Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United1BurnleyBurnley0

Sheffield United 1-0 Burnley: David McGoldrick scores as relegated Blades end on high

By Michael BeardmoreBBC Sport
David McGoldrick.
David McGoldrick's 24th-minute strike was the 1,000th goal of the Premier League season

David McGoldrick struck a fine winner as relegated Sheffield United avoided a host of unwanted records by beating Burnley to end their two-year Premier League stay with victory.

McGoldrick drove at a backpedalling Clarets defence before curling the ball past Will Norris from 25 yards to delight the Blades fans present for the first time since March 2020.

Norris was starting a second successive game after Burnley revealed their England goalkeeper Nick Pope requires knee surgery, jeopardising his Euro 2020 hopes.

McGoldrick's goal, his eighth in the league this season, ensured United averted the embarrassment of recording the lowest-ever top-flight tally as they equalled Derby's 2007-08 total of 20.

They also avoided setting a new Premier League record for defeats in a season, having matched the existing mark of 29, and equalling the most home losses, which stands at 14.

Chris Basham struck a post and McGoldrick fired another great late chance wide against a below-par Burnley side, who end the season 17th, albeit 11 points clear of the relegation places.

Will Pope injury give Ramsdale a chance?

With the game mattering little to either sides' prospects, the most salient news arrived before-kick off when it was confirmed Pope needed surgery.

That may open one of the three goalkeeping spaces alongside Jordan Pickford and Dean Henderson in England's Euro 2020 squad, and Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale will be an interested onlooker.

Few have been in the form he has over the past few months, and he impressed again when called upon here, tipping over Dwight McNeil's early effort and later spreading himself superbly to deny Chris Wood even if the offside flag was belatedly raised.

Whether Ramsdale earns a call-up from Gareth Southgate remains to be seen, but the Blades will be confident of mounting a bid for an immediate return to the top flight with the 23-year-old in goal.

United, of course, are still seeking Chris Wilder's successor, with caretaker Paul Heckingbottom's interim spell now up and former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic the frontrunner to take over.

With the majority of their squad under contract, including lively teenager Daniel Jebbison, the new manager will have plenty to work with.

Importantly, United have broken the losing habit they could not shake in the first half of the campaign - three wins in their final six games and 10 victories in all competitions since the turn of the year helping to build some momentum.

Paul Heckingbottom says he has no intention of seeking the full-time manager position

Defeat sums up mediocre season for Clarets

Burnley, in contrast, will head into the summer on the back of seven defeats in their final nine games, and they looked a tired side.

While the travails of the bottom three meant Sean Dyche's side rarely ever looked in serious danger of relegation, it has nonetheless been a fairly nondescript campaign for the Clarets.

Kept out of trouble by Wood's 12 goals and a relatively solid defence, Burnley have still recorded their lowest finish in their five seasons since returning to the Premier League.

Like the Blades, they have been hit hard by injuries and will be glad to see the back of this campaign, as Dyche alluded to after the game.

The Burnley boss has one year remaining on his contract, and with a number of positions vacant elsewhere, the Clarets' first job could well be to secure his services for a longer period.

Dyche spoke after the game about needing a stronger squad, and their reliance on players such as Wood and Pope is clear - indeed Burnley have lost all six games their first-choice keeper has missed this season.

Sean Dyche says he hopes there is more money available for transfers this summer

'We need more strength in depth' - what they said

Sheffield United caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom, speaking to BBC Sport:

"It sends the fans, the people who were here today, home with a bit more positivity about next season.

"We're in a different league, there's going to be a new man in charge, but everyone has to embrace it and look forward. Hopefully the players come back in really good shape to have a successful season.

"I've had no conversation with the club about the job. My position was clear - take the team until the end of the season. I know there have been discussions about potential managers and I just hope there's a decision soon.

"A big decision needs to be made about who is going to be in charge and keeping the squad together is going to be important, and then hitting the ground running at the start of next season."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche, speaking to BBC Sport:

"There's a frustration in the result and in the last couple of results. But I've asked an awful lot of these players and with injuries to key players - we've got our captain [Ben Mee] missing, a fantastic keeper - they are hard slots to fill when you are a club like us.

