Sheffield United 4 Fulham 5: It's difficult to make sense of that, admits stunned Blades boss Wilder

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic was keen to keep the attention off Ryan Sessegnon after his hat-trick inspired a breathless 5-4 win at Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship.

Samir Carruthers of Sheffield Utd deflated on the final.


Aged only 17, Sessegnon’s star continues to rise after his heroics for England Under-19s in the summer and his treble, in addition to Sheyi Ojo’s brace, helped the Cottagers win a first game in seven, going back to the end of September.

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That only tells half of the story, though, as the Blades rallied from 5-2 down to nearly snatch a point, thanks to a second successive Bramall Lane hat-trick by Leon Clarke, who has scored 12 goals in the last 10 games.

Leon Clarke of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But Sessegnon will probably win the fight for the match-ball as he showed the class which suggests he has a big future in the game, not that his boss wanted to talk about it.

“It’s always the same question - Ryan, Ryan, Ryan,” Jokanovic said.

“Ryan is growing up in the right direction, he is a young player with a clear head, he wants to improve and learn. He wants to be better in the future.

“We will try and support him, but he had the support of his team-mates today.”

Leon Clarke of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Cottagers have been on a poor run of form, but the boss was relieved to see his side get the three points, though did not enjoy the experience.

“It was a crazy game, it is great entertainment for the supporters, it is less for us,” Jokanovic added.

“At the end of the day, it is a victory. We have to be satisfied with three points and we go forward.”

After Clarke put his side ahead in the fifth minute, Ojo and Sessegnon overturned the lead, only for Clarke to grab his second.

Sessegnon then notched the fifth goal of the first half to put Fulham back in front and they ran away with it in the second half as Ojo also notched a double and then the England youngster grabbed his hat-trick.

The Blades did not go down without a fight, though, and Samir Carruthers and Clarke’s third took it down to the wire as Fulham barely hung on.

“It’s difficult to make sense of it,” boss Chris Wilder said. “To concede five at home, you are not going to give yourself a fantastic chance.

“I was proud of the players for the way we went for it. I don’t want my team to go out the back door - it’s happened too many times over the last few years. It’s been too easy for teams to win here.

“Whatever team gets a result here this year they will have to go through the mill, they will have to make sure they earn it.

“Fulham earned it today, though I don’t think they cut us open. The plus points are that the players went right to the end and asked the question of a talented Fulham side.”