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Chris Wilder: Luck was against Sheffield United again in Brentford defeat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Apr 2024

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Chris Wilder felt luck was against Sheffield United again after they were shoved another step closer to the Championship by a 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

Mikkel Damsgaard’s cross was turned into his own net by teenager Oliver Arblaster for the game’s crucial opening goal.

Substitute Frank Onyeka slid in a second with time ticking down on both the match and the Blades’ stay in the Premier League.

Another defeat – their 22nd of the season – leaves them 10 points adrift of safety with only six games remaining.

To rub salt in the wounds from a chastening campaign, Sheffield United found out this week that a two-point deduction awaits them upon their now almost-inevitable drop into the Championship.

“I don’t think there was a lot in the game tactically, our shape was good out of possession,” said Wilder.

“For clubs in our position, to get to 0-0 at half-time is an achievement and it wasn’t a backs-to-wall first half.

“My disappointment is we tried to score with our first attack and if we’d got the first goal, it would have been a different game.

“We felt we could make it a nervous afternoon for Brentford. You could sense the relief from them.

“The first goal is a counter-attack, Ollie gets back into position, a wicked deflection and it goes flying in. Yet again it’s something that goes against us.”

A first win in 10 significantly eased any lingering worries Brentford had of being sucked into trouble.

They had a goal disallowed either side of Arblaster’s unfortunate opener, with Mathias Jorgensen offside when he poked in Mathias Jensen’s free-kick and a Damsgaard volley ruled out for a foul by Nathan Collins on Ollie McBurnie.

So the relief was palpable when Onyeka struck from a half-cleared throw-in to secure a much-needed victory.

It was one achieved without Ivan Toney, who was on the bench for the second match running and this time not required as a substitute.

“Happy and relieved,” was boss Thomas Frank’s immediate reaction. “I just said to the players, please don’t do that to me or themselves again – to not win in nine.

“That spell and this season is a reminder this league is brutal, relentless, the best and toughest league in the world.

“I’d been optimistic. We have great players, a great squad and then that hits you. But it’s a good win, a good performance – not through the roof – and I think it was well deserved.

“We got some luck from the first goal but we were due a bit.”

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