"It's been a challenging season off the pitch but a challenging season on the pitch, particularly with injuries, so there's a pinch of frustration. But you balance that with the fact we're in the Premier League.

"It's been really tough on the players so I'm not going to overly question them. We've petered out at the end but after the big win against Fulham, there's bound to be a bit of that.

"We've pulled back the layers of these players, we've asked a lot of them. Now we need some more strength in depth without a doubt."

Bramall Lane bogey for Burnley - the stats

  • United won three of their final six league matches this season (L3), and each of their past four wins were 1-0.
  • Burnley have won just one of their past 19 away league games against Sheffield United (D5 L13), triumphing 3-2 in a Championship match in December 2008.
  • The Clarets have now lost their final league game of the season in each of the past five campaigns.
  • No United player has more than two Premier League assists this season (John Lundstram, John Fleck and George Baldock all on two) - in the history of the Premier League, only one other team has gone through a season without a player reaching at least three assists, Charlton Athletic in 1998-99.

Player of the match

McGoldrickDavid McGoldrick

with an average of 7.97

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrick
    Average rating


  2. Squad number15Player nameJagielka
    Average rating


  3. Squad number38Player nameJebbison
    Average rating


  4. Squad number23Player nameOsborn
    Average rating


  5. Squad number19Player nameRobinson
    Average rating


  6. Squad number6Player nameBasham
    Average rating


  7. Squad number12Player nameEgan
    Average rating


  8. Squad number24Player nameBrewster
    Average rating


  9. Squad number3Player nameStevens
    Average rating


  10. Squad number2Player nameBaldock
    Average rating


  11. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
    Average rating


  12. Squad number4Player nameFleck
    Average rating


  13. Squad number16Player nameNorwood
    Average rating



  1. Squad number9Player nameWood
    Average rating


  2. Squad number5Player nameTarkowski
    Average rating


  3. Squad number11Player nameMcNeil
    Average rating


  4. Squad number18Player nameWestwood
    Average rating


  5. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating


  6. Squad number34Player nameDunne
    Average rating


  7. Squad number2Player nameLowton
    Average rating


  8. Squad number4Player nameCork
    Average rating


  9. Squad number7Player nameGudmundsson
    Average rating


  10. Squad number8Player nameBrownhill
    Average rating


  11. Squad number27Player nameVydra
    Average rating


  12. Squad number25Player nameNorris
    Average rating


  13. Squad number19Player nameRodriguez
    Average rating


  14. Squad number10Player nameBarnes
    Average rating



Sheff Utd

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 6BashamBooked at 65mins
  • 12Egan
  • 19Robinson
  • 2BaldockBooked at 21mins
  • 16Norwood
  • 4FleckBooked at 38mins
  • 3Stevens
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 23OsbornSubstituted forJagielkaat 83'minutes
  • 38JebbisonSubstituted forBrewsterat 79'minutes


  • 7Lundstram
  • 13Lowe
  • 15Jagielka
  • 18Foderingham
  • 20Bogle
  • 24Brewster
  • 29Bryan
  • 31Brunt
  • 41Osula


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 25Norris
  • 2Lowton
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 34DunneBooked at 88mins
  • 3Taylor
  • 7GudmundssonSubstituted forBarnesat 89'minutes
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 11McNeilSubstituted forRodriguezat 70'minutes
  • 8BrownhillSubstituted forVydraat 45'minutes
  • 9Wood


  • 10Barnes
  • 15Peacock-Farrell
  • 19Rodriguez
  • 23Pieters
  • 27Vydra
  • 31Nartey
  • 38Richardson
  • 45Driscoll-Glennon
Kevin Friend

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamBurnley
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Burnley 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Burnley 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Jack Robinson.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens tries a through ball, but David McGoldrick is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Ashley Westwood (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Jimmy Dunne.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) header from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Oliver Norwood following a set piece situation.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Ashley Barnes replaces Jóhann Gudmundsson.

  11. Booking

    Jimmy Dunne (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Jimmy Dunne (Burnley).

  13. Post update

    Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David McGoldrick.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Phil Jagielka replaces Ben Osborn.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Jimmy Dunne.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Rhian Brewster replaces Daniel Jebbison.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Jack Cork with a headed pass.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Jack Robinson.

  20. Post update

    Jimmy Dunne (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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