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Sheffield United vs Manchester City. Premier League.

Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United 0

    Manchester City 1

    • K Walker (28th minute)

    Sheffield United 0-1 Man City: Kyle Walker strike beats his childhood club

    Report and free highlights as Sheffield United academy product Kyle Walker's strike from range beats his former side at Bramall Lane; Manchester City have won four consecutive league games against Sheffield United for the first time since March 1930

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win against Sheffield United in the Premier League

    Kyle Walker's first-half strike was enough to see his current side Manchester City beat his childhood club Sheffield United 1-0 in the Premier League.

    The right-back came through the Blades academy and amassed 35 first-team appearances over two spells, but it was his goal from range in the 28th minute which sealed all three points for Man City.

    Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made a number of saves to deny the visitors and the Blades were an improved side in the second half, but they lacked a finishing touch. John Lundstram - who has turned down an improved deal with the club - lifted an effort just over the crossbar in the 70th minute in the pick of their chances.

    It leaves Chris Wilder's side without a Premier League win this season and they remain in 19th place with one point. The victory moves Man City into seventh ahead of the remaining weekend's games and they are now unbeaten in seven matches across all competitions.

    How City saw off the Blades

    Manchester City's Kyle Walker (left) and Sheffield United's Ben Osborn battle for the ball
    Image: Manchester City's Kyle Walker scored against his childhood club

    Man City tested Ramsdale inside eight minutes. Joao Cancelo floated the ball in for Ferran Torres, but the Sheffield United goalkeeper pushed his header away with a strong hand. Not long after, John Egan did superbly well to stop a lively Raheem Sterling from sending in a cross, before Aymeric Laporte lashed an effort wide from the resulting corner.

    Ramsdale was on hand again to make two more huge saves as the half went on. The first was to deny Rodri's thundering effort from range, pushed away by the goalkeeper, before a toe-poked effort from Torres at the near post was smothered away by Ramsdale's body down low at the near post.

    Player ratings

    Sheffield United: Ramsdale (7), Basham (7), Egan (7), Stevens (7), Baldock (7), Berge (7), Ampadu (6), Lowe (6), Osborn (6), McBurnie (5), Brewster (5).

    Subs used: Lundstram (6), Norwood (5), McGoldrick (4)

    Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Dias (7), Laporte (7), Cancelo (7), Silva (7), Rodri (8), De Bruyne (7), Mahrez (6), Torres (7), Sterling (7).

    Subs used: Foden (5), Gundogan (n/a).

    Man of the match: Rodri.

    The Blades' stopper almost kept out City's opener just before the half hour, but he was eventually beaten. Kevin De Bruyne played a square pass to the incoming Walker at the top of the area and his fizzing shot skimmed past Ramsdale's fingertips and into the bottom corner. There was a muted celebration from Walker, though, against his former club.

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    Manchester City celebrate after Kyle Walker puts them ahead at Sheffield United
    Image: City celebrate after Walker put them ahead

    But Sheffield United - who remain winless this season - were improved in the 10 minutes or so remaining of the half. Sander Berge sent an inviting cross into the area from the right, but Rhian Brewster could only glance the ball wide. George Baldock played a similar cross in not long after, but no one was able to meet it.

    Team news

    • Sheffield United made one change from last weekend. John Lundstram dropped to the bench with Max Lowe replacing him.
    • Man City made three changes from their last Premier League outing. Eric Garcia and Ilkay Gundogan dropped to the bench with Sergio Aguero out through injury with Aymeric Laporte, Kevin de Bruyne and Ferran Torres coming into the side.
    • There were also three changes from midweek, with Gundogan again dropping out, as did Oleksander Zinchenko and Phil Foden. Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva came back in.

    City had a few sights of goal in the early exchanges of the second half. Egan initially saw away Walker's cross, but the loose ball landed to De Bruyne. However, the Belgian could only send a low effort just wide. Ramsdale was in action again soon after, leaping to keep out a Riyad Mahrez free-kick.

