Reda Khadra seals late win for Sheffield United at Swansea
Sheffield United extended their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a last-gasp 1-0 win at Swansea.
Substitute Reda Khadra scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time, his first goal for the Blades, after being set up by former Swansea loanee Rhian Brewster.
Swansea were clearly unhappy that the goal was allowed to stand, believing Brewster had knocked Kyle Naughton to the ground in the build-up to the goal.
Manager Russell Martin, having seen Swansea concede in the 90th minute or beyond for the fifth time this season, marched on to the pitch at the final whistle and appeared to have words with the officials.
The Blades are now four points clear of Norwich, who have a game in hand, after protecting an unbeaten run which stretches back to the season’s opening weekend.
Both sides played their part in an entertaining match, but the lack of a clinical edge was often far too evident.
Republic of Ireland striker Michael Obafemi was again missing from the Swansea squad after a deadline-day move to Burnley had failed to materialise.
Sheffield United started with confidence befitting league leaders and should have been ahead inside two minutes.
Sander Berge’s cross found Rhys Norrington-Davies unmarked at the far post but the Wales international sent his header straight at Steven Benda in the home goal.
The Blades cut through Swansea at times and Oli McBurnie almost marked his return to his old stamping ground by breaking the deadlock.
McBurnie met George Baldock’s cross from the right with conviction but was unable to keep the ball down.
Swansea also carried a goal threat with Joel Piroe prominent.
Piroe was on the end of a delicious passing move involving Matt Grimes, Oli Cooper and Jay Fulton, showing quick feet to find space but unable to beat Wes Foderingham with a tame finish.
The Dutchman soon caught Blades defenders dozing by racing onto Matty Sorinola’s quick throw and cutting the ball back from the byline.
Ryan Manning seemed certain to open the scoring but the Irishman was denied by a brilliant Baldock block, the wing-back celebrating as if he had scored.
Swansea went close again when Ben Cabango saw his header from a Joe Allen corner cleared off the line by Oliver Norwood.
The tempo remained high after the break, yet still gilt-edged chances went begging with goalkeepers untroubled.
Piroe failed to find the target after skilfully evading his marker from Cabango’s pass, and the unmarked Berge headed over from eight yards at the other end.
Foderingham’s error then gave Cooper a clear sight of goal, but the young midfielder chose to square the ball to Piroe rather than shoot and the chance was lost.
Brewster directed a header wide before providing the telling pass for Khadra, the on-loan German striker securing the Blades’ first win in Swansea for 64 years.
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