Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

Sebastien Haller heaps misery on Sheffield United as West Ham win away

Blades suffer 1-0 defeat to leave them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League

West Ham United's Sebastien Haller celebrates scoring against Sheffield United. Reuters
West Ham United's Sebastien Haller celebrates scoring against Sheffield United. Reuters

A thumping second-half goal from West Ham United striker Sebastien Haller condemned Sheffield United to a 1-0 Premier League defeat at home that leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table with a single point after nine games.

Though the visitors dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes, the Blades created several opportunities with striker Oliver McBurnie going closest with a header that forced a fine save from Lukasz Fabianski.

Their wasteful finishing was punished in the 56th minute as West Ham won the ball in midfield and worked it up to Haller, who drilled a thunderous shot into the top right corner via the fingertips of Aaron Ramsdale.

McBurnie beat Fabianski in the 75th minute, but his left-foot shot hit the crossbar as West Ham hung on for a win that moves them to eighth place on 14 points. Sheffield United remain bottom on one point with just four league goals scored.

The win moved West Ham up to eighth and manager David Moyes said the aim was for the Hammers to establish themselves as a team in the top half instead of one constantly looking over its shoulder at the wrong end of the table.

“I am thrilled to pick up three points. They have a lot of good players, a good manager - I know what it is like, when you get into a losing run," Moyes told Sky Sports.

“Our boys at the moment are playing with a lot of confidence and thankfully we got another win today.

"I hope we can play even better. Eighth is great at the moment, I hope we can look towards the top and not the bottom as we have done too often.

"We are not going to get too carried away, but in the dressing room there is a great spirit - we have changed a lot of things behind the scenes and the players are buying into it.

"We have to make sure the players enjoy their work and work that will help us in the games."

Another defeat is sure to intensify pressure on Blades manager Chris Wilder.

Sheffield United are the third side in Premier League history to pick up just one point (or fewer) from their opening nine games in a season, after Manchester City in 1996 and Sheffield Wednesday in 2000. Both these sides were relegated.

Wilder, who led the Blades to successive promotions as well as a ninth-place finish in their first season back in the top flight last time out, said he won't dwell on the latest setback and insists he is the man to lead United to safety.

He told Sky Sports: "We have got to keep going. No one is going to help you. It's ruthless and cut-throat. No one is bothered about us apart from ourselves and our supporters so we have to keep going.

"We'll go again, we have to. I am there to lead them and I certainly enjoy that challenge.

"Without being disrespectful to some of the places this football club has had to go, it is no good taking a backwards step and feeling sorry for yourself.

"It is the Premier League, we have earned the right to be here and have to do some things pretty quickly to stay in it and protect our status as a Premier League club. Long way to go."

Updated: November 22, 2020 08:29 PM

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