Ghana's No. 1

Sharp penalty rescues Blades against Fulham

Published on: 18 October 2020

Sharp scored from the spot for Sheffield United, four minutes after coming on

Substitute Billy Sharp scored a late penalty to earn Sheffield United their first point of the season in a draw with Fulham in the Premier League.

Sharp fired in from the spot after Ademola Lookman's excellent solo effort had put the visitors ahead at Bramall Lane.

The Fulham winger, making his first start for the club, skipped beyond two players before firing left-footed past Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale

Aleksandar Mitrovic had earlier smacked a penalty against the crossbar after defender Jack Robinson handled.

And it was Mitrovic who then fouled Robinson inside the Fulham box, with the decision awarded by the video assistant referee.

The draw means both teams have their first point of the season, after losing their opening four games.

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Lookman shines as Mitrovic despairs Mitrovic has failed to score four of his past 10 penalties in all competitions for English teams

Scott Parker has packed his Fulham squad with young talents with something to prove, and handed first starts to three players who have represented England at different levels.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, on loan from Chelsea, and defender Tosin Adarabioyo, who has signed from Manchester City, made their debuts, but it was Lookman who almost stole the show.

The 22-year-old has had an enigmatic career so far, failing to hold down a place at Everton and then RB Leipzig.

He impressed Parker with a lively cameo off the bench against Wolves last time out and took his first Premier League goal in three years superbly on Sunday.

The winger cut inside Sander Berge before forcing his way into the penalty box and driving a smart finish beyond Ramsdale with 13 minutes to go.

Mitrovic had missed from the spot earlier in the half and then headed wide late on from a wicked Lookman delivery.

Between those chances, the forward gave away a penalty at the other end when he caught Sheffield United defender Robinson - becoming the first player to both miss and give away a spot-kick in the same Premier League game since Mikel Arteta for Arsenal in November 2012.

The result was enough to lift Fulham off the bottom of the Premier League table, to 19th.

Experienced Sharp rescues Blades Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola made five saves, including this one from Oliver McBurnie's header

Chris Wilder has worked wonders at Sheffield United, guiding the Blades to their best league finish in 45 years on their return to the Premier League last season.

But their second term in the top flight is proving more difficult so far.

Oliver McBurnie should arguably have opened the scoring in the first half, but Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola reacted quickly to push his close-range header away from goal.

McBurnie also flashed a header wide from Chris Basham's cross, and Areola then saved comfortably from an Enda Stevens effort.

The Blades thought they had taken the lead when Fulham defender Adarabioyo turned the ball into his own net, but Berge was offside when sliding the ball across goal.

Wilder brought on 20-year-old club record signing Rhian Brewster for his debut with just under half an hour to go, but it was experienced striker Sharp who salvaged the hosts a point.

The 34-year-old made no mistake with his penalty to score Sheffield United's first goal at Bramall Lane in 368 minutes of Premier League football.

The draw lifts Wilder's side out of the relegation zone on goal difference, but things are not getting any easier for them with their next three fixtures against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.

'The team is going in the right direction'

Fulham boss Scott Parker told Match of the Day: "I thought in the second half we were exceptional. In the first half, we came with a bit of plan, we needed to tinker things at half-time and the players responded very well.

"The second half, I saw a dynamic team, a team that could create chances and I was pleased overall in that sense. There is still plenty of learning and plenty of improvement to do - a young team with young players coming in and making their debuts.

"The team is going in the right direction, not just today. The last performance as well was very pleasing. From where we were in the first three games where we had our struggles we appear to be coming out of that and pushing in the right direction."

The stats - rare Premier League draw for Fulham

    Sheffield United have failed to win any of their opening five league games to a season for the first time since 2006-07, when they were relegated from the Premier League.This was Fulham's first draw in 15 Premier League matches under manager Scott Parker (won three, lost 11), and their first in 24 matches in the competition since a 1-1 draw with Wolves in December 2018.Fulham have missed three of their past six Premier League penalties, as many as in the previous 34 they had taken in the competition.Fulham's Ademola Lookman scored his first goal in 37 Premier League appearances; his only previous goal in the competition came on his debut against Manchester City for Everton in January 2017.

