Sanden Berge continued his goal-scoring form to help Sheffield United produce one of the narrow football scores of the weekend in the Championship. Prior to their Friday night trip to Stoke, Paul Heckingbottom’s team put pressure on the league-leading Manchester City team by winning their fifth straight game. Damage was done by goals from Sander Berge and James McAtee, and even Marvin Ekpiteta’s second-half effort wasn’t enough to really give the opposition a worry. Heckingbottom’s team closed 2022 in spectacular fashion with a phenomenal run of eight wins from nine games, giving them 24 points out of a potential 27 points. However, it has been eight games without a win in the past two months for the struggling Seasiders, who are still firmly in the bottom three.
Wes Foderingham, the goalkeeper for the Blades, had to be alert to deflect Ian Poveda’s hard shot from just outside the box in the opening minutes. In the 18th minute, Norwegian Berge successfully completed a well-executed play by tucking the ball into the bottom-left corner to give the visitors the lead. The hosts’ early promise was dashed by United’s goal, and Blackpool wasted another decent opportunity when Jake Beesley had a shot blocked by Foderingham after Gary Madine did a good job of nodding the ball into his path on the six-yard box.
Blackpool should have scored the game’s second goal before halftime despite the pressure the visitors applied and their ability to trap the hosts in their defensive third. Foderingham and the Blades defence were beaten by James Husband’s floated cross, but the opportunity was lost. Just after the break, Sheffield United’s deft play allowed them to easily break down the hapless hosts, earning them a magnificent second. Four minutes after the restart, it was McAtee’s turn to calmly find the bottom corner, effectively ending the game. Ekpiteta’s comeback goal for Blackpool in the 55th minute gave the game new life.
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