Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United0West HamWest Ham United1

Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham United: Sebastien Haller's superb strike consigns hosts to another defeat

By Steven SutcliffeBBC Sport
Sebastien Haller
Sebastien Haller had not scored a top-flight goal from outside the penalty area in his previous 189 Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Premier League appearances

Sebastien Haller's superb strike consigned winless Sheffield United to another Premier League defeat as West Ham moved into the top half of the table.

The Blades, who have lost eight of their nine fixtures this term, stay bottom of the table while West Ham climb to eighth.

Chris Wilder's side had started brightly and created several early openings but the Hammers took control as the hosts faded as an attacking force.

Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek both had opportunities to score before Haller's powerful 20-yard drive found the top-right corner.

Declan Rice then headed against the crossbar as the visitors sought to press home their advantage.

Sheffield United did rally, with Oli McBurnie seeing a left-foot effort cannon back off the crossbar, but they are still yet to score in open play at Bramall Lane this season.

"We have earned the right to be here and have to do some things pretty quickly to stay in it and protect our status as a Premier League club," said Wilder, whose side were ninth at the same stage last term.

"There's a long way to go. Without being disrespectful to some of the places this football club has had to go, it is no good taking a backwards step and feeling sorry for yourself."

Improving Blades fall short

Huge challenge to protect Premier League status - Wilder

With a solitary point on the board, Sheffield United began this contest with the joint-lowest points tally at this stage of a Premier League season and without a victory since 11 July.

However, while aspects of this performance will have pleased manager Wilder, they again came down on the wrong side of a tight contest.

Six of the Blades' eight defeats this season have been by a margin of one goal and on another occasion they might have been a couple of goals ahead before West Ham hit their stride.

John Egan's searching pass provided George Baldock with a third-minute chance to open the scoring but the full-back was unable to beat Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski at the near post.

Fabianski then parried McBurnie's rising half volley to safety during a forceful start by the Blades.

But after failing to unlock the door their two main failings - a lack of goals and an inability keep a clean sheet - proved the difference again.

While there were signs that they are beginning to cope without the injured and influential Jack O'Connell in their defence - restricting the Hammers to just three shots on target - they were punished for a momentary lapse of concentration that allowed Haller the freedom to get his shot away under little pressure.

West Ham building momentum

West Ham must keep feet on ground - David Moyes

After coming through a tricky opening spell in the game, Hammers boss David Moyes will have been pleased by the way his improving side grew in stature and confidence.

West Ham have now lost just once in their past seven outings and always looked capable of scoring despite the continued absence of Michail Antonio with a hamstring injury.

Galvanised by England midfielder Rice and his Czech counterpart Soucek, the visitors established control and looked a threat down both flanks.

Both were key in snuffing out Sheffield United's early spark and while it is not their forte, both will also think they could have capped fine performances with a goal.

While Rice was unfortunate after expertly meeting Aaron Cresswell's cross from the left, Soucek somehow missed the target from five yards after a lovely cushioned header into his path from Haller.

Wing-back Arthur Masuaku's driving runs were another feature of their play and his charge inside began the move that saw Coufal force a fine save from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

'I am there to lead them' - what they said

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "It wasn't the system - it was players' confidence and decision-making at key times that decided the result. It's going to be that way when you have picked up one point from nine games.

"We'll go again, we have to. I am there to lead them and I certainly enjoy that challenge."

West Ham boss David Moyes, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "We were up against a team fighting hard. Clean sheets always give you a chance of winning games.

"We are keeping our feet on the ground. We know we are improving and doing a lot of good things. The one thing I will say is you tend to look at the table after 10 games and we have had a good start. I'd like to think we can get better. We are working hard every day.

"There might be periods in the season where we have to change system again. I want us to be flexible."

Blades equal unwanted record - the stats

  • Sheffield United have become the third side in Premier League history to pick up just one point (or fewer) from their opening nine games in a season, after Manchester City in 1995-96 and Sheffield Wednesday in 1999-00 (both sides relegated).
  • West Ham are the first London side to win away at Sheffield United in the Premier League since Chelsea in October 2006 - sides from the capital had been winless in 11 such trips to Bramall Lane (D1 L10).
  • Sheffield United have gone 13 consecutive matches without a victory across all competitions for the first time since October 2013 (also 13).
  • West Ham are unbeaten in their past 12 Premier League games against sides starting the day bottom, winning their past five in a row by an aggregate score of 14-4.
  • Sebastien Haller (six) has scored at least twice as many goals as any other West Ham player in all competitions this season.

