Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham: Premier League duo get off the mark after late Billy Sharp penalty at Bramall Lane

Oli McBurnie (right) congratulates Billy Sharp after equalising for Sheffield United v Fulham

Substitute Billy Sharp grabbed a late equaliser from the penalty spot to salvage a point for Sheffield United against Fulham at Bramall Lane.

Both teams are at least off the mark following Sunday’s clash, having each lost their first four games of the campaign.

The Blades, a revelation last season with a ninth-placed finish following their promotion back to the top flight, dominated the first half but were made to pay for failing to take their chances when Ademola Lookman put Fulham in front after 77 minutes.

The goal came 20 minutes after Aleksandar Mitrovic had missed a penalty for the visitors, and it would be a spot-kick at the other end, converted with some aplomb by Sharp five minutes from time, that earned the hosts a draw.


  • Chris Wilder, Sheffield United

Chris Wilder defended Sheffield United’s poor start to the season and insisted his side showed glimpses of being back to their old selves.

The Blades boss admitted his team, who finished a hugely creditable ninth on their return to the Premier League last season, are short of confidence after beginning the campaign with four straight defeats.

But he defiantly predicted the Blades will rally and fight their way out of early-season trouble.

“I’ve said all along this is a tough sport, a tough division, ” said Wilder.

“There’s no free hits or easy games where you can say ‘we’ll get our confidence back in this game’.

“It’s a struggle at the minute and you can see that. It’s tough and it’s tough to watch at times. But we are a really tight group and we will stick together and fight our way out of it.

“It’s natural what is happening after what has been a difficult start for us. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But not everyone can do it. These players have to perform if they want to establish themselves as Premier League players.

“It’s five games without a win, yes, however you want to dress it up. But this is an extremely competitive league, an extremely difficult league to even survive in. We’ve done well to even get into this division – way ahead of time by the way.

“Five without a win doesn’t sit well with us but no-one should be embarrassed about it. Some teams pay £400million to keep the ball out of their net, and some teams pay £300million to put the ball in the net.

“I thought in the first half we were back around where we know we can be, but in the second half we looked anxious and lost control of the game. We made mistakes which led to other mistakes and let Fulham back into it.

“It was a game of two halves, we were the better side in the first half but Fulham were the better team in the second half. But to get a result when you’re 1-0 down with about 10 minutes to go, we’ll take it at this moment in time.”

  • Scott Parker, Fulham
Fulham manager Scott Parker

“I think Alex [Mitrovic] would be the first to admit he has had a tough day. He’s scored plenty of penalties before and he’s missed two other chances that on any other day he puts in the net.

“But in sport sometimes you have bad days. What will be telling is how he reacts and given the stature of the man I am positive he will respond in the right way.”

Parker had mixed emotions about the result, adding: “I think overall we are a bit disappointed, of course, to be that close to three points and only coming away with one.

“To get in front with about 10 minutes to go, you want to se the game out, and we had chances to go further ahead and see it out even more. But Sheffield did also create a lot of chances.

“It was not meant to be today but there are some positives to take away from the game.”

Fulham owner Tony Khan agreed, taking to Twitter after the match to say:

Khan had previously Tweeted following the 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa in September apologising for Fulham’s performance – something that Parker said had “disappointed” him.

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