Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel’s side win at Bramall Lane to move fifth in Premier League
Free match highlights and report as Mason Mount strike and Jorginho penalty settle incident-packed contest at Bramall Lane; Antonio Rudiger own goal gifts Sheffield United equaliser but parity lasts just four minutes; Chelsea climb to fifth, a point outside the top four, Blades stay bottom
Sunday 7 February 2021 21:52, UK
Chelsea claimed a third consecutive victory under Thomas Tuchel as they beat Sheffield United 2-1 in an incident-packed contest at Bramall Lane to climb to fifth in the Premier League.
Mason Mount set Chelsea on their way with a clinical finish from Timo Werner’s cutback shortly before half-time, but the Blades were level within nine minutes of the restart when Antonio Rudiger’s bizarre own goal gifted the hosts an equaliser – the first goal conceded of Tuchel’s tenure.
Having denied Sheffield United a first-half penalty, VAR took centre stage as Chelsea restored their lead four minutes later, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale’s foul on Werner penalised after referee Kevin Friend consulted the pitchside monitor, allowing Jorginho to convert from the spot for the second game running.
Rudiger atoned for his earlier error with a string of crucial defensive interventions that saw out the Chelsea win and condemned the battling Blades – who remain rooted to the foot of the table, 12 points from safety – to an 18th defeat of the season.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale (5), Basham (6), Egan (6), Bryan (5), Bogle (6), Lundstram (6), Norwood (6), Fleck (6), Lowe (5), Burke (6), McBurnie (5).
Subs: Sharp (5), McGoldrick (5), Brewster (n/a).
Chelsea: Mendy (6), Azpilicueta (6), Rudiger (7), Christensen (6), James (6), Jorginho (7), Kovacic (6), Chilwell (5), Mount (7), Werner (8), Giroud (5).
Subs: Alonso (5), Kante (5), Hudson-Odoi (5).
Man of the Match: Timo Werner
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How Rudiger gaffe failed to derail Tuchel’s unbeaten start
Sheffield United nearly got off to the perfect start inside 30 seconds when OIi McBurnie released striker partner Oliver Burke through on goal, but the Blades forward opted for a near-post finish instead of going for goal and lashed a shot into the side-netting.
Chelsea burst into life on six minutes when Mateo Kovacic played Werner through on goal but having lifted a shot over the on-rushing Ramsdale, the covering Chris Basham prevented the ball from crossing the goal line.
Sheffield United promising start yielded a penalty on 10 minutes when Ben Chilwell was penalised for a rash lunge on Basham, but a VAR review found the Blades defender offside in the build-up, and Chelsea were reprieved.
Chilwell headed over while under pressure and Kean Bryan brilliantly blocked Mount’s goalbound shot as Chelsea upped the intensity as half-time approached, and they found the breakthrough with two minutes to spare.
Werner brilliantly drove into space down the left after playing a one-two before cutting the ball back to the edge of the box where Mount dispatched into the bottom corner.
The Chelsea lead lasted just minutes into the second half as the Blues conceded for the first time under their new manager. Edouard Mendy raced off his line to gather McBurnie’s wayward pass but was beaten to it by Rudiger, who watched on in horror as his back pass nestled in the bottom corner of his own net.
Chelsea’s lead was short-lived but parity was even shorter, with Ramsdale racing off his line and committing to a rash lunge on Werner after he raced onto Bryan’s loose back pass.
Having been dismissed initially, referee Friend was instructed to consult the pitchside monitor where he swiftly awarded Chelsea a penalty, and Jorginho, just as he did in the victory at Tottenham, made no mistake from 12 yards.
Rudiger nearly atoned for own goal at the other end, coming within inches of getting on the end of Cesar Azpilicueta’s near-post flick, but the Germany defender thwarted John Fleck and two shots in quick succession from substitute Rhian Brewster in stoppage-time.
There was still time for substitute Billy Sharp to register an acrobatic volley in the dying stages which forced Edouard Mendy into action, but there was no denying Chelsea the win or their impressive start to life under Tuchel.
Opta stats – Chelsea rekindle away-day form
- Chelsea have won each of their last three Premier League games, equalling their longest winning streak of the season (three between October-November). This was also just the second time they’ve won consecutive Premier League away games this term.
- Chelsea have only conceded one goal in their first four Premier League games under Thomas Tuchel – their fewest through a manager’s first four league games in charge since Guus Hiddink in February/March 2009.
- Since beating Chelsea at Bramall Lane in July 2020, Sheffield United have only won two of their last 13 home games in the Premier League (D1 L10).
- Sheffield United have kept just one clean sheet in their last 25 Premier League games, with that lone shutout coming at home to Newcastle last month.
- Since the start of last season, Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger is one of only five players to have scored multiple own goals in the Premier League (2), however the German has done it in the fewest appearances among this group (28).
- Aged 22 years and 28 days, Mason Mount is the second-youngest player to score 10 Premier League goals for Chelsea, after only Arjen Robben (21y 342d).
- Nine of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s 11 Premier League goals have come from the penalty spot (82%) – this is the highest ratio of any player with 10+ goals in the competition’s history.
Man of the Match – Timo Werner
🍾Man of the Match🍾 – @ChelseaFC's Timo Werner
𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 touches in box
Assisted opening goal
Won penalty for winning goal
Sheffield United host Bristol City in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday at 7.30pm, before travelling to West Ham in the Premier League on Monday at 6pm.
Chelsea travel to Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday at 8pm, before host Newcastle on Monday Night Football at 8pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.
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