Oli McBurnie keeps cool from the spot to snatch Sheffield United a point



Posted Monday, January 22, 2024 by PA

Oli McBurnie keeps cool from the spot to snatch Sheffield United a point

Oli McBurnie’s penalty in the 13th minute of time added on snatched Sheffield United a 2-2 draw against West Ham in a dramatic ending at Bramall Lane.

The Hammers looked to have won it when James Ward-Prowse’s 79th-minute spot-kick put them ahead after Maxwell Cornet’s first goal for the club was cancelled out by a debut effort from new Blades recruit Ben Brereton Diaz.

But referee Michael Salisbury ruled West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola had fouled McBurnie in the eighth minute of stoppage time and a further five minutes later, with Areola replaced by Lukasz Fabianski, the Blades striker coolly struck home from 12 yards to earn a point.

Hammers boss David Moyes was raging at the decision as his side dropped two points which would have seen them close the gap on the Premier League’s top four.

It was the culmination of an action-packed end to the game, with Rhian Brewster sent off for Sheffield United and Vladimir Coufal following for West Ham in separate incidents.

A point was celebrated vociferously but Sheffield United need wins as they remain seven points adrift at the foot of the table and no team in Premier League history has survived with so few points at this stage of a season.

Chris Wilder’s men started with bluster but failed to trouble the West Ham goal and the visitors soon began to find holes at the other end.

The Hammers went ahead with their next meaningful attack in the 28th minute.

Ings fed Coufal on the right and then got the ball back when he found a pocket of space on the edge of the area. His shot was blocked by Jack Robinson but it fell perfectly for Cornet to slash home at the far post.

It was a moment to remember for the Ivorian, who finally broke his duck at the 31st attempt.

The Hammers smelled blood and were only denied a second by a brave block from Jayden Bogle to deny Ings.

That proved important as Brereton Diaz got his first Premier League goal to pull the hosts level in the 44th minute.

Aaron Trusty’s hopeful header into the box found Will Osula at the far post and his diving header was palmed away by Areola, straight into the path of the Chile striker, who thrashed home from six yards.

He should have been celebrating a second 12 minutes after the restart but produced a bad miss at a golden moment.

James McAtee set him clear and as he closed in on goal with no one else around him he seemed destined to score, but dragged his shot wastefully wide.

There was a sense that that could be pivotal and so it proved as the visitors were awarded a penalty with 11 minutes of normal time remaining when Gus Hamer tripped Ings.

Ward-Prowse was never going to do anything other than ripple the back of the net as he sent his effort straight down the middle.

The hosts’ chances of getting back into the game appeared to be severely hampered in time added on as Brewster was shown a red card for a tackle on Emerson Palmieri after a VAR check.

But that was just the start of the drama as Coufal picked up his second yellow card in less than four minutes and the foul led to the Blades being awarded a penalty.

They recycled the set-piece, with McAtee curling in an inviting cross which Areola came for but did not get to, instead clattering into McBurnie.

The referee pointed to the spot and after a long delay where Areola went off injured, McBurnie scored from the spot.

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