Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United3ChelseaChelsea0

Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea: Blades move into top six

By Joe BradshawBBC Sport
David McGoldrick
David McGoldrick scored in the FA Cup defeat against Arsenal in June but finally broke his Premier League duck at the 26th attempt

Sheffield United continued their push for European qualification as they moved into the Premier League's top six with a convincing win over in-form Chelsea at Bramall Lane.

David McGoldrick's first Premier League goal opened the scoring, pouncing after Kepa Arrizabalaga had saved brilliantly from a deflected Oli McBurnie shot in the 18th minute.

Chelsea's defence was shaky throughout and they were ruthlessly punished just 15 minutes later when Enda Stevens crossed and McBurnie was left completely unmarked in the six-yard box to power home a simple header.

The damage was completed when McGoldrick capitalised on a dreadful defensive mix-up to plunder his second late in the second half.

The visitors had scored the most number of away goals in the Premier League before this match, including three at Crystal Palace in midweek, but never looked like adding to their tally.

Manager Chris Wilder has drawn many plaudits this season for Sheffield United's organisation and team ethic, their desire to keep the ball out of their net a telling contrast to the fragility of their illustrious visitors.

If Leicester City and Manchester United win their games in hand against Bournemouth and Southampton respectively, Champions League-chasing Chelsea, currently third, could find themselves in fifth when next in action against Norwich on Tuesday.

Reward at last for McGoldrick

McGoldrick was named Sheffield United's player of the year in 2019 as he scored 15 times in their successful promotion campaign, but until now has had no luck in front of goal in the Premier League.

He will, however, be a very popular goalscorer among Blades fans who appreciate the hunger and work ethic he brings to every performance.

And, despite that lack of goals, his sharpness was in evidence when he pounced midway through the first half.

Mason Mount lost the ball for Chelsea, Kepa somehow kept out McBurnie's deflected volley but McGoldrick followed up to lash home the opening goal.

McGoldrick one of the best I've worked with - Wilder

He then got a well-deserved second with 13 minutes to go as his driving run created an opening and he was in the right place to bury the loose ball.

His strike partner McBurnie had scored United's second with a powerful header before half-time and substitute Lys Mousset should have made it four when he raced clear but clipped past the post.

This was United's 10th home win of an outstanding season and Wilder's side are a good bet to secure European football at Bramall Lane for the first time in their 130-year history.

No defence for Chelsea

Chelsea dejected
Chelsea had 76% possession in this match but lost 3-0 - the biggest margin of defeat for a team to hold as much as 76% possession in a Premier League game since 2003-04

Chelsea had plundered 36 goals in their 17 matches away from Stamford Bridge in 2019/20 and Christian Pulisic, Willian and Olivier Giroud were in excellent form coming into this game.

But their leaky defence has caused them problems throughout this season and once again it was far too easy for their opponents to score.

After Mount had failed to clear in the run-up to the opening goal, for the second, Willian allowed Stevens to escape down the left before centre-backs Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma went missing and McBurnie capitalised.

Both Christensen and Mount were replaced at half-time as manager Frank Lampard tried to wrest back control of the game.

Giroud came off the bench as well but Sheffield United boast the Premier League's third meanest defence and they comfortably kept Chelsea at arm's length throughout the second half.

Indeed, it was another horrible error from the Chelsea backline that led to the home side's third, substitute Antonio Rudiger screwing a clearance into the path of McGoldrick.

Lampard's team have now shipped 49 goals this season, compared with the 27 conceded by title winners Liverpool.

After Norwich at home, Chelsea travel to Anfield to face the champions before wrapping up the season at home to fellow European hopefuls Wolves.

It could be a very tight finish for the Champions League spots.

Premier League top six

Man of the Match - David McGoldrick (Sheffield United)

David McGoldrick
David McGoldrick scored with his 42nd and 43rd shots at goal in the Premier League this season

Home comforts for the Blades - the stats

  • Sheffield United have won four consecutive home top-flight matches for the first time since March 1991, when they had a run of six consecutive wins at Bramall Lane under Dave Bassett
  • Chelsea have lost 11 Premier League games this season, at least two more than any other team currently in the top-eight of the division and their most in a season since 2015-16 (12)
  • Sheffield United registered their biggest victory over Chelsea since April 1967, when they also won 3-0 at home against the Blues in a top-flight meeting
  • This was Chelsea's heaviest Premier League defeat since Frank Lampard's first game in charge against Manchester United, when the Blues were beaten 4-0
  • McGoldrick and McBurnie scored for Sheffield United, only the second time two players whose surnames start with "Mc" have scored for a team in a Premier League game along with Wigan Athletic against West Brom in May 2013, who saw Callum McManaman and James McArthur on the scoresheet that day
  • Chelsea have shipped 33 away Premier League goals this season, their joint-most in a season (also 33 in 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1996-97)
  • After a run of eight consecutive Premier League matches scoring at least two goals in each match, Chelsea failed to score for the first time since losing 2-0 to Man Utd in February
  • Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has conceded 42 Premier League goals this season - the only Blues keeper to concede more goals in a single season is Dmitri Kharine in 1993-94 (48)

'Not good enough' - what they said

'Better than us in every way' - what they said

Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick: "Thirty-five games in and the table doesn't lie. That was us at our best today. I said in the press I wasn't concerned that I hadn't scored. The goals were coming as I have had chances. I hope there is many more to come as it means the world to me."

Every Chelsea player below par - Lampard on defeat

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard: "They were better than us physically, in the mind and with the ball. So you lose the game. They were stronger than us. You feel and hear every noise and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices. They are a good team. If you come here and perform below par this is what will happen.

"I am concerned with how we performed. I learned a lot today. We need to put that to bed and fight for the top four."

What's next?

Sheffield United could do Chelsea a favour when they play fourth-placed Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Thursday (18:00 BST) while before that the Blues are at home to Norwich on Tuesday (20:15).


Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Henderson
  • 6BashamSubstituted forJagielkaat 68'minutes
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2BaldockBooked at 3mins
  • 32BergeSubstituted forLundstramat 63'minutes
  • 16Norwood
  • 23Osborn
  • 3Stevens
  • 9McBurnieSubstituted forMoussetat 63'minutes
  • 17McGoldrick


  • 7Lundstram
  • 10Sharp
  • 15Jagielka
  • 18Freeman
  • 19Robinson
  • 22Mousset
  • 25Moore
  • 26Rodwell
  • 30Zivkovic


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 24JamesSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 75'minutes
  • 4ChristensenSubstituted forRüdigerat 45'minutes
  • 15Zouma
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 8BarkleySubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 78'minutes
  • 5Jorginho
  • 19MountSubstituted forAlonsoat 45'minutes
  • 10Willian
  • 9Abraham
  • 22PulisicSubstituted forGiroudat 66'minutes


  • 2Rüdiger
  • 3Alonso
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 13Caballero
  • 17Kovacic
  • 18Giroud
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 64Bate
Andre Marriner

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamChelsea
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 3, Chelsea 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 3, Chelsea 0.

  3. Post update

    Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by John Lundstram.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ben Osborn.

  7. Post update

    Jorginho (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Callum Hudson-Odoi with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by David McGoldrick.

  12. Post update

    Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Ben Osborn (Sheffield United).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by David McGoldrick following a fast break.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by César Azpilicueta with a cross.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Ross Barkley.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Sheffield United 3, Chelsea 0. David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a fast break.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Willian with a cross following a set piece situation.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi replaces Reece James.

  20. Post update

    Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.


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5Man Utd341610859332658
6Sheff Utd35141293833554
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