West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sheffield United: Baggies move out of relegation zone with win

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Conor Gallagher’s goal was his first in the league in 34 games

West Bromwich Albion won for the first time this season in the Premier League to move out of the relegation zone and leave winless Sheffield United bottom of the table.

Conor Gallagher scored the game’s only goal when he drove through a crowded box early in the first half.

Kyle Bartley went close to adding a second for the hosts after the break but his header was superbly kept out by Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone twice prevented the visitors from equalising with excellent saves, keeping out ex-West Brom winger Oliver Burke’s powerful header before somehow stopping Oli McBurnie’s fierce drive.

George Baldock also had a golden opportunity to equalise but somehow bent a shot over the bar when unmarked inside the box.

The visitors threw players forward in the closing stages in a desperate attempt to rescue a point but when Lys Mousset lashed over from six yards out deep into the seven minutes of time added on, it was clear it was not gong to be the Blades’ night.

Blades battle but come up short again

Sheffield United
George Baldock missed a big chance to equalise for the Blades

Sheffield United’s latest defeat – their ninth of the season – leaves them five points adrift of safety and while there is still plenty of time to turn things round, the situation is looking increasingly bleak.

No team has stayed up in the Premier League having picked up just one point from their first 10 games and the Blades are finding both scoring and keeping out goals difficult, a combination that doesn’t bode well in a battle for survival.

They are the only side in the Premier League yet to keep a clean sheet and have scored just four goals in their 10 games, with two of those penalties.

The one piece of encouragement for Sheffield United fans was the fight their side showed towards the end of the second half, when a mixture of excellent goalkeeping by Johnstone and poor finishing denied them a point.

However, the Blades are now 13 games without a win – a run that stretches back to last season – and need to find a victory soon before their situation becomes too difficult to recover from.

Johnstone shines in crucial win

This was a nervous win for West Brom as they dropped further and further back as the second half wore on, and in truth they can count themselves lucky not to have conceded in the closing stages.

But the nerves were understandable and the psychological boost that moving out of the bottom three will provide should see them play with more confidence in future.

It has been a difficult start for the Baggies but one of the few bright spots has undoubtedly been the form of Johnstone in their goal.

He was excellent in the narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United last time out and was again a rock at the back in this game, keeping his cool and staying alert as his team-mates tired and became edgy in the closing stages.

What next?

Sheffield United host Leicester on Sunday, 6 December (14:15 GMT) while West Brom are at home to Crystal Palace at 12:00 GMT on the same day.

More to follow.

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West Bromwich Albion

  1. Squad number1Player nameJohnstone

  2. Squad number6Player nameAjayi

  3. Squad number20Player nameIvanovic

  4. Squad number5Player nameBartley

  5. Squad number2Player nameFurlong

  6. Squad number18Player nameGallagher

  7. Squad number19Player nameSawyers

  8. Squad number14Player nameTownsend

  9. Squad number12Player nameMatheus Pereira

  10. Squad number29Player nameGrant

  11. Squad number7Player nameRobinson

  1. Squad number4Player nameRobson-Kanu

  2. Squad number10Player namePhillips

  3. Squad number17Player nameKrovinovic

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale

  2. Squad number6Player nameBasham

  3. Squad number12Player nameEgan

  4. Squad number29Player nameBryan

  5. Squad number2Player nameBaldock

  6. Squad number8Player nameBerge

  7. Squad number16Player nameNorwood

  8. Squad number4Player nameFleck

  9. Squad number13Player nameLowe

  10. Squad number9Player nameMcBurnie

  11. Squad number14Player nameBurke

  1. Squad number7Player nameLundstram

  2. Squad number11Player nameMousset

  3. Squad number24Player nameBrewster

Line-ups

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 6Ajayi
  • 20IvanovicBooked at 2mins
  • 5Bartley
  • 2Furlong
  • 18Gallagher
  • 19Sawyers
  • 14TownsendSubstituted forPhillipsat 75′minutes
  • 12Costa PereiraBooked at 86mins
  • 29GrantSubstituted forKrovinovicat 75′minutes
  • 7RobinsonSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 65′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 10Phillips
  • 11Diangana
  • 16Harper
  • 17Krovinovic
  • 25Button
  • 27O’Shea

Sheff Utd

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 6Basham
  • 12EganBooked at 58mins
  • 29BryanSubstituted forLundstramat 63′minutes
  • 2Baldock
  • 8BergeBooked at 18mins
  • 16NorwoodBooked at 10minsSubstituted forBrewsterat 54′minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 13Lowe
  • 9McBurnie
  • 14BurkeSubstituted forMoussetat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 11Mousset
  • 15Jagielka
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 21Verrips
  • 23Osborn
  • 24Brewster

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