Championship
StokeStoke City2Sheff UtdSheffield United2

Stoke City 2-2 Sheffield United: Blades come back to rescue a point

In-form Sheffield United full-back Enda Stevens has netted four times in six games for the Blades
In-form Sheffield United full-back Enda Stevens has netted four times in six games for the Blades

Promoted Sheffield United missed out on the Championship title after Norwich won at Aston Villa, but the Blades ended the season well by twice coming from behind at draw specialists Stoke.

The Potters twice looked on course for what would have been a first win in six matches, first through Sam Vokes' 19th-minute right foot volley, then again when home skipper Ryan Shawcross scored from close range on 69 minutes.

But half-time substitute Kieran Dowell was first to level five minutes after coming on at the break.

Then full-back Enda Stevens drilled home a low left-foot shot, his fifth goal of season (and fourth in six games) stretched the second-placed Blades' late season run to just one defeat in 18 matches.

It also condemned Stoke to a 22nd draw of the campaign - a fifth successive home draw for the Potters, who have had to share the spoils in over half their league games (11 out of 21) since Nathan Jones took over in January.

No team outside the top six has lost fewer games than Stoke but this season has been killed by all their draws, which have left them 16th - 34 points off the second of the two automatic promotion places, occupied by the visitors - and 19 off a play-off place.

Stoke have scored six goals in on-loan Sam Vokes' five home starts at the Bet 365 Stadium - and he has scored three of them
Stoke have scored six goals in on-loan Sam Vokes' five home starts at the Bet 365 Stadium - and he has scored three of them

It looked hopeful for them when Vokes volleyed in his seventh club goal of season - but only his third for Stoke - to earn a 1-0 half-time lead.

But the Blades got a lift from a double half-time substitution which brought on John Lundstram and Dowell for Oliver Norwood and Mark Duffy.

The response was swift as John Fleck set up Dowell for a left-foot shot into the bottom right corner.

Shawcross, who had survived an earlier handball shout against him in his own penalty area, then latched onto Tom Ince's cross to restore Stoke's lead - a far-post side-foot volley for his first home goal in more than two years.

Ryan Shawcross had not scored at the Bet 365 Stadium since a 2-0 win at home to Watford in January 2017
Ryan Shawcross had not scored at the Bet 365 Stadium since a 2-0 win at home to Watford in January 2017

But Stevens' well-struck shot was too fast for Jack Butland's dive to his left. And that at least ended the season positively for the Blades, despite news of Norwich's late winner at Villa Park.

The Blades would have had to have won and the Canaries lost for one final swing at the top of the table.

But Chris Wilder's low-budget side can be content that they were at least one of the seven sides to top the division over the course of the season, back in October.

They even had a great chance to go back top on 8 February but that ended unhappily at Villa Park when, 3-0 up with just eight minutes left, they blew it when Villa scored three times.

Stoke City manager Nathan Jones:

"It was a different kind of draw to what we have had. In the first half, we were excellent. Sheffield United changed in the second half for us which is a massive compliment.

"But it is a glimpse of what we will achieve and what we will turn into. We were on the front foot. We were very positive.

"We've had a tough season. It has been a tough season in choices I have had to make, what I've been through.

"I sacrificed a promotion at Luton to come here as it was a big job. We've made great inroads and I'm excited as to what we can achieve."

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder:

"It was a tough one for the players after the emotions of last weekend as well as drinking every pub in Sheffield dry for the last four days.

"In the first half it didn't go for us but we were up against some really good players who want to end the season on a high, so we knew it was going to be a tough afternoon.

"In the second half, we were more like it. We epitomised what we are about. The result is the right result as far as I am concerned. We didn't do enough to win.

"Congratulations to Daniel Farke and Norwich City. It has been a thrilling race between us, Norwich and Leeds. I've always said the best team wins the Championship and we are delighted and proud to be joining them in the Premier League."

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 2Bauer
  • 14Batth
  • 17Shawcross
  • 15Martins IndiSubstituted forAfobeat 59'minutes
  • 4Allen
  • 38WoodsBooked at 57minsSubstituted forAdamat 88'minutes
  • 8Etebo
  • 7InceSubstituted forBojanat 82'minutes
  • 10Vokes
  • 11McClean

Substitutes

  • 5Williams
  • 9Afobe
  • 16Adam
  • 18Diouf
  • 27Bojan
  • 31Verlinden
  • 32Federici

Sheff Utd

  • 1Henderson
  • 6BashamSubstituted forMadineat 72'minutes
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 16NorwoodSubstituted forLundstramat 45'minutes
  • 4FleckBooked at 43mins
  • 3Stevens
  • 21DuffySubstituted forDowellat 45'minutes
  • 10Sharp
  • 17McGoldrick

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 8Dowell
  • 11Hogan
  • 14Madine
  • 19Stearman
  • 25Moore
  • 28Cranie
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
26,665

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamSheff Utd
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home14
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home8
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 2, Sheffield United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Sheffield United 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bojan (Stoke City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Benik Afobe (Stoke City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sam Vokes.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kieran Dowell (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by George Baldock.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by John Lundstram.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by John Egan.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Ryan Woods.

  10. Post update

    Bojan (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by John Lundstram (Sheffield United).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Bojan replaces Tom Ince.

  13. Post update

    Peter Etebo (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).

  15. Post update

    Sam Vokes (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by John Egan (Sheffield United).

  17. Post update

    Benik Afobe (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jack O'Connell (Sheffield United).

  19. Post update

    Hand ball by Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Stoke City 2, Sheffield United 2. Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Billy Sharp.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich462713693573694
2Sheff Utd462611978413789
3Leeds462581373502383
4West Brom4623111287622580
5Aston Villa4620161082612176
6Derby4620141269541574
7Middlesbrough462013134941873
8Bristol City461913145953670
9Nottm Forest461715146154766
10Swansea461811176562365
11Brentford4617131673591464
12Sheff Wed461616146062-264
13Hull461711186668-262
14Preston461613176767061
15Blackburn461612186469-560
16Stoke461122134552-755
17Birmingham461419136458652
18Wigan461313205164-1352
19QPR46149235371-1851
20Reading461017194966-1747
21Millwall461014224864-1644
22Rotherham46816225283-3140
23Bolton4688302978-4932
24Ipswich46516253677-4131
View full Championship table

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