Sheffield United chased the first Premier League points of the season, but were stopped by Leeds top scorer Patrick Bamford just before the end of Sunday.
SHEFFIELD UNITED – LEEDS 0–1
Bamford’s solid heading from Jack Harrison’s post ensured a 1-0 victory and wild cheers from the charming newcomers from Leeds.
After two seven-goal games, it was goalless for Leeds in the Yorkshire derby in Sheffield, but Bamford and his teammates finally secured their second straight victory.
For Sander Berge and Sheffield United, it looks heavier. Three games have yielded three losses and zero goals for last season’s big surprise.
On Sunday, the home team had plenty of chances to score, but it would not be offensive. Leeds also misused some good opportunities before Bamford’s late victory goal.
Patrick Bamford has occasionally received a lot of criticism from Leeds fans. The striker was bought for around NOK 80 million before the 2018/19 season, the club’s most expensive player since Robbie Fowler was acquired in 2001. Such a price tag creates expectations. He scored nine goals in an injury-plagued debut season for the Yorkshire club. In the promotion season, there were 16 goals. Although Bamford was an important part of Bielsa’s crew, many expressed their dissatisfaction on social media. Both teammates and former Leeds players went public and supported the insulted Bamford.
“More than ever, it’s time to support him,” Brian Deane wrote on Twitter.
This was this winter, after a loss to Wigan. Now the 27-year-old has really hit back at the critics. Many doubted Bamford after just one goal in their first 27 Premier League games, for Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Burnley respectively. Now he has scored in every match in Leeds’ comeback at the top level.
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Berge’s midfield colleague John Lundstram had the biggest chance of the match after just under half an hour. He was able to finish off the pressure from close range, but Leeds’ 20-year-old goalkeeper Illan Meslier parried the attempt with a brilliant save.
Leeds also produced opportunities, including when Stuart Dallas rounded the keeper and sent the ball towards goal after an hour of play. Chris Basham appeared on cue near the post, and steered it past the goalie.
Ten minutes before the end, the hosts’ Jack Robinson had a golden opportunity to score on a corner kick, but he widened the ball just outside from four meters away.
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And on a day when it simply did not want to be offensive for Sheffield United, it also ended up defensively.
Thus, Berge’s team will be at the very bottom of the Premier League table.
Berge played all 90 minutes on Sunday. He started as an anchor in the middle, but was transferred to the inner runner role when Oliver Norwood was replaced by Lundstram after 63 minutes.