Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United1Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0

Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace: John Lundstram earns Blades first win

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport at Bramall Lane
John Lundstram has now scored a league goal in each of England's top four tiers - 10 goals across the four divisions.
John Lundstram has now scored a league goal in each of England's top four tiers - 10 goals across the four divisions

Sheffield United crowned their first Premier League game at Bramall Lane for 12 years with a hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace.

Spurred on by a raucous home crowd, who were watching League One football three seasons ago, Chris Wilder's team added to their point at Bournemouth last weekend with a precious win thanks to John Lundstram's early second half goal.

The Blades are being tipped by many to get relegated, but they created the better chances and stood firm against a Palace side who earned more points away from home than at Selhurst Park last season.

The hosts should have gone ahead in the first half when David McGoldrick's close-range shot was saved by Vicente Guaita in the Palace goal.

But Lundstram, who had set up that chance, gave them the lead early in the second half as he smashed in from 10 yards after Luke Freeman's shot was stopped.

A frustrated Palace were limited to very little as Wilfried Zaha - making his first start of the season after a proposed summer move away fell through - was shackled by an industrious Blades defence.

The victory will be a fillip for Wilder, who out-foxed Palace boss Roy Hodgson with a 3-5-2 formation that continues to excel at both ends of the pitch.

Wilder, a former Sheffield United player, says he won't compromise his style as he seeks to establish his side in the top flight but the early signs are that he might not need to.

Wilder's team poses new problems for Palace

The last time Bramall Lane hosted Premier League football, it was for a defeat by Wigan in the pouring rain, which consigned the Blades to the Championship on the last day of the 2006-07 season.

That eventually led to a six-year stay in League One - but bathed in warm sunshine, Wilder's team were boosted by their noisy supporters, who repeatedly sang about their journey to the Premier League under the former Blades ballboy, who they claim as "one of our own".

Sheffield United Chris Wilder praises his side's 'full-blooded & committed' performance

Despite an early shot for Christian Benteke, which was saved by Dean Henderson, the hosts were on top for most of the first half but were let down by poor finishing as John Fleck and McGoldrick wasted chances.

United also claimed a penalty as Enda Stevens had his effort blocked by Joel Ward, but the referee David Coote waved appeals away.

Their profligacy ended when Luke Freeman, who replaced the injured Fleck in the first half, burst down the left and had his shot saved.

But the powerful Lundstram was on hand to send Bramall Lane into raptures.

Oli McBurnie also headed over as Wilder's team pushed for a second, but marshalled by the excellent Oliver Norwood in midfield, they did not let control of the game slip and after holding on towards the end, sent their fans home with belief it could be a memorable season.

Palace can't find a plan B

Palace were the sixth-best team in the Premier League away from home last season, based on counter-attacking style which suited some of their more skilful players such as Zaha and Andros Townsend.

But they were unable to impose themselves in this encounter and appeared not to have to the answers to United's guile and energy.

Zaha was their most dangerous outlet, but when he was well marshalled by the Blades defence, they did not appear to have another strategy.

Crystal Palace boss fears his side will have a slow start after losing to Sheffield United

At times, the hosts' tackling drew the ire of Zaha, who was also taunted by the Bramall Lane crowd for what they considered theatrical diving.

Three Sheffield United players were booked, including George Baldock, who was perhaps fortunate not to receive a straight red for a nasty tackle on James McCarthy.

Yet only a deflected shot from Townsend threatened the United goal in the second half, and Hodgson was left a passive figure as his side pressed in vain for an equaliser.

Having earned a 0-0 draw with Everton last weekend, Palace are now winless and goalless in their opening two games.

Man of the match - Oliver Norwood (Sheff Utd)

Blades skipper Oliver Norwood was the creative heartbeat of Sheffield United's midfield and made five key passes during his side's win
Sheffield United captain Oliver Norwood was the creative heartbeat of the midfield and made five key passes during their win

'A proper Sheffield United performance' - what the managers said

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder said: "We wanted a special atmosphere and we certainly got that and the players rose to the occasion.

"We have got that enthusiasm, if anyone comes here they have to do a lot of good things to get a result but I thought we were good and we nicked a tight game - it was a great effort from everybody to gain the three points.

"We have to play quicker and be a bit more streetwise but the players got up to the speed of the game and it was a proper Sheffield United performance.

"The players give me everything day in day out and they've given me two honest performances from two games. We are underdogs and we do have to have that siege mentality."

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: "I didn't think we were good enough. In the first half we looked OK, but in the second half when they scored we were nowhere near good enough.

"Sometimes people do not play well, they are not robots or chess pieces. We hardly had a strike at goal in the second half and that is inadmissible, the quality of the players we have is far better than we showed in the second half."

Wilder and Pep - the stats

  • Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Chris Wilder has won 77 league matches as Sheffield United boss - only Pep Guardiola, with 88 victories, has won more in that time among managers in England's top four divisions.
  • The Blades registered their first top-flight win over Crystal Palace since April 1973. That ended a run of six top-flight games without a win against the Eagles.
  • For a third time in the past four seasons, Palace have failed to win either of their opening two Premier League games while also failing to score (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2019-20).
  • Palace have won only one of their past 11 Premier League matches in August, failing to score in eight of those games.
  • United became the first team since Norwich City in April 2012 to name a fully British and Irish starting XI in consecutive Premier League games.
  • Wilder is the first manager to name a fully British/Irish starting XI in his first two Premier League matches since Gary Megson did so in 1995 with Norwich City.
  • Phil Jagielka made his first Premier League appearance for Sheffield United since 13 May 2007 - 4,480 days ago. Only Wayne Rooney for Everton has had a bigger gap in appearances for a team in Premier League history (4,837 days between May 2004 and August 2017).

What's next?

Sheffield United host Leicester City on Saturday (15:00 BST) while Crystal Palace are at Manchester United at the same time.


Sheff Utd

  • 1Henderson
  • 6Basham
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2BaldockBooked at 74mins
  • 7LundstramBooked at 7mins
  • 16Norwood
  • 4FleckSubstituted forFreemanat 29'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 3Stevens
  • 17McGoldrickSubstituted forJagielkaat 89'minutes
  • 11RobinsonSubstituted forMcBurnieat 56'minutes


  • 8Freeman
  • 9McBurnie
  • 10Sharp
  • 15Jagielka
  • 23Osborn
  • 25Moore
  • 27Besic

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 2Ward
  • 34Kelly
  • 6Dann
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 10TownsendSubstituted forMcCarthyat 70'minutesBooked at 74mins
  • 18McArthurSubstituted forWickhamat 82'minutes
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 7MeyerSubstituted forSchluppat 65'minutes
  • 17Benteke
  • 11Zaha


  • 8Kouyaté
  • 9J Ayew
  • 13Hennessey
  • 15Schlupp
  • 21Wickham
  • 22McCarthy
  • 24Cahill
David Coote

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Crystal Palace 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Crystal Palace 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

  4. Post update

    Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).

  6. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Patrick van Aanholt.

  7. Post update

    James McCarthy (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Phil Jagielka replaces David McGoldrick.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

  11. Post update

    Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).

  13. Post update

    George Baldock (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Booking

    Luke Freeman (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Luke Freeman (Sheffield United).

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross following a set piece situation.

  18. Post update

    Hand ball by Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Connor Wickham replaces James McArthur.

  20. Post update

    Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


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3Man City21107254
7Sheff Utd21102114
9Man Utd11004043
14Crystal Palace201101-11
16West Ham201116-51
17Aston Villa200225-30
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