Sheffield United 1-2 Manchester City: What Were The Key Talking Points As The Reigning Champions Snatch A Dramatic Winner At Bramall Lane?

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Aug 29, 2023, 13:17

Although it might have been far from a routine display on Sunday afternoon, Manchester City eventually snatched a late 2-1 victory against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Left frustrated throughout the first-half as attacking talisman Erling Haaland missed from the penalty spot eight minutes before the interval, the defending Premier League champions also had to avoid a major scare on the road.

While City’s record-breaking icon might have eventually notched his third domestic strike of the season after producing a powerful header just after the hour mark, the Sky Blues were pinned back in the dying stages as second-half substitute Jayden Bogle powered past Ederson.

Nevertheless, only a couple of months removed from their famous treble-winning campaign in the blue half of Manchester, City demonstrated just why they have a champions resolve.

With midfield star and Spanish international Rodri producing a sublime drive strike just three minutes after Bogle’s shock equaliser, the Sky Blues are now the only top-flight club that can boast a 100% start from their opening three contests.

In a showdown between two sides who are expected to be battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table this season, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Sunday’s battle at Bramall Lane.

No Pep, no problem for City

Although Manchester City might have rightfully been seen as a landslide favourite as they travelled to Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon, some were wondering how the Sky Blues would fair without Pep Guardiola in their dugout.

With it announced that the former Barcelona boss will not return until after September’s international break after undergoing minor back surgery, it is Juan Manuel Lillo who has taken over managerial responsibilities on a matchday.

Although it might have been a subdued atmosphere in City’s dugout here, there is no doubt that Guardiola would have been hugely relieved after watching on from his home.

Making it clear that they are planning another monumental title charge across all competitions this season, Guardiola would have been simply glad to see his superstar squad overcome what could have been a real banana skin in Sheffield.

Next seen when they welcome Fulham to the Etihad on September 2nd, the Sky Blues have certainly demonstrated why they are already seen as a standout contender to defend their domestic crown in 2024.

Haaland just keeps banging on the door

Watching his first-half penalty smash back off the post and unable to find much of a clinical edge prior to the half-time break, Haaland would have certainly been wondering what more he could have done.

However, although the Norwegian record-breaker might have been visibly frustrated for large spells here, Haaland finally got his reward as the former Borussia Dortmund icon powered home from close range just eight minutes after returning from the interval.

Opening the new season with a brace away at Burnley as City cruised their way to a 3-0 romp on August 11th, it is no secret that Haaland has another vital role to play across all fronts this season.

Breaking a string of records last season after notching 36 strikes in his maiden Premier League campaign, the 23-year-old also finds himself in a battle with Lionel Messi to get his hands on a first Ballon d’Or title.

Constantly banging on the door here and now notching three Premier League goals in as many appearances since opening up the 2023/24 season, Haaland has his sights firmly set on making even more history this time around.

The Blades must find a way to take positive from their late heartbreak

Watching Bogle send the home support into overdrive after bagging the equaliser with just five minutes left on the clock, Sheffield United would have been desperate to spring a major upset on Sunday afternoon.

However, eventually crumbling just three minutes later and now suffering last-gasp heartbreak in their back-to-back Premier League appearances over the past week, Paul Heckingbottom’s men will have to dust themselves down quickly.

Although the Blades might have put in a largely gritty performance at Bramall Lane, United are still waiting to open their Premier League account and face what appears to be a major uphill struggle this season.

Marking their top-flight return with a toothless display in Sheffield as they slumped to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Crystal Palace on August 12th, Sunday’s hosts have lost all three of their opening three showdowns by an aggregate score of 5-2.

Desperate to claim some kind of boost on Wednesday night when they welcome League One outfit Lincoln to Bramall Lane for an EFL Cup tie, Heckingbottom’s men should have one-eye on what looks set to be a monumental battle next weekend.

Hoping to take some of the positives away from Sunday’s late heartbreak against the Premier League giants, United will welcome fellow strugglers Everton to town in what is an early-season six-pointer in Sheffield.

Match Report

Sheffield United: Foderingham, Ahmedhodzic, Egan, Robinson, Baldock, Souza, Norwood, Hamer, Osborn, Osula, Traore

Subs: Bogle, McBurnie, Larouci, Basham

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Gvaridol, Ake, Rodri, Silva, Alvarez, Kovacic, Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Foden

Goals: Sheffield United: Bogle (85’) – Manchester City: Haaland (63’), Rodri (88’)

Yellow Cards: Sheffield United: Baldock, Osula, Souza, Egan – Manchester City: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Jarred Gillett

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