Watford claimed an important away point as they draw 1-1 away at Bramall Lane to move off the bottom of the Premier League.
Sheffield United created the best early chance with Oli McBurnie forcing Ben Foster into a fantastic save after ten minutes. It was a scrappy affair with neither midfield quite getting a hold of the game. But after 27 minutes a long ball from Ben Foster was flicked on by Nathaniel Chalobah to Gerard Deulofeu, who tucked it neatly passed Dean Henderson.
Watford's lead only last ten minutes, however, as Will Hughes clumsily gave away a penalty when he felled George Baldock on the edge of the box. Oliver Norwood stepped up and tucked it past Foster. No team really created anything of note thereafter and went into half time all square.
The game continued to be scrappy in the second half, with Sheffield United having most of the ball but not creating any chance of note. Lys Mousset was brought on as the Blades looked for a winner and was straight into the action. He provided a superb cross for John Fleck but Foster produced one of the best saves you'll see all season.
Deulofeu almost scored again when he struck a free kick sweetly from 20 yards out and it whistled by Henderson's left hand post. John Egan had a header cleared by Adrian Mariappa as they pushed for a winner, but neither team could find that crucial goal and the game ended all square at 1-1.
Key Talking Point
They would've expected one too hosting the bottom placed side but nevertheless it has been a fantastic season so far for the Blades.
They only didn't win this game because of some heroics by Foster. If there's anywhere that Sheffield United could improve in the January window then another forward wouldn't go amiss. Sixth in the league and only three points off Champions League football? Not bad work from Wilder's team.
Sheffield United on Christmas Day:— bet365 (@bet365) December 22, 2019
2015 - 9th in League 1
2016 - 2nd in League 1
2017 - 7th in the Championship
2018 - 6th in the Championship
2019 - 5th in the Premier League#twitterblades pic.twitter.com/c6L2DILXgE
Starting XI: Henderson (5); Baldock (8*), Basham (6), O'Connell (6), Egan (5), Stevens (6); Lundstram (6), Norwood (7), Fleck (6); McBurnie (6), McGoldrick (6)
Substitutes: Mousset (7)
STAR PLAYER - George Baldock might be one of the most underrated players in the Premier League and he is key to this Sheffield United side.
He looked threatening down the right-hand side and nipped in front of Will Hughes to win that all-important penalty for the Blades.
Chris Wilder's formation is working well for Sheffield United and Baldock is absolutely key to it.
Key Talking Point
Watford came into this game bottom of the league although buoyed by a crucial 2-0 win over Manchester United last time out.
Nigel Pearson is looking to turn the team around and get them out of the bottom three. It started with a battling performance at Anfield and then the 2-0 win on the 22nd against Manchester United.
This was another battling performance and another point away from home at a top six club is a great result for the Hornets. Nigel Pearson's revival might be on.
Starting XI: Foster (9*); Mariappa (6), Cathcart (6), Kabasele (8), Femenia (6); Chalobah (7), Capoue (6); Sarr (5), Hughes (5), Deulofeu (7); Deeney (5)
Substitutes: Pereyra (6), Gray (N/A), Dawson (N/A)
STAR PLAYER - Ben Foster is getting better with age and he showed just how sharp he is. He produced two brilliant saves in the first 12 minutes to keep out Oli McBurnie twice.
But he topped those stops. The save that he made from Fleck was unbelievable as he recovered to scramble across his goal and save at point-blank range.
If Watford are to stay up then Foster will be key. He's been Watford's best player this season so far and has kept them in so many games.
Ben Foster has just made the save of the season. #watfordfc— Kieran Theivam (Tayvam) (@KiersTheivam) December 26, 2019
Sheffield United travel to Champions Manchester City and then are away at Liverpool. Tough.
Watford return back to Vicarage Road for a huge bottom three clash against Aston Villa needing a win to keep themselves in touch with the rest of the division.
Source : 90min