The Warm Down: Blades triumphant in the
FA Cup fifth round
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Billy Sharp fired the Blades into the quarter finals of the FA Cup, after scoring Sheffield United’s only goal of the game from the penalty spot. The Blades took the lead in the 66th minute after a penalty was awarded to them through a VAR check of a handball. Bristol City defender Alfie Mawson looked like he’d blocked McGoldrick’s shot from going in with his arm, and after a thorough check, referee Robert Jones not only gave the penalty, but sent him off.

A game where Sheffield United really dominated the proceedings, and yet just the one goal to show for it. Early on in the game Max Lowe hit the crossbar, after brilliant play saw him go through on goal. However, the ball was bobbling, and he managed to get to far under it as he attempted to hit it over O’Leary and was unfortunate to see it come off the crossbar.

It’s been a strange old season for Chris Wilder’s men. With them only recording their first win of the season earlier in January, against Bristol City’s local rivals, Bristol Rovers. That victory has propelled the Blades forward, with them picking up some form. With them winning six of the last nine games.

Cup runs

A good cup run can go a long way for a club in Sheffield United’s position. The Blades sit rock bottom of the Premier League and looked down and out before the turn of the new year, with the team lacking confidence and only having two points at the time.

The Blades faced Bristol Rovers, after a poor performance away at Selhurst Park, saw them lose 2-0 to Crystal Palace. A win away to League One opposition was essential to kick-start the Blades season again and to get their first competitive victory since beating Chelsea 3-0 at home last season.

Fortunately for Sheffield united, they won 3-2 after goals from Burke Bogle, and an own goal saw them progress into the fourth round to face Plymouth Argyle at home who are also in League One. After seeing them off with a 2-1 win, The Blades then faced Bristol City, who they beat 1-0 to progress into the quarter final. Sheffield United will find out who they face later in tonight’s draw. 

Flourishing Blades

Regardless of their league position, Sheffield United have had some newly injected confidence within the side, which stemmed from their ongoing FA Cup run. Due to many injuries and missing players within the squad, manager Chris Wilder has often had to change the line-up, giving many chances to different players this season.

In light of the Blades good bit of form recently, a lot of the players have been playing brilliant. Billy Sharp has now scored four goals in the last four weeks in all competitions, with all four goals being match winners. Whilst further down the pitch, Jayden Bogle has been absolutely outstanding for the Blades scoring on his Premier League debut against Brighton midway through December.

David McGoldrick is having an incredible season for the Blades, seeming to be the standout player this season for his hard work on and off the ball. More recently a player whose form has seriously picked up is Ethan Ampadu, who seems to be improving and becoming a rock at the back for Sheffield United every game since the New Year.

Young prospects

Sheffield United recently have brought in a few of their academy players into the matchday squads, due to a very injury struck season, whilst also investing in a lot of younger players in the summer. Rhian Brewster being the one most know, due to his record transfer to the Blades in the summer. However, it’s not worked out for him yet as he’s yet to contribute to a goal for the club and looks out of touch at the moment.

A few of the younger players for Sheffield United’s academy have been selected, such as the exciting prospect of 16-year-old Antwoine Hackford, who made an appearance in the Blades 2-0 away loss at Crystal Palace. With Hackford being the only academy player to make an appearance, he certainly isn’t the only one to be in the matchday squad.

Other exciting academy prospects who’ve made the squads include, Kyron Gordon, who was linked with a move away from the Blades to Liverpool. Ndiaye who made the bench against Plymouth and West Brom, and Zak Brunt, who also made the bench against West Brom. Another extremely exciting academy player would be Hassan Ayari, who is yet to be in the Blades matchday squads, however he is definitely a player to watch for the future.