Home Sport English Premier League Brentford 2-0 Sheffield United

Brentford 2-0 Sheffield United

Brentford 2-0 Sheffield United

Brentford 2-0 Sheffield United. Brentford beat Sheffield United to claim their first win in 10 Premier League games and ease their relegation fears.

An unfortunate own goal from Blades youngster Oliver Arblaster just past the hour mark put Thomas Frank’s side ahead, as he inadvertently sent Mikkel Damsgaard’s cross into the far corner.

Substitute Frank Onyeka sealed the win in stoppage time as the Bees move up to 14th, seven points clear of the bottom three.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United remain bottom and take another step towards an immediate return to the Championship.

Chris Wilder’s side are 10 points from safety with six games to play.

The visitors started brightly with Ben Brereton Diaz breaking free down the left but he scuffed the shot with just Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken to beat.

Brentford soon took charge but despite dominating possession, they struggled to create many chances with Neal Maupay stabbing wide their best opportunity of the first half after United defender Anel Ahmedhodzic gave the ball away inside his own half.

It was a similar story after the break with Mathias Jorgensen seeing a goal ruled out for offside minutes before Brentford’s fortuitous opener.

Damsgaard thought he had doubled the lead soon after but the VAR intervened to rule out his crisp volley from Bryan Mbeumo’s free-kick for a foul on Oli McBurnie in the build-up.

The Blades pushed for an equaliser but Cameron Archer’s wayward shot from a tight angle was as close as they came before Onyeka latched on to the fit-again Kevin Schade’s flick-on to fire in the clincher for Brentford.

Brentford’s third season in the Premier League has surely been their toughest but with five games to go, they can begin to plan for a fourth year in the top flight with that bit more confidence.

The celebrations that followed a first home win since 20 January certainly suggested as much with Frank and his players soaking up the applause of a satisfied home support at the Gtech.

This was not a game to elicit much excitement from the neutrals but it wasn’t for them. With both sides battling to stay up, the result was all that mattered – and Brentford got it.

That it came after a match that could only generously be said to have provided sporadic glimpses of quality will not bother anyone of a Brentford persuasion.

As was the case for the entirety of the first half of the season, it was achieved without Ivan Toney as the England striker started on the bench again – and remained there – as he continues to manage a muscle injury.

While he has struggled for goals in recent games, Toney’s ability to occupy defenders, hold up the ball and bring others into play would have been useful for Brentford as they tried to break Sheffield United down in the first hour.

But they got there eventually and one more win, possibly alongside another draw, should make absolutely sure of the Bees’ safety.

Despite some encouraging signs for Wilder’s team in recent weeks, it is now eight games without a win and just one win in 16 league matches.

Relegation has felt like a matter of when rather than if and, should results go against them, confirmation could come as soon as next Wednesday (24 April) at Manchester United.

As in recent draws with Bournemouth, Fulham and Chelsea – and even defeat at Liverpool – the Blades did not lack for grit and determination, though defensively this was a much better showing as they restricted Brentford for long spells.

Although, ultimately, it was not enough, the fact the team is competing again – having failed to do so at times earlier in the campaign – is something for Wilder to cling to.

It may not be much and, barring a minor miracle, it will not be enough to keep them up, but the Blades do appear to have turned a corner.

source – BBC