Sheffield United’s wait for a first Premier League win of the season was extended to nine games on Sunday afternoon, as West Ham earned a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane.
Both sides squandered presentable chances in a lively first half as West Ham grew into the match after a bright start from the hosts.
Sebastien Haller broke the deadlock ten minutes into the second half, thrashing a shot with vim and venom into the top corner; the newly capped Ivory Coast international becoming the first West Ham player since Sir Geoff Hurst in 1968 to score a top flight winner at Bramall Lane.
Each side hit the crossbar within a matter of minutes in the final 15 minutes or so, but West Ham ultimately held on to secure their fourth victory of the league campaign.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 6/10 – Couldn’t do too much about the opening goal and made a number of important stops.
Chris Basham (CB) – 5/10 – Got forward on the overlap less and less as the match wore on, before being replaced as Sheffield United went all out with four at the back to end the match.
John Egan (CB) – 6/10 – Enjoyed his battle with Haller, which he got the better of for much of the game…aside from the goal.
Ethan Ampadu (CB) – 6/10 – Didn’t look out of place in a rare start at the back – his third of the Premier League season, plus two in a midfield berth – before limping off on the hour mark.
George Baldock (RWB) – 6/10 – Sheffield United’s brightest moments came down the right hand side, with Baldock inevitably involved in the move.
Sander Berge (CM) – 5/10 – Found himself in space high and wide down the right but couldn’t crack open West Ham’s defence.
Oliver Norwood (CM) – 5/10 – Kept his passing simple but couldn’t exert a real influence on proceedings before being sacrificed for a striker in the second half.
John Fleck (CM) – 5/10 – Fleck was competitive on his return from injury, but showed signs of rust.
Max Lowe (LWB) – 4/10 – Skirted on the peripheries of the contest and wasn’t able to pick out a teammate with one of his crosses.
Oliver McBurnie (ST) – 4/10 – Couldn’t find the corner with a gilt-edged chance early in the first half, and battered the bar after the interval as his goalless streak continues.
David McGoldrick (ST) – 4/10 – Beaten in the air all too often, and yet another game without a goal.
Jack Robinson (CB) – 6/10
Rhian Brewster (ST) – 6/10
John Lundstram (CM) – N/A
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 8/10 – Made a flurry of crucial saves while Sheffield United were on top in the first half.
Fabian Balbuena (CB) – 6/10 – Looked largely untroubled by Sheffield United’s similarly immobile frontline.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB) – 9/10 – Marshalled an ever more resilient West Ham backline with an impressive authority.
Aaron Cresswell (CB) – 7/10 – Struggled to begin with as the Sheffield United attacks were consistently funnelled his way, but improved as the game went on.
Vladimir Coufal (RWB) – 8/10 – Never passed up the opportunity to bomb forward, much more solid than his teammate on the opposite flank.
Declan Rice (CM) – 8/10 – Mopped up any loose balls as he hung back a bit deeper than his midfield partner, clipping the bar from a corner in the second half.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 7/10 – Spurned a glorious chance in the first half having made his signature run into the box.
Arthur Masuaku (LWB) – 5/10 – Lived up to every preconception about him: offered a threat in attack but shaky going the other way.
Jarrod Bowen (RW) – 6/10 – Made the wrong decision on a number of occasions in the first half but continued to plough up and down the right flank throughout.
Sebastien Haller (ST) – 7/10 – Showed flashes of his talent with a silky touch here, a nice turn there before ripping in an impressive opening goal – but stabbed a golden chance wide to more accurately reflect his time in east London.
Pablo Fornals (LW) – 6/10 – Peppered the game with brief glimpses of guile without mounting any sustained period of danger.
Manuel Lanzini (LW) – 6/10
Mark Noble (CM) – N/A