Blades don’t harness pressure as Burton run out winners
The last time United took to the grass in Burton it was following promotion from League One and in the midst of a storming start to life back in the Championship. A 1-3 victory with goals from Sharp (2) and Clarke took United to the summit of the Championship table mid-November. That victory was hugely overshadowed with the injury to midfield talisman Paul Coutts who fractured his leg just before half time.
Fortunes have for both teams have changed significantly since then, Burton dropping into League One and the Blades most recently earning promotion to the top flight.
The Blades started very brightly at the Pirelli, McGoldrick had a number of great opportunities to break the deadlock in the opening exchanges. United controlled the game and played some good football with Burton not really threatening.
Billy Sharp picked up where he left off last season, and netted the opener with a powerful header following great work down the left from Enda Stevens who teed the ball up perfectly.
United looked to be cruising to a half time lead before Burton levelled from a corner with a John Brayford header which flew past Simon Moore taking a nick on the way through.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first, lots of pressure from United but little composure in the final third when it really mattered. 8 changes were made on the hour mark which saw Phil Jagielka take to the field in Sheffield United colours for the first time in 10 years on English soil.
Record signing Callum Robinson was also introduced with 15 minutes remaining and looked very lively and got the away following instantly excited. Numerous chances were spurned by the Blades in the second half with David McGoldrick also having his headed finish ruled out for offside.
The game looked to be closing up all square until Burton forward Marcus Harness, who was energetic throughout - picked the ball up 25 yards out and drilled the ball into the top corner. A goal which was applauded by Burton and Sheffield United fans a-like.
A good work-out for United against a decent and resolute Burton team. The Blades now travel to Northampton on Saturday for their next pre-season friendly.
Burton Albion 2 – 1 Sheffield United