The return of Chris Wilder to Bramall Lane showed some promise as Sheffield United fought hard to trouble Liverpool, but the Reds walked away with all three points as Virgil van Dijk and Dominik Szoboszlai did enough for a 2-0 road victory.
The Reds racked up the corners through the first half, and cashed in as Van Dijk struck from a set-piece chance 37 minutes in. The Blades made life difficult for Liverpool, but with just 24% possession and a woeful 48% pass completion rate, they were under heavy pressure throughout.
Cameron Archer provided a quality threat on the counter-attack, but he had little help when Sheffield United did get forward. Ultimately, the pressure was too much to deal with and Szoboszlai put the game away three minutes deep into added time after great pressing by Darwin Nunez.
Liverpool’s win brings them back within two points of leaders Arsenal, while Sheffield United remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
The Sporting News followed the Sheffield United vs Liverpool match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights below as they happened.
Liverpool (4-3-3, right to left): 62. Kelleher (GK) — 66. Alexander-Arnold, 5. Konate, 4. van Dijk, 2. Gomez — 8. Szoboszlai, 3. Endo, 10. Mac Allister (C. Jones, 59′) — 11. Salah (Elliott, 67′), 18. Gakpo (Gravenberch, 86′), 7. Diaz (Nunez, 67′).
Sheffield United vs Liverpool live updates, highlights, commentary
FULLTIME: Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool
The Blades put in a good 90-minute shift on Chris Wilder’s return to the club, but they were never truly close to drawing level. They made life difficult for the Reds in their own defensive half, but teams can only turn away so much pressure before it becomes too much.
Wilder will have to figure out a way to generate more attacking threat, but he has a gamer in Cameron Archer. Liverpool, meanwhile, will be happy with this performance even if it wasn’t exactly pretty for much of the game. Wins on the road in the Premier League are all worth the same regardless of how they look.
Sheffield United vs Liverpool: Second Half
90+4 min: GOAL! LIVERPOOL! DOMINIK SZOBOSZLAI HAS PUT THE GAME AWAY! Darwin Nunez puts in a thumping tackle to win the ball back in the Sheffield United defensive third, and he crosses to Szoboszlai at the far post and lashes a shot home. Sheffield United have done well to fight hard but just haven’t been able to survive the volume.
87th min: Chance, Sheffield United! The Blades scream for a penalty as Ibrahima Konate gives a half-hearted shove to James McAtee, sending the Sheffield United midfielder tumbling to the ground. There’s something in that, but probably not enough to give. Konate extended his arm, but there’s always a bit of leeway for defenders to make that kind of contact.
Austin Trusty is replaced by Max Lowe as Chris Wilder goes for a final push to find an equaliser.
84th min: Darwin Nunez is booked for booting the ball away in frustration, but it’s quite soft in all honesty. He barely looped the ball away after dribbling out of play, not in any kind of aggressive manner. Not sure why those are being punished by the officials, there are way more worthy moments to focus on.
Cody Gakpo comes off, replaced by Ryan Gravenberch, which will move Dominik Szoboszlai up into the attacking unit for the final minutes of this match. Sheffield United respond by bringing on Oliver Norwood for Vinicius Souza, who put in another very good performance.
77th min: Chance, Liverpool! Trent Alexander-Arnold threads Darwin Nunez in on goal, but Wes Foderingham makes another good save! He came off his line to close down the chance, and the finishing issues continue for Nunez who didn’t get terribly creative with his effort, blasting it right at the charging goalkeeper.
It may have been offside on the delivery anyways, but the Uruguayan still needs to be tucking those away.
74th min: Chris Wilder looks to get Cameron Archer some help as he brings on Bernie Traore and John Fleck to replace Andre Brooks and William Osula.
70th min: Cameron Archer again comes close to creating something for Sheffield United, but he’s eventually halted by three Liverpool defenders in the penalty area and has to track back.
67th min: Jurgen Klopp makes another pair of changes as Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz are replaced. The Liverpool attack hasn’t really managed to cook tonight as they have in recent matches. Coming on are Harvey Elliott and Darwin Nunez.
