Sheff Utd 1-0 Newcastle: Blades clinch first Premier League win
Sheffield United 1-0 Newcastle United: The Blades clinch first Premier League win of the season in their 18th game as they beat 10-man Newcastle United at Bramall Lane.
Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser was sent off late on in the first half after he picked up two bookings in a three-minute spell following fouls on John Fleck and David McGoldrick.
The Blades were awarded a penalty when Federico Fernandez handled the ball, with the decision given after referee Andy Madley checked the incident on a video screen.
Rhian Brewster nearly added a second for Sheffield United late on but his deflected strike from 20 yards hit the foot of the post.
The victory ended a club record run of 20 league matches without a win since the Blades beat Chelsea 3-0 on 11 July, before ending the 2019-20 season with three successive defeats.
Their start to this campaign – no wins, two draws, and 15 losses – was the worst in Premier League history.
The Blades remain bottom of the table but are now on five points, three behind 19th-placed West Brom and nine adrift of Brighton in 17th, having played a game more than both.
Meanwhile, Newcastle, who have now gone eight games without a win in all competitions, remain 15th, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Sharp reaches Blades’ landmark
The Blades, who only named seven out of a maximum of nine permitted substitutes, were the better side in the first half, but, as so often this season, struggled to make that count.
John Lundstram twice shot wide when well placed, David McGoldrick had an effort saved by Darlow and headed another chance over, and Jayden Bogle was also denied by Darlow.
Sharp, introduced from the bench just before the hour, helped earn the penalty he converted, trying to run past Newcastle captain Fernandez, who flicked the ball away with his left hand.
Referee Madley had originally missed the handball, but after a video assistant referee check, he watched it again on a pitchside monitor, Sharp stepping up for his 100th league goal for the Blades.
Brewster nearly added a second late on, but there was also time for an anxious moment for Chris Wilder’s side in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
A mix-up between Bogle and home goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale saw the ball heading towards goal before Ramsdale recovered to claw the ball away for a corner.
Wilder will be hoping his side can take confidence from this victory, especially as they now play three of the Premier League’s top five – Tottenham, Manchester United, and Manchester City – in their next three league games.
Sheff Utd: 17 Jan v Spurs (H)
Newcastle: 18 Jan v Arsenal (A)