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Result: Billy Sharp fires Sheffield United to vital win over West Brom

The Blades have won three of their last five Premier League matches.

Sheffield United came from behind to win 2-1 against fellow strugglers West Brom and keep alive their hopes of pulling off the greatest of escapes in the Premier League.

The bottom two clashed at a wet Bramall Lane on Tuesday night in a game that Blades boss Chris Wilder admitted was a must-win for his team, while Baggies boss Sam Allardyce said it was a “must-not-lose”.

It was Wilder who finished the evening the happier man after goals from Jayden Bogle and captain Billy Sharp overturned the half-time lead given to the visitors by Matty Phillips’ strike.

It was only the Blades’ third Premier League win of the season. Wilder’s men remain bottom of the table but are only a point behind West Brom now, and 10 points from safety.

The victory also relieved United of the ignominy of getting a lower points total than the 11 Derby managed in their relegation campaign of 2007-08.

Oliver Norwood wasted a free-kick in a good position on the edge of the penalty area early on, opting for power and putting the ball high into the stands rather than making sure he worked the goalkeeper in the testing wet conditions.

Immediately at the other end, former Blade Callum Robinson flashed a shot across goal and narrowly wide.

Wilder’s side were soon beginning to dictate play, dominating possession, but as so often has been the problem this season they lacked ideas and creativity in the final third.

David McGoldrick, centre, goes close for Sheffield United
David McGoldrick, centre, goes close for Sheffield United (Dave Thompson/PA)

An organised and solid Baggies backline restricted them to long-range efforts, with Sam Johnstone doing well to hold on to a low drive by David McGoldrick before palming away another shot from outside the box from Ethan Ampadu.

Sharp could only loop a header wide under strong pressure from Kyle Bartley when the Blades did manage to get close to the visitors’ goal.

Phillips put West Brom ahead after 41 minutes. Robinson was the architect, cutting inside down the left of the penalty area and bringing a save from Aaron Ramsdale, who then reacted quickly to make another fine stop to deny Mbaye Diagne from point-blank range.

But the goalkeeper could only push the ball to the waiting Phillips who scored from two yards. It was the winger’s first Premier League goal since April 2018.

Wilder knew he had to go for it in the second half and swapped midfielder Norwood for fit-again striker Oli McBurnie, back after a month-long absence with a shoulder injury.

And within 10 minutes of the restart, the Blades were level. Sharp’s cross caused confusion inside the penalty area and Chris Basham did well to protect the ball and lay it off to Bogle, who drilled home a shot from 12 yards out to beat Johnstone at his near post.

The Blades’ tails were up and they laid siege to their opponent’s goal. McBurnie saw an effort bravely blocked before John Fleck stung the palms of Johnstone.

However, it needed a superb save from Ramsdale at the other end following a rare West Brom attack to keep the hosts level. Phillips’ cross was met by Robinson’s perfectly-timed run and he looked certain to score sliding in inside the six-yard box, only for the ball to hit Ramsdale.

It proved pivotal as Sharp put the Blades in front soon afterwards. Basham’s cross from the right was kept alive in the penalty area by a strong challenge from John Egan and the ball fell to the captain who drilled a shot beneath the goalkeeper from 10 yards out.

Wilder’s team saw out the remainder of the match largely untroubled for what could still prove to be a priceless victory.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States24282173
JapanJapan1961136
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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