61st min: Ibrahima Kontae is shown a yellow card by Simon Hooper for a foul on Cameron Archer who burned the Liverpool defender just past the halfway line. Archer has been Sheffield United’s best player by some margin.
57th min: Yet another late foul on Alexis Mac Allister, and he stays down on the turf for treatment. The Argentine’s taken a bit of a beating today, and he may still be struggling from the effects of the first one in the first half. He’s replaced by Curtis Jones.
56th min: Chance, Liverpool! Yet another corner for Liverpool generates a glorious scoring chance, as Mohamed Salah gets completely free at the penalty spot and redirects the delivery on goal, but Wes Foderingham makes a stunning reflex save! It’s his second exceptional stop of the game, helping keep Sheffield United within reach.
47th min: That’s the start Sheffield United will be looking for. They get forward through Andre Brooks but his fizzed cross to the middle is blasted away by Virgil van Dijk, who has loud words for his teammates.
Kickoff: The second half is under way as Liverpool look to move within reach of Arsenal in the Premier League table. Sheffield United will hope for a bit of a turnaround, as the first 45 minutes under Chris Wilder saw them hold just 20 percent possession and complete a woeful 41 percent of their passes (34/81). Has to be better if they wish to get back into the game.
HALFTIME: Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool
Liverpool lead at the break, but it’s not exactly been comfortable for the Reds through 45 minutes. They didn’t manage to create much with their nearly 80 percent possession, collecting eight shots worth just 0.66 xG.
Yet they did manage to rack up a huge corner count, piling on eight deliveries, which Sheffield United were always going to struggle to deal with. Sure enough, Virgil van Dijk took advantage to give the Reds the opener.
Sheffield United’s best opportunities came from counter-attacks, where Cameron Archer was especially dangerous, but they didn’t manage to get forward too much after the opening 20 minutes. The Blades look up for the task today, but they’ll need to generate a few more transitional moves if they want to get back in the match.
Liverpool’s most likely route to goal has been from their corners tonight and the captain has just volleyed home Alexander-Arnold’s deliver. Great finish.
45+3 min: Amidst a hefty six minutes of added time, James McAtee lifts a free-kick chance miles over the crossbar. That’s not close for a dead ball chance — the Blades who haven’t had enough chances to be that wasteful.
42nd min: Trent Alexander-Arnold blasts a shot to the moon from well outside the penalty area. Probably not the spot Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to see his right-back shoot from.
37th min: GOAL! LIVERPOOL! The corner count was rising at too fast a rate for Sheffield United to manage, and Virgil van Dijk finally puts Liverpool in front with a blast from the top of the six-yard box! He’s totally unmarked as Trent Alexander-Arnold swings in his delivery, and Ibrahima Konate clears out two defenders to make room for his fellow defender for the finish.
The Sheffield United defenders are up in arms about a possible foul in the scrum, but it looked like someone just simply tripped over Cody Gakpo’s legs rather than anything malicious. A VAR check confirms the goal!
34th min: The first yellow card of the match is shown to Wataru Endo for a very late tackle on Auston Trusty. That’s a nasty foul, and there’s a quick VAR check for a possible red card, but no other action is taken.
27th min: The corner count is rising very quickly for Liverpool, as they win their sixth of the match before the half-hour mark. It’s awkwardly dealt with by Wes Foderingham who tips it over his own head and away from danger.
The Reds have been one of the best sides off set-pieces in the Premier League at creating chances, but have struggled to finish them, with three goals off 5.09 xG on corners coming into today.
23rd min: Chance, Liverpool! This time Wes Foderingham makes a much more difficult save to deny a header from Ibrahima Konate! A corner is initially cleared, but it’s recycled by the Reds and Konate rises high to redirect the ball towards the inside of the post, but Foderingham dives full-stretch to make the stop!
The dive was probably a little more dramatic than necessary, but the ball was indeed heading for the back of the net, and it’ll look nice on the photos.
