Sheff United 0-2 Liverpool: Reds win in unconvincing fashion

Liverpool toiled to beat bottom of the table Sheffield United thanks to Virgil van Dijk‘s goal from a corner and a stoppage time effort from Dominik Szoboszlai.

Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool

Premier League (15), Bramall Lane
December 6, 2023


Van Dijk 37′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
Szoboszlai 90+5′ (assist: Nunez)

Jurgen Klopp made four changes from the side that started against Fulham four days ago, one of them enforced due to Joel Matip‘s injury.

Wataru Endo‘s inclusion alongside Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister meant the latter was deployed in his more accustomed midfield role but he had an early injury scare which reinforced the slow start in cold conditions.

Mac Allister had just eight touches in the opening 40 minutes as Liverpool got sucked into their opponent’s attritional style of play.

Caoimhin Kelleher made an important save to deny James McAtee early on, while Liverpool struggled to create any clear cut chances.

The Reds found the breakthrough though with their seventh corner in the 37th minute when Virgil van Dijk expertly volleyed home Alexander-Arnold’s corner for his first goal of the season.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

To say it was a slow half would be an understatement, Liverpool lacking composure on the ball and the home side causing some issues on the counter.

Half time: Sheff United 0-1 Liverpool

Ten minutes into the second half it looked like Mo Salah was getting his 200th goal for the club when he volleyed another Alexander-Arnold corner but it was well saved.

Mac ALlister was eventually taken off due to injury just before the hour. Quite why he’d been kept on the pitch with three No.8s on the bench is anyone’s guess.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister goes down injured during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Saturday’s early kick off at Crystal Palace in mind, Klopp withdrew Salah and Luis Diaz on 66 minutes, with Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott coming on.

There was a big chance for Nunez when put through one-vs-one but he failed to convert.

Liverpool struggled for any control of the game and were instead barraged by long throws from the home side.

But a superb challenge and assist from Nunez put the game to bed in the fifth minute of stoppage time when he assisted for Szoboszlai to score his second league goal for the Reds.

This was far from convincing against a team who lost 5-0 at Burnley at the weekend and sit bottom of the table, but a win is a win and that’s all that matters here.

Next up is the early kick off at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 31,406

Sheffield United: Foderingham; Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Robinson; Souza, Bogle, McAtee, Hamer, Brooks; Osula, Archer

Subs: Davies, Lowe, Thomas, Larouci, Seriki, Fleck, Norwood, Slimane, Traore

Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister (Jones 59′); Salah (Elliott 67′), Gakpo (Gravenberch 86′), Diaz (Nunez 67′)

Subs not used: Adrian, Pitaluga, Tsimikas, Gravenberch, Quansah, Bradley

Next Match: Crystal Palace (away, Saturday 9 December)