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Oliver Arblaster nets own goal as Sheffield United edge closer to relegation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Apr 2024

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Luckless teenager Oliver Arblaster scored an own goal as Sheffield United were shoved another step closer to the Championship after a 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

Arblaster, making only his fifth Premier League start, held his head in his hands after inadvertently turning the ball past goalkeeper Ivo Grbic in the second half.

Substitute Frank Onyeka added a second with time ticking down on both the match and the Blades’ stay in the top flight.

Another defeat – their 22nd of the season – leaves Chris Wilder’s men 10 points adrift of safety with only six games remaining.

To rub salt in the wounds of 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.

United’s only real hope of a second away win of the season was by getting Ben Brereton Diaz and Ollie McBurnie up the pitch.

They managed it in the opening stages when Brereton Diaz raced through but his weak, left-footed finish was blocked by Bees goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Brereton Diaz had a better chance when he cut inside Vitaly Janelt onto his favoured right foot, but his attempted curler flew too high.

Other than that Brentford, by no means out of the relegation picture themselves, were utterly dominant.

But, with Ivan Toney on the bench for the second match running, they were lacking a cutting edge in front of goal.

Sergio Reguilon headed an early Mads Roerslev cross over and Yanelt sidefooted the ball straight into the arms of Grbic.

Brentford’s best chance of the first half arrived nine minutes before the break and it was all of Sheffield United’s making.

Auston Trusty’s ball out from the back was straight to Bryan Mbeumo, who quick as a flash sent Neal Maupay through on goal.

But the French striker was stretching as he prodded the ball past the onrushing Grbic and it rolled agonisingly wide of the post.

Brentford had the ball in the net early in the second half but Mathias Jorgensen was clearly offside when he poked Mathias Jensen’s free-kick in.

But they made the breakthrough just after the hour mark when Mbeumo fed Mikkel Damsgaard down the right.

The Denmark midfielder charged forward and attempted a low cross towards Maupay, only for the unfortunate Arblaster to stick out a leg and turn the ball into his own net.

Moments later, Mbeumo’s free-kick across the edge of the penalty area was volleyed home first time by Damsgaard, only for a VAR check to spot a foul on McBurnie by Nathan Collins.

In stoppage time, two minutes after coming off the bench, midfielder Onyeka slid the ball past Grbic to heap more misery on United and wrap up a first win in 10 for the Bees.

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