What next?

Sheffield United visit Liverpool on Saturday (kick-off 20:00 BST), while Fulham host Crystal Palace earlier that day (15:00).

Player of the match

LookmanAdemola Lookman

with an average of 7.54

    Sheff UtdSheffield UnitedSheffield UnitedFulhamFulhamFulham

Sheffield UnitedAvgSquad number10Player nameSharpAverage rating

6.14

Squad number24Player nameBrewsterAverage rating

6.01

Squad number8Player nameBergeAverage rating

5.42

Squad number1Player nameRamsdaleAverage rating

5.39

Squad number6Player nameBashamAverage rating

5.30

Squad number12Player nameEganAverage rating

5.23

Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrickAverage rating

5.22

Squad number3Player nameStevensAverage rating

5.16

Squad number16Player nameNorwoodAverage rating

5.05

Squad number7Player nameLundstramAverage rating

5.03

Squad number2Player nameBaldockAverage rating

5.00

Squad number9Player nameMcBurnieAverage rating

4.98

Squad number19Player nameRobinsonAverage rating

4.86

Squad number13Player nameLoweAverage rating

4.65

FulhamAvgSquad number19Player nameLookmanAverage rating

7.54

Squad number1Player nameAreolaAverage rating

6.84

Squad number15Player nameLoftus-CheekAverage rating

6.68

Squad number16Player nameAdarabioyoAverage rating

6.63

Squad number29Player nameZambo AnguissaAverage rating

6.38

Squad number10Player nameCairneyAverage rating

6.38

Squad number33Player nameRobinsonAverage rating

6.20

Squad number34Player nameAinaAverage rating

5.93

Squad number13Player nameReamAverage rating

5.84

Squad number18Player nameLeminaAverage rating

5.74

Squad number17Player nameCavaleiroAverage rating

5.63

Squad number9Player nameMitrovicAverage rating

4.32

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsSheff Utd

    1Ramsdale6BashamSubstituted forSharpat 81'minutes12Egan3Stevens2Baldock8Berge16Norwood7Lundstram13LoweSubstituted forRobinsonat 19'minutes9McBurnie17McGoldrickSubstituted forBrewsterat 64'minutes

Substitutes

    10Sharp14Burke19Robinson21Verrips22Ampadu23Osborn24Brewster

Fulham

    1Areola34Aina16Adarabioyo13Ream33Robinson10Cairney29Zambo AnguissaBooked at 21mins17CavaleiroBooked at 82mins15Loftus-CheekSubstituted forLeminaat 81'minutes19Lookman9Mitrovic

Substitutes

    7Kebano12Rodák14De Cordova-Reid18Lemina20Le Marchand23Bryan47Kamara

Referee:Andre MarrinerMatch StatsHome TeamSheff UtdAway TeamFulhamPossessionHome41%Away59%ShotsHome10Away15Shots on TargetHome6Away6CornersHome2Away5FoulsHome5Away9Live TextPost update

Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Fulham 1.

90'+6'Full Time

Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Fulham 1.

90'+4'Post update

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross.

90'+2'Post update

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ademola Lookman with a cross following a corner.

90'+2'Post update

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jack Robinson.

90'+2'Post update

Attempt blocked. Mario Lemina (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ademola Lookman.

90'+1'Post update

Attempt missed. Tosin Adarabioyo (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross following a corner.

90'Post update

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by John Egan.

90'Post update

Attempt blocked. Ademola Lookman (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Antonee Robinson.

88'Post update

Offside, Sheffield United. Sander Berge tries a through ball, but Billy Sharp is caught offside.

85'Post update

Goal! Sheffield United 1, Fulham 1. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

84'Post update

VAR Decision: Penalty Sheffield United.

83'Post update

Penalty conceded by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) after a foul in the penalty area.

83'Post update

Penalty Sheffield United. Jack Robinson draws a foul in the penalty area.

82'Booking

Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

82'Post update

Foul by Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham).

82'Post update

Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

82'Post update

Foul by Tim Ream (Fulham).

82'Post update

Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81'Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Billy Sharp replaces Chris Basham.

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Source: bbc.com

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