- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, March 30th 2019
- Bramall Lane
James Crawley reports from Bramall Lane
Report: Sheffield United 2-3 Bristol City
Saturday, March 30th 2019
A hat-trick from Andreas Weimann inspired the Robins to an emphatic 3-2 win in an exciting Sky Bet Championship encounter against Sheffield United.
Lee Johnson’s men twice fought from behind thanks to the on-target Austrian, with Blades captain Billy Sharp heading the hosts into an early lead at the sun-soaked Bramall Lane.
Weimann levelled the tie with a looping header and Josh Brownhill’s second-half free kick struck the post before Scott Hogan restored the Blades’ lead.
However, City were level again when Kasey Palmer picked out the run of Weimann and the forward completed the scores with a calm finish seven minutes from the end of regular time.
Korey Smith returned to the starting XI following a long-term knee injury, making only his fourth appearance of the season as he joined Marlon Pack and Brownhill in midfield. Smith would be one four changes from the team which drew against Ipswich Town.
A fortnight had passed since then with the international break a chance for City to rest up and recuperate ahead of the trip to Yorkshire and just minutes in Famara Diédhiou showed a turn of pace to break the backline. He cut the ball back to Brownhill but the midfielder only dragged his shot wide.
Max O’Leary was back between the sticks but his first task would be picking the ball out of his net as with just six minutes on the clock, the Blades were ahead. The goal came from a free kick left of centre, with John Fleck’s delivery headed home by Blades captain Sharp.
The home crowd were buoyed by that goal and and United looked to test City’s young keeper almost immediately, but O’Leary was equal to an effort from David McGoldrick.
Brownhill took on and beat Fleck with skill, creating himself the option to shoot but his effort was weak.
But City were finding confidence as they began to take back possession and Brownhill soon set himself again as he created space with one touch, before attempting to pick out the top corner – only the fingertips of Dean Henderson denied him.
The Robins were soon flying forward again in their pursuit of an equaliser and Jack Hunt’s right-sided cross at the second attempt found the head of Weimann, but the forward was always off balance and the ball failed to trouble the Blades keeper.
And the pressure told on the half-hour mark with another headed goal, in similar fashion to City’s last chance. After a long period of build-up play, Hunt again found Weimann with another cross, which the Austrian forward headed over the backpedalling Henderson to level the scores.
They had done enough to earn the right to enter half-time honours even, but City survived a late scare when Kieran O’Connell headed over the bar from a deep Fleck corner.
It was a bright start to the second half and not just for O’Leary who was now facing the sun-soaked end of the ground, as he donned his cap for the remaining 45 minutes.
It was City with their tails up with the home crowd growing restless, but the visitors were limited to comfortable efforts from Weimann and the returning Smith.
But as Lee Johnson’s men had grown into the game earlier, now it was turn of Chris Wilder’s side with Bramall Lane encouraging the home side in good voice. City were soon soaking up the pressure and O’Leary had to parry away a strong, long-distance strike from the ever-present Fleck.
At the other end, City would win themselves a free kick in a dangerous position as Weimann was caught as he shot on goal. The play was pulled back and from the set piece Brownhill went an inch to putting the Robins level, only the dink of the post told the silent crowd otherwise as the ball pinged back into play and was cleared by United.
They quickly found luck down the right from which George Baldock looked to cause trouble. First he looked for a penalty as he broke forward and went to ground under pressure, but referee James Linington waved play on.
But Baldock was soon the provider as he found himself on the ball in the next Blades wave, standing up a cross for loanee Hogan to put the ball into the net and restore the lead for Wilder’s side.
City looked to the bench with a double attacking change with Kasey Palmer and Jamie Paterson introduced for the departing Bailey Wright and Smith, respectively.
And it was the perfect change with the newcomers involved in City’s equaliser moments later. Paterson picked out Diédhiou who held the ball up for the waiting Palmer and the loanee from Chelsea picked out the advancing Weimann with a delightful cross, who made no mistake by tucking the ball into the bottom corner.
But there was more drama to come with Weimann completing his hat-trick in front of a jubilant away end. He drove forward, playing a neat one-two with Diédhiou, before showing all the composure in the world to tuck the ball beyond Henderson.
Sheffield United threw themselves forward amid six minutes of added time, even the goalkeeper was up for corners, with the last of the action coming from a McGoldrick header over the top of O’Leary’s goal.
But City held out and the result lifts them to eighth in the Championship table.
- Sharp (6') , Hogan (71')
- Jack O'Connell, Kieran Dowell
- Weimann (30') , Weimann (77') , Weimann (83')
- Bailey Wright, Korey Smith, Andreas Weimann