David McGoldrick created his Premier League magic as he scored his first-ever brace (2 goals) as Sheffield United dented Champions League-chasing Chelsea with a 3-0 victory at Bramall Lane.
McGoldrick benefitted from static Chelsea defending to end his 25-game wait for a top-flight goal with a close-range rebound after a Kepa Arrizabalaga save on 18 minutes.
Chelsea’s defence was porous, yet again, as the blades ruthlessly punished them 15 minutes later when Enda Stevens crossed and McBurnie was left completely unmarked in the six-yard box to power home a simple header.
The damage was done when McGoldrick capitalised on a dreadful defensive mix-up to plunder his second late in the second half.
The visitors had scored the most number of away goals in the Premier League before this match, including three at Crystal Palace in midweek, but never looked like adding to their tally.
Manager Chris Wilder has drawn many plaudits this season for Sheffield United’s organisation and team ethic. Their desire to keep the ball out of their net, a telling contrast to the fragility of their illustrious visitors.
If Leicester City and Manchester United win their games in hand against Bournemouth and Southampton respectively, Champions League-chasing Chelsea, currently third, could find themselves in fifth when next in action against Norwich on Tuesday.
Chelsea’s manager, Frank Lampard, after the game said he will not forget the things he learned about his Chelsea team after their toothless defeat at Bramall Lane.
The gaffer admitted that Sheffield was the better team physically and mentally.
Chelsea travelled to Bramall Lane looking to tighten their grip on Champions League qualification but were outplayed in every aspect of the game as the Blades cruised to a 3-0 victory.
Stats and facts from the match
- Sheffield United have won four consecutive home top-flight matches for the first time since March 1991, when they had a run of six consecutive wins at Bramall Lane under Dave Bassett
- Chelsea have lost 11 Premier League games this season, at least two more than any other team currently in the top-eight of the division and their most in a season since 2015-16 (12)
- Sheffield United registered their biggest victory over Chelsea since April 1967, when they also won 3-0 at home against the Blues in a top-flight meeting
- This was Chelsea’s heaviest Premier League defeat since Frank Lampard’s first game in charge against Manchester United, when the Blues were beaten 4-0
- McGoldrick and McBurnie scored for Sheffield United, only the second time two players whose surnames start with “Mc” have scored for a team in a Premier League game along with Wigan Athletic against West Brom in May 2013, who saw Callum McManaman and James McArthur on the scoresheet that day
- Chelsea have shipped 33 away Premier League goals this season, their joint-most in a season (also 33 in 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1996-97)
- After a run of eight consecutive Premier League matches scoring at least two goals in each match, Chelsea failed to score for the first time since losing 2-0 to Man Utd in February
- Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, has conceded 42 Premier League goals this season – the only Blues keeper to concede more goals in a single season is Dmitri Kharine in 1993-94 (48)