What's next?

Sheffield United travel to West Bromwich Albion in their next Premier League game on Saturday, 28 November (20:00 GMT).

West Ham host Aston Villa in their next Premier League game on Monday, 30 November (20:00)

Player of the match

RiceDeclan Rice

with an average of 8.05

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number24Player nameBrewster
    Average rating

    4.33

  2. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
    Average rating

    4.32

  3. Squad number22Player nameAmpadu
    Average rating

    4.14

  4. Squad number12Player nameEgan
    Average rating

    4.07

  5. Squad number2Player nameBaldock
    Average rating

    4.04

  6. Squad number6Player nameBasham
    Average rating

    4.04

  7. Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrick
    Average rating

    4.03

  8. Squad number4Player nameFleck
    Average rating

    3.94

  9. Squad number8Player nameBerge
    Average rating

    3.93

  10. Squad number16Player nameNorwood
    Average rating

    3.88

  11. Squad number9Player nameMcBurnie
    Average rating

    3.87

  12. Squad number19Player nameRobinson
    Average rating

    3.76

  13. Squad number13Player nameLowe
    Average rating

    3.75

  14. Squad number7Player nameLundstram
    Average rating

    3.68

West Ham United

  1. Squad number41Player nameRice
    Average rating

    8.05

  2. Squad number21Player nameOgbonna
    Average rating

    7.74

  3. Squad number3Player nameCresswell
    Average rating

    7.48

  4. Squad number5Player nameCoufal
    Average rating

    7.45

  5. Squad number1Player nameFabianski
    Average rating

    7.44

  6. Squad number22Player nameHaller
    Average rating

    7.44

  7. Squad number20Player nameBowen
    Average rating

    7.42

  8. Squad number28Player nameSoucek
    Average rating

    7.34

  9. Squad number26Player nameMasuaku
    Average rating

    7.28

  10. Squad number4Player nameBalbuena
    Average rating

    7.11

  11. Squad number18Player nameFornals
    Average rating

    7.04

  12. Squad number10Player nameLanzini
    Average rating

    6.76

  13. Squad number16Player nameNoble
    Average rating

    6.56

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 6BashamSubstituted forLundstramat 76'minutes
  • 12Egan
  • 22AmpaduSubstituted forRobinsonat 62'minutes
  • 2Baldock
  • 8Berge
  • 16NorwoodSubstituted forBrewsterat 65'minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 13Lowe
  • 9McBurnie
  • 17McGoldrick

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 14Burke
  • 15Jagielka
  • 19Robinson
  • 21Verrips
  • 23Osborn
  • 24Brewster

West Ham

  • 1Fabianski
  • 4Balbuena
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 5Coufal
  • 41Rice
  • 28Soucek
  • 26Masuaku
  • 20BowenSubstituted forNobleat 90+2'minutes
  • 22Haller
  • 18FornalsSubstituted forLanziniat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Benrahma
  • 10Lanzini
  • 11Snodgrass
  • 16Noble
  • 23Diop
  • 31Johnson
  • 35Randolph
Referee:
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home9
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 0, West Ham United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, West Ham United 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John Lundstram (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Oliver McBurnie.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United).

  5. Post update

    Max Lowe (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Max Lowe.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Mark Noble replaces Jarrod Bowen.

  8. Post update

    Declan Rice (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).

  10. Post update

    Offside, West Ham United. Lukasz Fabianski tries a through ball, but Sébastien Haller is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Sheffield United. John Lundstram tries a through ball, but Rhian Brewster is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Fabián Balbuena (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United).

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sébastien Haller (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Vladimir Coufal.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sébastien Haller.

  16. Post update

    Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini replaces Pablo Fornals.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. John Lundstram replaces Chris Basham.

  20. Post update

    Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Rhian Brewster.

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

364 comments