Sheffield United’s playoff hopes were dealt a blow as Stoke City produced one of the narrow football results of the weekend in the Championship. It was the host’s second consecutive for the first time since November. They dominated the game but failed to get on the board before an unfortunate John Egan’s own goal gave them the lead in the 77th minute. Sheffield has failed to win in their last five away games with their playoff hopes slipping away.
Stoke’s Michael O’Neill: “We’ve come out of too many narrow games on the wrong side of a result. I felt it was always going to be a game decided by one goal. I thought we were the better team in the second half, and we deserved to win the game. There was very little in it, but it was a very good performance against a very good team. We knew we could get Josh (Tymon) out given their system and he put two or three really good deliveries into the box and in this situation, the deflection takes it past the keeper, and its one that we’ll happily take. We haven’t had enough of that this season, so we’ll definitely take it. I thought we limited the space, so I’m really pleased.”
Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom: “It was a disappointing result and the performance wasn’t what we were after either. If ever a game’s looking like a 0-0, it’s that one. Both teams didn’t have any efforts at goal, not enough from our point of view, so very disappointing. We showed a lack of quality in the final third, which didn’t allow us to create enough chances or get a foothold in the game. We weren’t good enough today, so we need to improve.”
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