Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United: Egan rescues draw for Blades at Turf Moor


Tarkowski scored his second goal of the season to give Burnley the lead

John Egan scored with 10 minutes to go to earn Sheffield United a draw at fellow European hopefuls Burnley.

The defender struck a rising half-volley into the far top corner of the net after a short corner had been swung into the box and flicked on by Billy Sharp.

It was reward for a positive display from the Blades, who pressed forward for much of the second half after James Tarkowski had given the home side the lead with a sliding close-range finish.

Both sides will feel they had the chances to secure what would have been a big three points in their quest to secure a place in the Europa League.

The Blades had enough of the play and chances, with Oli McBurnie denied by Nick Pope in the very first minute, and could have had a penalty had the VAR officials deemed Erik Pieters’ accidental handling of the ball in the box a punishable offence.

At the other end, Matej Vydra and Dwight McNeil both fired superb opportunities wide of goal for the Clarets.

The draw means Sheffield United stay eighth – a position that could be good enough for European qualification – two points ahead of ninth-placed Burnley.

A fair result between two well-matched sides

The game was an advert for the quality and resolve of two of the league’s biggest over-achievers.

Sean Dyche continues to a do a stellar job at Burnley in incredibly trying circumstances, with his side hampered both by contract issues with some players and by injuries.

He was able to name nine substitutes for the first time since the restart, including Chris Wood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady, but had to cope without captain Ben Mee and midfielder Jack Cork because of injury.

The Clarets continue to find a way to achieve results, though.

After all, this is a team who were three points above the relegation zone in January and are now eyeing a potential late run into the division’s top third.

They have won as many games this season as in any of their previous Premier League campaigns, equalling the number they managed when finishing seventh in 2017-18.

Even with Mee absent, they were defensively solid, with Kevin Long stepping in to ensure Pope was largely protected, barring an early effort from McBurnie that the keeper parried and Egan’s shot that he had little chance of saving.

The Clarets will feel they should have wrapped up the points with 15 minutes left but after following up Jay Rodriguez’s parried shot from long range, McNeil fired wide with just Dean Henderson to beat.

That they did not, left the door open for the Blades to claim a deserved point.

In Wilder, the Blades have their own Dyche – a manager who demands commitment from his players and offers them the promise of self-improvement in a successful side.

At no point during the game did the heads of the Blades players drop, nor their faith in the strategy wane.

Their territorial advantage did not result in an abundance of opportunities, but when their one big chance came they had the skill and composure to capitalise and claim their point.

Having taken four points from their past two games, following back-to-back 3-0 defeats, and with Jack O’Connell making a welcome return from injury, the Blades have cause for optimism.

More to follow.





BBC