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Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: Maupay scores on Brighton return against Sheff Utd

Sheffield United v Brighton
Brighton have come from behind to draw their last three Premier League games

Sheffield United are in a "good place" after reaching 40 points with 11 games to go but want to achieve much more this season, says boss Chris Wilder.

The Blades, who have been exceptional in their first season since winning promotion from the Championship, suffered a rare day of frustration as they were held at home by lowly Brighton in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate.

Yet the point was still enough to take them to the magic number that is supposedly needed to guarantee Premier League survival.

With 33 point still to play for, Wilder wants his side - currently sixth in the table - to kick on in the hunt to qualify for a place in Europe.

"We're going to be a Premier League team next season. It's an enormous achievement," said Wilder.

"But we want more. We've had bad days, but we've taken the game to the opposition wherever we've been.

"This club is in good shape, we're in a good place, and the supporters should really know that and appreciate what's going off in front of their eyes."

Enda Stevens' rasping finish put the Blades in control against Brighton but the lead was short-lived as Neal Maupay marked his return to the starting line-up with a headed equaliser.

Lewis Dunk missed a glorious chance to put the visitors ahead after the Blades lost Stevens to injury.

John Fleck, who signed a new Sheffield United contract until 2023 before kick-off, went close from distance but Brighton worked hard to secure a third successive draw.

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Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: Wilder says his side 'want more' after reaching 40 points

Forty points but will the Blades make Europe?

For Sheffield United, a League One side three years ago, to reach 40 points with more than a quarter of the season remaining is nothing short of remarkable.

The Blades have every chance of securing a top-four or top-five finish, which would rank as one of the greatest achievement of the Premier League era - yet they were unable to finish off a Brighton side battling to stay away from the bottom three.

Their first game back from the winter break appeared to be going to plan when Stevens, who was playing in League Two with Portsmouth three years ago, produced a sublime finish after Brighton could only half clear Oliver Norwood's cross.

Yet Brighton were level 193 seconds later as United, who lost Stevens to injury, struggled to reach the heights that have seen them dismantle so many teams this season.

Oli McBurnie and Fleck had chances to win it and send the Blades above Tottenham into the fifth spot, which could be enough to earn a place in next season's Champions League now that Manchester City have been banned from Uefa competitions for the next two seasons, pending an appeal.

But for now Chris Wilder's side stay sixth - level on points with Spurs.

Winless run a worry but Brighton show fight

Brighton remain without a Premier League win in 2020 - a worrying statistic as they try and keep some distance between themselves and the bottom three.

Yet for the third successive game they demonstrated they have the character for a scrap as they came from behind to take a point.

A return to goalscoring form for French forward Maupay could be critical, especially in view of Brighton's tough run.

Although they are four points above the relegation zone, six of their remaining 11 games are against Wolves (away), Arsenal (home), Leicester (away), Manchester United (home), Liverpool (home) and Manchester City (home).

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Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: Potter 'proud' after Sheffield draw

Maupay, who started the previous two games on the substitutes bench, was at his sharpest to score after Aaron Mooy's long ball forward had been flicked on - the former Brentford player's eighth league goal of the season and his first in nine top-flight appearances.

While Brighton have forgotten how to win, their last league success was on 28 December 2019, their tenacity to come back from falling behind has not been lost on boss Graham Potter.

"We came back from two goals down in our last away match [against West Ham], and came from behind again.

"The resilience of the group is fine but we have to show more quality with the ball."

Man of the match - Neal Maupay (Brighton)

Brighton forward Neal Maupay celebrates scoring against Sheffield United
The winter break appears to have done Neal Maupay a power of good as the Brighton forward took his goal smartly on his return to the starting line-up.

