The warm down: The Blades keep marching on with hard-fought victory
Oliver McBurnie of Sheffield United celebrates his sides first goal with teammates after an own goal Vicente Guaita of Crystal Palace (not pictured) from during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United at Selhurst Park on February 01, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Sheffield United move within five points of the Champions League places after a resilient display against Crystal Palace today.

Vicente Guaita's own goal at the hour mark was the only goal of the game after he dropped Oliver Norwood's corner.

Sheffield United's season just keeps getting better game by game and with their next two games at home against relegation-threatened Bournemouth and Brighton, there is a real chance of the Blades maintaining a European spot.

Sander Berge impresses

Sheffield United's record signing Sander Berge was placed straight into the starting line up by Chris Wilder and the Norwegian international was welcomed with open arms by the travelling supporters.

His touch and composure on the ball was top quality throughout, adding some height and strength into the Sheffield United midfield. 

Standing at 6ft 5in, the 21-year-old made a solid start to life in the Premier League. Multiple times throughout the match he would pluck the ball out of the sky, shield the ball effectively against the opponent and then dispatch the ball in a positive manner.

At the full-time whistle he went over to the Sheffield United fans and just stood there, applauding the support, taking in the moment as the United faithful sang their new song for him.

Sander Berge of Sheffield United celebrates in front of the fans after the victory during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United at Selhurst Park on February 1, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
  • VAR used effectively

Midway through the second half Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward was shown a red card for apparent serious foul play, with a high tackle on Enda Stevens

However, after consulting the VAR monitor referee Andy Madley decided that the tackle was not worthy of a red card and he downgraded it to a yellow card.

This was a perfect example of what VAR was introduced for, the referee has made an honest mistake, he has gone to look at a replay of it, then has reviewed his decision and overturned it correctly.

Blades unbeaten in the capital

Sheffield United have travelled to all five teams that are based in London this season and have not lost a single one of them.

The Blades are building up a reputation for having a great ability to be able to grind out results, especially in away games. Dean Henderson now has the most clean sheets of any keeper in the Premier League with nine.

Today was another example of that with Wilder's men not being at there best in the first half with Wilfried Zaha causing lots of problems down the left-hand side.

George Baldock who had previously been booked for pulling back Zaha was lucky not to see another yellow card after another late challenge on Zaha in the first half.

The more the game went on, the more the visitors grew into the game and once they got the goal it was more likely they would double their lead rather than Palace finding an equaliser.

The Blades ground out another victory and now sit at the start of February in fifth place with 36 points whilst Palace are 13th, six points ahead of the relegation zone.

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