21st min: A corner is swung in by Trent Alexander-Arnold and meets the head of Virgil van Dijk but it’s tipped over the crossbar by Wes Foderingham. That was a looped effort rather than a powerful one, coming off the Dutchman’s shoulder, and Foderingham decided to play it safe by scooping it over the woodwork.
18th min: Liverpool have a long spell of possession but they can’t get a shot off. The Blades break dangerously again, but Cameron Archer’s charge is cut down inside the penalty area by a wonderful tackle from Virgil van Dijk. Excellent challenge at the last possible moment.
12th min: Chance, Sheffield United! The Blades break immediately off the second Liverpool corner thanks to an error by Joe Gomez, but Caoimhin Kelleher makes a stellar save on James McAtee! The 21-year-old was threaded through by Cameron Archer on the counter with the help of a fortunate deflection, but the Liverpool goalkeeper came off his line and made a wonderful reflex save!
11th min: Mohamed Salah has a pair of chances. First he gets on the end of a cross from the left but whips the ball miles over the crossbar. Then Liverpool break down the middle moments later and Salah has a shot blocked out for a corner.
The first set-piece is swung in by Dominik Szoboszlai and dealt with awkwardly by the Blades defence as the ball is looped out over the crossbar for another corner. The second delivery is short and cleared easily.
5th min: There’s an early problem for Liverpool as Alexis Mac Allister is down requiring treatment, with his head in his hands. He was clipped from behind which caused him to fall awkwardly into an opponent. That’s a naughty challenge, but there’s no intent on that really.
The treatment is to his ankle, which looks to have been taped under his sock, and he is up and set to continue, although limping a bit. He chats with the referee and is seemingly happy with Simon Hooper’s explanation of why there was no booking for Gustavo Hamer.
2nd min: Sheffield United have an early set-piece chance and there’s a good free-kick delivery from Gustavo Hamer, but it evades anyone in red and white as his teammates arrive late. That was a chance but it goes begging at the far post.
Kickoff: They’re under way at Bramall Lane! A lot on the line for both clubs here respective to their goals this season. Sheffield United can pull off the bottom of the table with a win, but they’ll be happy with any points today, while Liverpool must win to stay within one result of Arsenal at the top.
Sheffield United vs Liverpool: Pre-match commentary, analysis, stats, and more
15 mins to kickoff: Defensive midfielder Vinicius Souza has quietly been one of Sheffield United’s best players this season. His tackling in particular is out of this world, averaging 3.69 tackles attempted per 90 minutes and winning 1.66 of them, both of which rank in the top three percentile of European midfielders.
While that success rate will need to improve a bit, the volume is there, and he should hopefully improve with the backing of the new manager. The 24-year-old Brazilian has a big job to do today handling this rejuvenated Liverpool midfield!
30 mins to kickoff: Of the five goal scorers for Liverpool in their last four games against Sheffield United, only one is currently on the pitch today: Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian scored four minutes into their 2-0 victory over the Blades in January 2020, but the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Gini Wijnaldum are no longer with the club, while Diogo Jota is injured and Curtis Jones is on the bench.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, managed just one goal in those four games, a Sander Berge penalty during a 2-1 defeat back in October of 2020. Berge is now with Burnley, who are also in relegation trouble.
45 mins to kickoff: Wataru Endo’s 87th minute equaliser against Fulham over the weekend was his first league goal for the club, and a massive one at that. He and Alexis Mac Allister both bagged their first league goal for the Reds in game, and while Endo’s wasn’t nearly as pretty as the Goal of the Season candidate Mac Allister struck, it’s still seemed to have earned him a place in today’s Liverpool XI.
Wataru Endo has already scored twice in 16 appearances for Liverpool this season.
Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Naby Keita and James Milner scored zero goals in 176 appearances between them last season.
1 hour to kickoff: Starting lineups are in! For Liverpool, Wataru Endo starts in midfield ahead of Ryan Gravenberch, Curtis Jones, or Harvey Elliott. Meanwhile, Joe Gomez comes in at left-back to spell Kostas Tsimikas, and Cody Gakpo enters up top for the misfiring Darwin Nunez.
