Sheff Utd 0-1 West Ham: Haller seals Hammers win at Bramall Lane
Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham: Sebastien Haller seals Hammers win at Bramall Lane to another Premier League defeat as West Ham moved into the top half of the table.
The Hammers’ record signing blasted home only his second top-flight goal of the season shortly before the hour mark to seal a first victory at Bramall Lane for 52 years.
As well as continuing West Ham’s encouraging form, the result ensured that winless Sheffield United have still picked up just one point – from nine matches – in 2020/21 as they continue to struggle badly in their second season back at the top level.
West Ham were unchanged from their win over Fulham before the international break, with David Moyes opting not to risk Michail Antonio despite the influential forward returning to training after a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United showed three changes from their 4-1 drubbing at Chelsea, with Oli McBurnie handed a recall up front and Rhian Brewster on the bench as the injured Enda Stevens and John Lundstram were replaced by Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu and the fit-again John Fleck respectively.
The Blades started the contest in positive fashion, with George Baldock forcing an early save from Lukasz Fabianski after the full-back got in behind Arthur Masuaku to connect with John Egan’s long pass.
After a couple of early scares, West Ham quickly grew into the game and began to dominate proceedings, with Jarrod Bowen seeing a shot blocked before Sheffield United raced forward on the counter-attack and Fabianski was called into action again to deny McBurnie and Fleck.
Aaron Ramsdale later kept out a low drive from Vladimir Coufal and West Ham should have gone ahead when Pablo Fornals’ cross from the left was flicked high over the defence by Haller, only for Tomas Soucek to fluff his lines from close range.
The first half ended in frantic fashion, with McBurnie’s header parried over the crossbar by Fabianski and McGoldrick’s flick bouncing back off the post before Bowen beat Ampadu after being released by Fornals.
His disappointing shot was blocked by Egan and a competitive opening 45 minutes ended goalless.