed over from a corner and Oli McBurnie had a shot blocked by the combative Nathan Ake.

It seemed as if Bournemouth had managed to sufficiently withstand the barrage of pressure and hold the lead before half time. However, in added time, Billy Sharp reacted the quickest in the six yard box to prod the ball home after John Egan’s shot had been blocked on the line.

Whilst the second half was an entertaining affair it was devoid of many clear cut chances.

Sharp had the first real opportunity for Sheffield United to double his tally but his right footed effort on the stretch was well saved by Aaron Ramsdale who made a smart block with his legs.

At the other end, Ake volleyed wide from a corner on the hour mark. Ten minutes later, Harry Wilson cut in from the right, crossed the ball into the box, Callum WIlson layed it off on the volley and Fraser fired it goalwards. Dean Henderson was more than equal to it, though, and parried it out for a corner.

In the closing stages, the home side pressed hard for a winner, with Mousset denied by a timely block from Adam Smith. 

Just as the game looked destined for a draw, Lundstram struck to secure victory and move Sheffield United to within just two points of fourth placed Chelsea and leave Bournemouth, just two points above the relegation zone with 12 games remaining.  


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