Liverpool scored their 7,000th goal in top football thanks to an own goal from Kean Bryan
Liverpool ended four consecutive Premier League defeats and scored their 7,000th top goal in a win at Sheffield United that moved them within two points of a Champions League spot.
Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made a number of good saves in the first half to frustrate Liverpool as the Reds’ recent lack of edge in front of goal was set to persist.
However, 20-year-old Curtis Jones showed the clinical grade his teammates had missed to break the hosts’ resolve shortly after the break.
Roberto Firmino’s attempt was then distracted by Kean Bryan and a stranded Ramsdale as Liverpool doubled their lead with the club’s 7,000th goal in the English top division.
The Reds are only the second team to reach this milestone after Everton rivals Everton who scored 7,108 goals.
The win keeps Jürgen Klopp’s team in sixth place in the table and is now two points behind West Ham in fourth place.
Sheffield United have been competitive throughout and Oliver McBurnie may have done better as he headed wide and headless from Oliver Norwood’s cross.
But the bottom blades now have unprecedented rebound if they are to stay in the Premier League this season.
The reds return to their winners
It’s only been eight months since Liverpool won their first league title for 30 years but Klopp’s side have had to change their ambitions this season and are now in a battle for the top 4 and securing Champions League qualification.
The Reds have already suffered as many defeats as their previous top 100 games in 2021, but a foray to the bottom of the division proved the perfect means to end a four-game defeat.
It started out as another frustrating evening for the Reds when they found Ramsdale in inspired form. With the visitors unable to find the net before half-time, they have only scored one goal in the first half of their last 11 Premier League games.
But Klopp insisted this week His squad will not require “massive rebuilding” this summer and the German will therefore look to the younger players to show they can be relied on.
Midfielder Jones did just that during another competent performance when he picked the bottom corner after Sheffield United failed to clear Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to open the standings.
Firmino scored a shot on goal after some clever footwork and the ball found its way in front of Bryan to score the three points for Liverpool in the 26th minute.
Klopp will also be happy about the first goal his team conceded in eight league games, although he has to make further changes at the back.
He named a 14th different center-back partnership in the league in Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips, and Adrian replaced Alisson in goal following the Brazilian father’s death that week, but the visitors were comfortable with the threat from the blades.
Ramsdale shines despite Blades’ loss
Aaron Ramsdale scored five saves before the break, the most he has ever made in the first half of a Premier League game
Chris Wilder said ahead of the game that the most “optimistic” Blades fans might believe his side can deliver the results needed to keep them in the Premier League, although the boss himself remains more realistic.
No team in Premier League history has 15 points clear of safety with 12 games to go, but that is the task that Wilders’ team faces after their 21st loss of the season.
The hosts did their best to contain the champions and it proved to be successful until 48 minutes, thanks largely to an excellent performance from goalkeeper Ramsdale.
The former Bournemouth stopper, who signed for £ 18.5m in the summer, has only conceded one goal in the Premier League this season but made five excellent stops before the break – most saves he has ever seen in the first half made of a top -flight game.
The 22-year-old kept Firmino away in a duel and also fought Mohamed Salah from a tight angle before driving over a violent attempt by Alexander-Arnold and saving Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal from a distance.
Sheffield United had the ball itself in the net when Kabak looped a loop past Adrian into his own goal, but McBurnie was offside.
Adrian saved early from David McGoldrick and McBurnie also headed wide in the second half after Jones finally found a way past Ramsdale.
One loss, however, means the Blades are the first team since Newport County’s fourth division 1970-71 to lose at least 21 of their first 26 games in an English Football League season.
“Robertson could have done a hat trick”
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder in conversation with Match of the Day: “We were right, but we lacked quality and strength in depth. You need your best players to be at the top of your game. You need a little more in this division because it’s brutal and it exposes you. “
“Liverpool have some world class players because they have been successful not only on the European stage but also on the world stage.
“The two goals we conceded were really disappointing. You have to have perfect possession and perfect possession against Liverpool and we weren’t.”
“We didn’t take any risks that came to us. In short, our season. We’re not defending nearly as well as last season.”
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp on the game of the day: “Anyone who sees Sheffield United play knows that you have to work really hard against them.
“We achieved a lot and should have been 3-0. Andy Robertson could have had a hat trick.
“The goal you conceded is very important. Adrian showed class and character. I’m very happy for him. He was very frontal. That was a really good game.”
Jones hits the reds – the stats
- Liverpool celebrated their first win since beating West Ham United 3-1 in late January.
- This marked Sheffield United’s 10th home loss that season, the largest in a single season since losing 11 in the 2010-11 championship.
- Curtis Jones scored only his second Premier League goal for Liverpool, his other against Aston Villa in July 2020.
- At 20 years and 29 days, Jones is the youngest Liverpool player to score an away goal in the Premier League since Raheem Sterling in December 2014 against Burnley (20 years, 18 days).
- Adrian has finished on the winning side in 10 of his 12 Premier League starts for Liverpool (83%) but this was only his third zero for the Reds.
Sheffield United welcomes Aston Villa on Wednesday (18:00 GMT) before Liverpool host Chelsea on Thursday (20:15 GMT).
Player of the game
- 15thJagielkaReplaced byOsbornat the 56 ‘protocol
- 4thspotReplaced bySharpat the 80 ‘protocol
- 17thMcGoldrickReplaced byBurkeat the 56 ‘protocol
- 6thThiago AlcantaraReplaced byMilnerat the 76 ‘protocol
- 17thJonesReplaced byKeitaat the 80 ‘protocol
- 11Not correct
- 46R Williams
- 76N Williams
End of game, Sheffield United 0, Liverpool 2.
The second half ends, Sheffield United 0, Liverpool 2.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John Lundstram (Sheffield United).
Attempt saved. Oliver Burke (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the lower right corner. Prepared by Ethan Ampadu.
Foul by Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool).
Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens attempts a pass, but Oliver McBurnie is caught offside.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Billy Sharp replaces John Fleck.
Substitution, Liverpool. Naby Keita replaces Curtis Jones.
Missed attempt. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Prepared by Andrew Robertson.
Attempt saved. Andrew Robertson’s (Liverpool) header from the center of the box is saved in the top center of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Salah with a cross.
Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Thiago.
Missed attempt. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) shot with his left foot from the left side of the box is too high. Prepared by Curtis Jones.
Thiago (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Oliver Burke (Sheffield United).
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).
Missed attempt. Oliver Burke (Sheffield United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left, but misses to the right. Prepared by Oliver Norwood.
Corner, Sheffield United. The corner was caused by Nathaniel Phillips.