Sheffield United: The team you should beat but few can...including Brighton

In the pre-match press conference, Graham Potter said his players produced their best performances on the training pitch this week since his summer arrival.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:35 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:36 pm
Brighton and Hove Albion defender Adam Webster had a tough afternoon against the Sheffield United attack

Unfortunately on match day, against Sheffield United, Albion delivered possibly their worst home display of the campaign.

Sheffield United had two goals ruled out by VAR but still claimed a third consecutive Premier League win by dispatching Brighton 1-0.

VAR intervened to deny John Egan and Jack O'Connell either side of half-time but with Oliver McBurnie on target in the 23rd minute, the Blades left the south coast with all three points.

Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Maty Ryan struggles to deal with a corner from Sheffield United

It extended their unbeaten away league record this season to nine games.

Brighton were shaky in defence, and even during the final 20 minutes when they poured forward in search of the equaliser, they looked vulnerable.

Had Republic of Ireland striker David McGoldrick - who was otherwise excellent throughout the match - been more clinical, United would have emerged comfortable winners.

There could be no complaint at the application of VAR in the eighth minute as referee Robert Jones awarded Egan a goal that was quickly ruled out.

Aaron Connolly came on in the second half but couldn't force an equaliser against a resolute Sheffield United

Egan bundled home a corner that was completely missed by keeper Mathew Ryan but replays revealed it came off the arm of United's Irish defender.

It then became Brighton's turn to have a goal chalked off and on this occasion Neal Maupay was frustrated by the off-side flag having completed a simple tap-in. Martin Montoya, who crossed for Maupay after Dean Henderson had saved Mooy's initial effort, was adjudged to be offside.

The third 'goal' was allowed to stand, however, and the Seagulls only had themselves to blame after Adam Webster was guilty of heading a clearance of a goal-kick into the path of McBurnie.

McBurnie still had the challenge of Lewis Dunk to hold off but his strength took care of that task and when the target opened up before him he drilled the ball into the bottom left corner.

Sheffield United goalscorer Oliver McBurnie celebrates victory at the Amex

It was a superb goal but Brighton's defence should have dealt with the attack.

Despite enjoying most of the possession and territory, they could make no meaningful impact on Chris Wilders' team with their attack barely firing a shot.

In a bid to induce a response, Aaron Connolly and Glenn Murray were sent out for the second half at the expense of Leandro Trossard and Pascal Gross, but Brighton continued to blunder as another defensive lapse offered up a gilt-edged chance.

Webster was exposed once more but having done the hard part on shaking off the defender and rounding Ryan, McGoldrick found the side-netting.

The pressure continued and VAR came to Brighton's rescue once again as O'Connell found the net after Ryan palmed a free-kick into his path only for off-side to be called.

Henderson saved well on the 71st minute when he palmed a firm shot by Connolly over the crossbar.

McGoldrick missed another chance - although this was far harder than his previous one - before Brighton's last attack of note ended with Yves Bissouma being booked for a dive.

ALBION: Ryan, Montoya (Bissouma 56), Webster, Dunk, Burn, Mooy, Propper, Stephens, Trossard (Connolly 45), Gross (Murray 45), Maupay.

SUBS NOT USED: Button, Duffy, Bernardo, Alzate.