Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United1NorwichNorwich City0

Sheffield United 1-0 Norwich City: Chris Wilder on Dean Henderson's England hopes

By Ben CollinsBBC Sport
Sheff Utd 1-0 Norwich City: Chris Wilder jokes about Dean Henderson

Sheffield United's "ambitious" on-loan keeper Dean Henderson "wants to be England's number one", says Blades boss Chris Wilder after his three late saves secured a win over Norwich that boosts their Champions League hopes.

The hosts looked in control when Billy Sharp headed in his third goal in four matches after starting only his seventh league game of the season.

But with 13 minutes left Henderson had to dive bravely at the feet of Mario Vrancic to keep out a Ben Godfrey header and then blocked the rebound.

The Manchester United loanee, who is yet to make his senior debut for England, then kept out a Jamal Lewis volley as the Blades made it 10 points out of 12 to go sixth in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old was an unused substitute for England's Euro 2020 qualifying defeat by the Czech Republic last October.

Gareth Southgate's side have friendlies against Italy and Denmark on 27 and 31 March.

"He's got enormous enthusiasm and ambition," said Wilder. "He wants to be England's number one and, if he keeps playing the way he is, it gives him a great opportunity.

"I should imagine he'll be in the next England squad. He made some really important saves for us and we're delighted to have him."

While the Blades are now two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who play on Sunday, the defeat leaves Norwich still six points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

The Canaries claimed their first win in five league games against Leicester last Friday before knocking Tottenham out of the FA Cup in midweek, but they now have just nine games to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Henderson shows England class

Dean Henderson celebrates after making a triple save against Norwich
Dean Henderson has kept 10 clean sheets in his 27 Premier League games this season

Both clubs returned to the Premier League this season after Norwich edged the Yorkshire club to the Championship title.

While both sides have kept faith with the playing style and many of the players that got them promoted, they have had contrasting fortunes in the top flight.

The Blades have been this season's surprise package in the Premier League, helped in no small part by the form of Henderson, who also spent last term on loan at Bramall Lane.

The former England Under-21 keeper had no opportunity to show his England class against the Canaries until his late interventions.

It seemed Norwich were destined to equalise when substitute Vrancic slid in as Godfrey headed goalwards from a corner but Henderson saved the initial effort then showed quick reflexes to palm the ball away as the prone Bosnia midfielder nudged the rebound towards the net with his knee.

A combination of Henderson and David McGoldrick blocked Josip Drmic's follow-up, then five minutes from time the keeper was at his best again to block a firmly struck volley by Lewis.

The saves ensured United held on for a deserved win, with Oli McBurnie and John Lundstram going close to adding to Sharp's goal, which came after Lundstram delivered a fine cross for the unmarked striker to head home.

Blades boss Wilder has joked the team's end-of-season trip to Magaluf is the only continental trip he has on his mind but European football looks likely for his side next season - and before then Henderson could easily be off to the Euros with England.

Same old problem for Canaries

Josip Drmic has a shot blocked on the line against Sheffield United
Josip Drmic has scored once in 14 Premier League appearances - all as a substitute

With 15 games left and Norwich six points from safety, boss Daniel Farke has said it would take "maybe a miracle" to avoid relegation.

They picked up four points from their next five games thanks to last Friday's win over Leicester, and kept the feel-good factor going as 9,000 travelling fans watched them knock Spurs out of the FA Cup on penalties.

Farke reverted to the side that started the Leicester win and the Canaries had a good chance to open the scoring when Teemu Pukki volleyed against the outside of the post from close range following an early corner.

But it was the same old problem for Norwich as they continued to produce nice passing moves and enjoy the majority of possession without creating enough chances.

The introduction of Swiss striker Drmic for Todd Cantwell at half-time saw them go more direct in the second half and that led to the late chances.

It suggested the Norfolk side might be wise to continue that more robust approach in a bid to preserve their top-flight status with a late run of positive results.

Man of the match - Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)

Dean Henderson makes a save against Norwich
The home fans were chanting "England's number one" after Henderson somehow kept the ball out during a goal-mouth scramble that featured four of Norwich's five shots on target in the game

'It's dramatic and tragic' - what they said

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: "The wheels haven't fallen off again today. I don't know if they are going to in the future but they're showing no signs of it at the moment. It was a gritty performance, we just felt we were a bit better than them in both boxes.

"They played the second half with nothing to lose, a dangerous shape, and caused us a few problems. Thankfully my goalkeeper's made a couple of saves.

"Billy Sharp didn't play a lot of football before Christmas but understood there would be an opportunity for him and he kept training well. He looked after himself and he's reaping the rewards."

Sheffield United 1-0 Norwich City: Daniel Farke urges team not to 'lose nerve'

Norwich manager Daniel Farke: "We should have been in the lead after Teemu's shot. Then there were 20 minutes when they put a lot of pressure on us and we reacted the wrong way. We sat deeper and deeper, and that's exactly what you can't do against Sheffield United.

"We showed great character in the second half and I still can't explain how the ball didn't go in during that situation. It's dramatic and tragic for the lads, because they tried everything.

"If there was an equaliser in the second half everyone would say 'great point away', especially after this week. It's a big setback in the fight to stay in this league but it's also important not to lose nerve and to stay calm."

Blades looking Sharp - the stats

  • Sheffield United have won home and away against Norwich in a single league season for the first time since 1938-39 in the second tier.
  • United have lost just two of their last 11 Premier League home games (W6, D3), winning two of their last three.
  • Billy Sharp has netted twice in his last three Premier League games after scoring just once in his first 17.
  • Sharp has scored four goals in his last three league appearances against Norwich, including in each of his last two at Bramall Lane.
  • Norwich have won fewer away points in the Premier League this season than any other side (six).

What's next?

Sheffield United are away to Newcastle in the Premier League next Saturday while Norwich host Southampton (both 15:00 GMT).


Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Henderson
  • 6Basham
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 7Lundstram
  • 16Norwood
  • 4Fleck
  • 3StevensSubstituted forOsbornat 61'minutes
  • 9McBurnieSubstituted forBergeat 90'minutes
  • 10SharpSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 71'minutes


  • 15Jagielka
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 21Verrips
  • 22Mousset
  • 23Osborn
  • 29Retsos
  • 32Berge


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 4Godfrey
  • 12Lewis
  • 27TetteySubstituted forVrancicat 66'minutes
  • 23McLean
  • 17Buendía
  • 25DudaSubstituted forIdahat 87'minutes
  • 14CantwellSubstituted forDrmicat 45'minutes
  • 22Pukki


  • 6Zimmermann
  • 7Rupp
  • 8Vrancic
  • 18Stiepermann
  • 20Drmic
  • 33McGovern
  • 35Idah
Simon Hooper

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamNorwich
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Norwich City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Norwich City 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  4. Post update

    Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Teemu Pukki (Norwich City).

  7. Post update

    Chris Basham (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Sander Berge replaces Oliver McBurnie because of an injury.

  9. Post update

    Grant Hanley (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Adam Idah replaces Ondrej Duda.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Post update

    Mario Vrancic (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Teemu Pukki (Norwich City).

  16. Post update

    Ben Osborn (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Norwich City. Grant Hanley tries a through ball, but Josip Drmic is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Grant Hanley (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).

  20. Post update

    Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


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