An Oli McBurnie header wasn’t enough for Sheffield United, as Harvey Barnes’ stunning half-volley gave Leicester City all three points at Bramall Lane this afternoon.
After McBurnie had cancelled out Vardy’s opener, Barnes added a second for Brendan Rodgers’ side and they hung on for the 2-1 win.
The fixture promised a matchup of two attacking sides both with managers who strive to play attractive football, but both struggled for any real rhythm.
The opening 20 minutes were a rather tame affair, with neither side able to assert any dominance in the contest.
Leicester saw a couple of half-chances go begging, first a dragged shot from Tielemans then a skewed header from Vardy, but they failed to muster anything that tested Dean Henderson in the United goal.
Sheffield United steadily grew into the game, and it wasn’t long before they had a decent effort themselves.
George Baldock couldn’t have connected any better with Jack O’Connell’s looping cross, but he could only send his volley straight into the grateful grasp of Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy looked sharp from the get go, standing on the last man on the look out for through balls. In the 38th minute, he took his chance.
With the outside of his boot, Maddison prodded a perfectly-weighted through ball towards the striker, who had already lost his marker John Egan.
The former England striker made no mistake, riffling in a left footed effort at the near post from eight yards out.
In the opening minutes of the second half Leicester could’ve had a second had they better-worked a counterattack. Perez broke with pace after clearing his lines, but he could do nothing with Vardy’s return header back across the six-yard box.
Ten minutes later Chris Wilder blinked first, deciding that his side needed a metaphorical kick up the backside. He sent on Oli McBurnie and fan favourite Billy Sharp to bolster his side’s attacking options, and was almost immediately rewarded.
Baldock, who’s delivery from the right-hand side was pinpoint accurate all game long, dropped a cross onto the head of McBurnie who deftly guided his header into the far bottom corner.
United were level, and it was the least they deserved. Behind the goal the Kop exploded into life, and the hosts looked to be on top. What followed was a pulsating end to end 25 minutes of football.
As space began to open up in both midfields, it was only a matter of time before someone took advantage. Unfortunately for the hosts, it was Leicester substitute Harvey Barnes who took the chance, and what a way to do it.
Fuchs’ cross was inadvertently headed away from goal by teammate Söyüncü. Barnes, stood at the edge of the box, sized up the chance and sent a thumping half-volley past a rooted Henderson, sparking jubilant celebrations from the Foxes’ fans behind the goal.
But United did not lie down, so much so that the last ten minutes was one-way traffic. It looked like Lundstram would level the score with minutes remaining, but he could only watch as Schmeichel superbly tipped his close-range effort around the post.
Despite United’s best efforts, 1-2 is how is stayed. It turned out to be a tale of two substitutes, McBurnie restoring hope for the hosts but Barnes ultimately taking the points for the visitors. United gave as good as they got, but in the end they came up just short.
Sheffield United: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, O’Connell, Basham (Morrison, 77′), Lundstram, Freeman, Robinson (Sharp, 54′), Egan, Norwood (c), McGoldrick (McBurnie, 54′)
Leicester City: Schmeichel (c), Söyüncü, Evans, Tielemans (Mendy, 88′), Vardy, Maddison, Perez (Morgan, 77′), Choudhury, Pereira, Praet (Barnes, 64′), Fuchs
MOTM: Oli McBurnie
Referee: Andy Madley