Meanwhile, for Sheffield United, Chris Wilder makes a host of changes in his first game back. Jayden Bogle enters the XI ahead of Luke Thomas at right wing-back, while 20-year-old winger Andre Brooks is slotted into midfield alongside Vini Souza, with Oliver Norwood and John Fleck beaten to the spots. Additionally, William Osula enters the attack while Benie Traore sits.
1 hour 15 mins to kick: At some point, Darwin Nunez is going to have to find his shooting boots in front of goal for Liverpool. The Uruguayan has been electric at times this season, but his poor finishing has put the Reds in bad positions in games they should have won handily.
This year, Nunez has four goals in Premier League play despite an expected goals (xG) value of 8.18, a differential of -4.18. Last season, he had a differential of -5.37 (nine goals on 14.37 xG). His misses are meme-worthy, and while he’s done plenty of great things, he has to start burying chances at a higher rate if he is to help Liverpool avoid the occasional slips that keep teams from winning titles.
1 hour 30 mins to kick: Last time these two teams met, a 2-0 Liverpool road victory back in February of 2021, Curtis Jones impressed in the midst of his first full season as a first-team player with the Reds. Just fresh off his 20th birthday, Jones scored a 48th minute opener and helped Liverpool to what would be their only win amidst an awful seven-game stretch with six defeats.
He took four shots and put three on target, completing 26 of his 27 pass attempts on 42 touches. Jones has struggled to find the field of late, thanks to a myriad of issues like suspension, injury, and form amidst a crowded Liverpool midfield. Will he get another chance today, after Ryan Gravenberch started against Fulham over the weekend?
The last time Liverpool faced off against Sheffield United, Curtis Jones caught the eye.
1 hour 45 mins to kick: Is the “new manager bounce” a real thing Liverpool have to worry about today? Goal.com broke down the numbers back in January, and they found there’s something to be said.
Of 26 managerial changes that took place through the first half of last season, 20 of them averaged more points per match over their first five games than their predecessor did prior to the change. In nine of them, the new boss achieved a points per match mark of at least double his predecessor. That’s quite the jump! It’s not necessarily sustainable, but there’s definitely something there for the Reds to be aware of today.
2 hours to kickoff: Sheffield United have brought old boss Chris Wilder back into the fold, a bold move with the club in peril. A move like this certainly feels as if Wilder will remain in charge regardless of whether he can keep the Blades afloat, as there were likely other options if they wished to bring aboard a true fixer-upper.
Welcome back Chris, congrats on the appointment, here’s a game against Liverpool in about 28 hours!
Chris Basham, Rhian Brewster, Tom Davies, Daniel Jebbison and John Egan are all out for Sheffield United, while George Baldock is doubtful to add to the Blades’ injury woes.
Rhys Norrington-Davies has been back in training but is yet to return and Oli McBurnie is suspended following his dismissal in their 5-0 defeat at Burnley on Saturday. New manager Chris Wilder may have some new ideas, of course, about how to line up his team.
Sheffield United subs (9): Davies (GK), Larouci, Lowe, L. Thomas, Norwood, Seriki, Fleck, Slimane, B. Traore.
First-choice Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson will miss out again, with Republic of Ireland international Caoimhin Kelleher in line to cover for the first-choice Brazilian. Alisson is “closer” to a return according to Jurgen Klopp, but misses out here.
Joel Matip suffered a knee injury in the win over Fulham, with Klopp saying it “doesn’t look good” for the Reds defender. Diogo Jota, Andrew Robertson, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara all remain sidelined with various injuries, with Jota the nearest to fitness after returning to training.
Liverpool starting lineup (4-3-3): Kelleher (GK) — Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Gomez — Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Endo — Salah, Gakpo, Diaz.
Liverpool subs (9): Adrian (GK), Pitaluga (GK), Tsimikas, Quansah, C. Bradley, Gravenberch, H. Elliott, C. Jones, Nunez.
How to watch Sheffield United vs Liverpool: TV channel, live stream
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