    But United certainly had their moments after the break. Ruben Dias proved his worth with two good bits of play in as many seconds - firstly sending a Chris Basham cross away before his toe sent a fizzing Berge effort into Ederson's arms.

    The Blades' best chance came in the 70th minute. Berge was involved again, skipping past Cancelo on the right before cutting the ball back for the waiting Lundstram. However, he just lifted his strike over the crossbar, having his hands on his face in dismay afterwards. Brewster then tried to beat Ederson at the top of the area, but as he tried to chip into the open net, the goalkeeper raised a hand to bat the shot away.

    But City defended well and had a few sights of goal late on to add another, but Walker's strike ultimately sealed the victory for Pep Guardiola's side.

    Man of the match - Rodri

    SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Sander Berge of Sheffield United is challenged by Rodri of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Manchester City at Bramall Lane on October 31, 2020 in Sheffield, England.
    Image: Sander Berge competes with Rodri but was unable to create a goal in the second half

    It was an assured performance from the midfielder just ahead of the defence, and one that may have gone under the radar. He helped control the game and nipped in when needed, gaining possession a joint-high seven times. Rodri was a key contributor to Man City's second successive clean sheet.

    He allowed wing-backs Walker and Cancelo to roam forward and it paid dividends when Walker scored the winning goal in the first half.

    What the managers said

    Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder said: "I think you've got to play at the top of your ability to get anything from the games against Man City and Liverpool and when we keep turning the ball over in the manner that we did when we were in good positions, good players keep it away from you and counter-attack on you and that's what they did.

    "I fancied us. I thought there was an opportunity to gain something from the game. We had to stay in the game at times, which I think everyone has to when they play Man City. You have to take your opportunities when they come because you're not going to dominate possession and control a team that has the quality that you're up against.

    "But my disappointment is that we didn't do enough with the football to really put them on the back foot and try and affect the result.

    "It's other bits when we were unopposed and it was our time to play, our time to go forward and to create and we just gave it away really cheaply. They're not going to give it away cheaply. They're going to keep it and move you about the pitch. But I thought the shape of the team was good and sometimes it's just not enough to be an aggressive, enthusiastic, competitive side that has a go, you've got to show a little bit more than that to survive in this division. Today, we didn't show enough of that to hurt a fabulous team."

    Man City manager Pep Guardiola said: "It was our third game in seven days away from home. We played a really good game with a tempo we need against Sheffield United. If you play rhythm where you don't control, they punish you in the transitions because they are so strong in these areas, stronger than us.

    "In the first half, we played really well, we created a lot of chances. We are struggling already to score goals, one day we will unblock this situation. When you arrive in the second half with just a 1-0 lead anything can happen. They arrived down the side and showed patience and started making crosses. They had one clear chance in 90 minutes so that is so good for us in terms of how we defend but unfortunately, when we arrive in the final third, we're not clinical as we were before.

    "The reason why we conceded just one [shot on target] is not just the centre-backs, everyone made a contribution. Against Olympiakos, I have to think about how many changes or to rotate the team because it's a lot of games, five games in 16 days, so I have to think about it."

    Opta stats - Wilder waits for 100th win

    • Chris Wilder, currently on 99 wins as Sheffield United boss, is without a win in 11 matches in all competitions (D2 L9), the longest winless run of his managerial career.
    • Sheffield United have picked up just one point from their first seven league games to a season for the first time since 1975-76.
    • After losing three consecutive away games between March and July, Man City are unbeaten in their last six on the road in the competition (W4 D2).
    • Six of Man City defender Kyle Walker's eight Premier League goals have been scored from outside the box, with today's strike his first away goal in the competition.

    What's next?

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    Sheffield United will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Chelsea in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm. It is a huge week for Man City too, firstly facing Olympiakos at home in the Champions League on Tuesday; kick-off 8pm. It is then a visit of their Premier League title foes Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 4.30pm.

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