Seagulls make a point - the stats

  • Brighton have gained nine points from losing positions in the league this season, their most in a single Premier League campaign, overtaking the eight they recovered in games in which they fell behind last season.
  • Sheffield United have earned 40 points from their 27 Premier League games this season - the fastest they have reached the target (assuming three points for a win) in a top-flight season since the 1971-72 campaign (22 games).
  • Brighton have drawn three consecutive league games within the same season for the first time since November 2015 in the Championship.
  • Enda Stevens scored his first Premier League goal at home for Sheffield United and his first overall at Bramall Lane since April 2019.
  • Neal Maupay ended a run of 660 minutes of play and 21 shots without scoring for the Seagulls in the Premier League.

What's next?

Sheffield United are not in action next weekend as scheduled opponents Aston Villa are in the Carabao Cup final - the Blades next play on 3 March when they visit Championship side Reading in the FA Cup fifth round (20:00 GMT). Brighton host Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday (12:30 GMT).

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 1Henderson
  • 6Basham
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 32BergeSubstituted forLundstramat 81'minutes
  • 16Norwood
  • 4Fleck
  • 3StevensSubstituted forOsbornat 45'minutes
  • 9McBurnie
  • 10SharpSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 15Jagielka
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 21Verrips
  • 22Mousset
  • 23Osborn
  • 29Retsos

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 21SchelottoSubstituted forTrossardat 75'minutes
  • 15Webster
  • 4Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 33Burn
  • 24PröpperBooked at 23mins
  • 8BissoumaBooked at 10mins
  • 18Mooy
  • 7MaupaySubstituted forBernardoat 90+3'minutes
  • 17MurraySubstituted forConnollyat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Trossard
  • 13Groß
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 20March
  • 27Button
  • 30Bernardo
  • 44Connolly
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
31,888

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home12
Away2
Fouls
Home5
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bernardo replaces Neal Maupay.

Attempt blocked. Jack O'Connell (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Adam Webster.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Davy Pröpper.

Hand ball by Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Offside, Sheffield United. John Fleck tries a through ball, but George Baldock is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. John Fleck (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Baldock.

Attempt saved. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David McGoldrick with a cross.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Mat Ryan tries a through ball, but Neal Maupay is caught offside.

VAR Decision: No card change John Lundstram (Sheffield United).

Attempt missed. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jack O'Connell with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. John Lundstram replaces Sander Berge.

Offside, Sheffield United. Oliver Norwood tries a through ball, but David McGoldrick is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leandro Trossard replaces Ezequiel Schelotto.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Aaron Connolly replaces Glenn Murray.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. David McGoldrick replaces Billy Sharp.

Attempt blocked. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Basham with a headed pass.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Adam Webster.

John Fleck (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ezequiel Schelotto (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Hand ball by John Fleck (Sheffield United).

Attempt missed. John Egan (Sheffield United) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by George Baldock with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Shane Duffy.

Attempt missed. Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Aaron Mooy.

Attempt missed. John Fleck (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack O'Connell.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Ezequiel Schelotto.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Shane Duffy.

Attempt missed. Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Davy Pröpper.

Attempt missed. John Fleck (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Oliver Norwood.

Attempt missed. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Shane Duffy following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by John Egan.

Attempt blocked. Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Mooy.

Offside, Sheffield United. Billy Sharp tries a through ball, but Ben Osborn is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Ben Osborn replaces Enda Stevens because of an injury.

Second Half

Second Half begins Sheffield United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

Half Time

First Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

Attempt blocked. John Egan (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Fleck with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool26251061154676
2Man City27183668293957
3Leicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Tottenham2711794436840
6Sheff Utd27101072925440
7Man Utd2610883829938
8Burnley27114123339-637
9Wolves2681263532336
10Everton26106103438-436
11Arsenal2671363634234
12Southampton27104133448-1434
13Crystal Palace2789102432-833
14Newcastle2787122441-1731
15Brighton27610113239-728
16Bournemouth2775152643-1726
17Aston Villa2774163452-1825
18West Ham2666143045-1524
19Watford2659122440-1624
20Norwich2646162448-2418
View full Premier League table

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