Aaron Ramsdale emerges with credit at relegated Sheffield United

Paul Heckingbottom praised goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale despite seeing his relegated Sheffield United side slump to a home defeat to Crystal Palace.

Another impressive performance from Ramsdale was the only positive for the Blades, as goals from Christian Benteke and Eberechi Eze’s late clincher ensured fellow strugglers Palace won 2-0 to end a three-match losing run.

The England Under-21 goalkeeper made a couple of fine saves to keep his team in the game at 1-0 and the goals he did concede both took huge deflections, giving him no chance.

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Interim boss Heckingbottom said: “I’ve spoken all along about how impressed I’ve been with him. Before, I was watching from a distance and not working with him, and he has impressed me massively.

Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale saves from Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace. Pictures: Darren Staples / Sportimage

“He’s come through a difficult spell at the start of the season and that shows his character.

“He made a great save from Benteke but he also showed that he is good with his feet and it was a strong performance from him.”

On the game itself, Heckingbottom added: “Conceding in the first 90 seconds or whatever it was just set the game up for them, it knocked the stuffing out of us.

“How Palace play and how good they are on the counter-attack, it just set it up for them and made it difficult for us to get any sort of foothold in the game. It took an awful long time to try to wrestle that back.”

Aaron Ramsdale.

Eze earned the praise of his manager Roy Hodgson.

“He was very good, wasn’t he?” said Hodgson. “It was a bit of a baptism of fire with three games in a row against Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester City, in that it’s not easy against the likes of those teams to get on the ball and show your silky skills.”

Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Bryan (Lundstram 80), Baldock, Berge (Osborn 60), Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, Burke (Jebbison 65), McGoldrick. Unused substitutes: Lowe, Jagielka, Foderingham, Robinson, Bogle, Brewster.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Mitchell, Eze, Milivojevic, Schlupp (Riedewald 71), Townsend (Ayew 75), Benteke, Zaha. Unused substitutes: Butland, van Aanholt, Dann, Mateta, McCarthy, Batshuayi, Kelly.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale impressed against Crystal Palace.

Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire).

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