Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Sheffield United and Coventry City at Bramall Lane as Slavisa Jokanovic's Blades were held to an uneventful goalless draw on Saturday afternoon
Saturday 20 November 2021 19:00, UK
Sheffield United's search for consistency will continue for another week after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Coventry at Bramall Lane.
What had been a largely uneventful encounter for 70 minutes became a barrage from the Blades thereafter, with the key moment coming when ex-United goalkeeper Simon Moore made a miraculous late save to keep out Morgan Gibbs-White's shot from point-blank range.
The stalemate sees Coventry slip to fifth, one point behind third-placed West Brom, while Sheffield United stay down in 17th, five points outside the bottom three.
Going by pre-season expectations, these two teams would have been in alternate positions at this stage of the season, yet in reality, Sheffield United were suffering from an extended period of inconsistency and Coventry were perhaps the division's biggest surprise package.
It took quite some time to warm up. Iliman Ndiaye then latched onto a smart through ball to fire at Moore from a tight angle and, at the other end, Ben Sheaf's swerving effort was pushed away by Wes Foderingham, before Todd Kane's dangerous looking cross was hooked clear by John Egan at the near post.
By the half-hour mark, Blades talisman Billy Sharp had touched the ball just seven times and by half-time, the home side had not registered a single shot on target. It was then, perhaps, little surprise that they departed the pitch to a chorus of boos.
Jokanovic introduced David McGoldrick at the break in an attempt to freshen up the Blades' attack, but it was not until the final 20 minutes that they finally began to pose a threat. Gibbs-White volleyed wide, before McGoldrick blazed over and Conor Hourihane did the same a few minutes later.
As the Blades continued to push in the closing stages, in the final minute of the 90, Moore undoubtedly earned his side a point with a stunning one-handed save to keep out a fierce shot from Gibbs-White.
An absolute rock at the back, as ever, for Coventry, the vastly experienced defender put his body on the line in the closing stages to keep the Sky Blues' promotion push on charge with a sixth clean sheet of the campaign.
Sheffield United's Slavisa Jokanovic: "We didn't play the first 45 minutes very well, we didn't show enough quality. The second 45 minutes we played better, we created more chances and I felt we deserved more in this part of the game. But we needed to do it from the start. We were too nervous and weren't comfortable, we cannot be satisfied with this result.
"I can understand the crowd, I must encourage my players, I must push them, I must motivate them and make sure they trust themselves. We must be positive and not give up, everything is possible. I've said before about personality and character and we missed it in the beginning of the game, I expect these characteristics from my team."
Coventry's Mark Robins: "The last time we came here we lost 2-0 and we were on our way to League Two. We have been on totally different trajectories. The fact we have come here and really gone toe-to-toe is testament to all the work that has gone on over the last four or five years.
"We were leggy at the end, they worked us really hard. But that is what happens when you play against top players. I can't be too critical, the work rate was good and so was some of the quality. I just felt that we were a little bit unlucky to get three points but they're a good team."
Both teams are back in action at 7.45pm on Tuesday, November 23. Sheffield United travel to the Select Car Leasing Stadium to face Reading, while Coventry host Birmingham at the Coventry Building Society Arena. Both matches are live across Sky Sports Football.