Wednesday, December 2

Sébastien Haller gives West Ham victory to leave Sheffield United in trouble | Football


West Ham United staff lined up to hug Sébastien Haller at the final whistle and every hug, high-five and pat on the back said a lot. The French center forward has his critics but, for once, he had managed to silence them thanks to the most striking of the winning goals that left Sheffield United still seeking their first Premier League win of the season and having accumulated just one point since. so. September.

Initially, the sky over Bramall Lane was blue and the sun was shining, but on a day in late November that demanded winter gloves, boots, and scarves, she wore very little warmth. In fact, Lukasz Fabianski was probably thankful for the early call to arms that forced him to save George Baldock’s half volley in the third minute with one foot extended after the defense of David Moyes, and Arthur Masuaku in particular, had been fooled by John Egan’s magnificent long pass.

West Ham came without a win here in 52 years and their cause was hampered by Moyes’ assessment that Michail Antonio was not fit enough for even a bench spot. In the absence of his attack talisman, they began shakily with Masuaku sporting an ultimate weak link.

However, as the minutes passed, the left-back pulled himself together and gradually began to understand how to handle Baldock a little better. Meanwhile, his teammates’ passing improved but, unfortunately for Moyes, things tended to fall apart in the penalty area where Haller, Antonio’s substitute, initially proved deceptively ineffective against Egan and his friends.

Although Aaron Ramsdale remained largely unoccupied, the Sheffield United goalkeeper had to go low to deflect Vladimir Coufal’s shot. However, even though Tomas Soucek subsequently got tangled up and missed with Ramsdale surely defeated and Jarrod Bowen’s shot on goal was deflected by Egan, Wilder’s players could easily have been ahead at halftime.

More specifically, the width of a post came between David McGoldrick and a goal after he nodded against that vertical after Oli McBurnie had thrown a corner won in the wake of Fabianski somehow preventing another McBurnie header.

Neither team seemed to be in control when, early in the second half, Haller vindicated his coach’s faith by scoring an impressive goal. It all started with Coufal’s interception of a long Ramsdale punt and involved a pleasant interaction between Pablo Fornals and Bowen before the former was tackled as he set out to shoot on the edge of the area and the ball bounced for Haller to hit, unerringly. , to home. .

In an instant, a French striker who seemed to be half a meter from the pace proved to have had the sharpest and technically safest reaction when Haller recorded his first goal from outside the box in nearly 200 games in the Eridivisie, Bundesliga. and Premier League.

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Less positively, that goal meant Sheffield United still haven’t kept a clean sheet all season and Wilder’s mood can hardly have improved as Declan Rice first headed off the crossbar and then McBurnie couldn’t equalize shortly after. that his left foot shot bounced off the bottom. off the bar after a clever ball from substitute Rhian Brewster.

It coincided with the arrival of a freezing rain that swept the Pennines and drenched everyone in its path. On a day that had dashed Sheffield United’s already desperate hopes of avoiding relegation, he looked strangely iconic.

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