Barnsley's incredible turnaround cannot deny Sheffield United victory - can it save Markus Schopp?

As soon as Lys Mousset opened the scoring for Sheffield United after 52 minutes, the Barnsley fans accepted defeated.

GOALSCORER: Lys Mousset (right) celebrates with Oli McBurnie
GOALSCORER: Lys Mousset (right) celebrates with Oli McBurnie

"You're getting sacked in the morning!" they chanted at coach Markus Schopp as soon as the ball hit the net, not needing the confirmation of his second a couple of minutes later.

From there it was full-on gallows humour from the Ponty End.

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Replacing Victor Adeboyejo, who looked if not their most likely player then certain their least unlikey at that stage, with Devante Cole was greeted with boos.

"You couldn't score in a brothel" they informed Cole as he produced a shocking miss sliding onto a cross, even bearing in mind the pressure from Enda Stevens.

Even if co-chairman Paul Conway, sat behind the home dugout in the West Stand around 1,000 fans have been turfed out of for safety reasons, wanted to shut his eyes aand pretend it was not happening, there was no escape.

"We've got the ball!" they sang sarcastically, normally having to quickly change to "We've lost the ball!"

Then, from nowhere, everything changed.

Callum Styles crossed from the left, Cauley Woodrow flicked it on, Cole controlled on his thigh and volleyed in. With 78 minutes gone and Ben Osborn having earlier scored the Blades third it was a consolation goal, and not much of a consolation at that. Maybe it would have been different had Jasper Moon's shot not hit the upright after 67 minutes.

But five minutes later another Schopp substitute, Aaron Leya Iseka, wriggled into space and blasted a second.

Even the cold weather had brightened up.

Sarcasm suddenly turned to hope as Slavisa Jokanovic seethed on the touchline. Chris Basham was introduced as a third centre-back and when the fourth official's board went up, the six minutes it signified only brought more hope.

Brad Collins went up for a stoppage-time corner, but to no effect.

The point, never mind win, Schopp so badly needed after five straight defeats did not come, but at least his players had shown him some fight. The 3-2 loss did not stop the chants for his heads resuming at full-time, but it probably softened the mood.

Both sides have new managers this season, following on from successful predecessors.

The overhaul at Barnsley has been deeper and later, the bad luck that has accompanied it greater but coming into the game on the back of 11 games without a win was still poor.

Whilst the Blades looked confident in possession without actually making enough of it in the first half, the Reds were scruffy on the ball.

Twice Dominic Frieser was on a different wavelength as Cauley Woodrow dropped deep and looked to play a pass down the middle to him - slightly worrying given how much football they have played together since the Austrian joined at the start of last season.

A mix-up between Collins, who came off his line, and Toby Sibbick, who headed it to where he thought he was going to be was rescued by the goalkeeper. A dangerous Styles free-kick floated straight over the byline. Moon, playing in central midfield, hit a poor pass behind Callum Brittain but the Blades were not immune to sloppiness like that, Enda Stevens attempting to hit the ball from one touchline to another from his own half, but knocking it out in front of Stevens.

With Oli McBurnie part-No 10, part-centre-forward, the visitors looked at their most threatening when they picked Mousset. Usually he was closely shadowed by a centre-back, with Liam Kitching in good form for the Reds - wearing purple socks in aid of Weston park Cancer Charity as the Blades will in the reverse fixture.

When Mousset was released down the middle after four minutes, he dragged his shot wide and although Iliman Ndiaye's cross was just behind him, he ought to have got a better touch on it, and shot straight at Collins.

When Adeboyejo got to the byline there was only Stevens waiting for his cross, and when Mousset did, Kitching left him only the side netting to hit.

Barnsley ended the half more encouragingly, Moon heading an Adeboyejo cross onto the roof of the net, then provoking a routine save with his scruffy touch from Styles's delivery.

It was far from a classic.

Mousset may not be a striker who only needs one chance to score but nor is one who will let you off is you keep granting him opportunities and early in the second half he chased a ball down the left channel, turned inside Michael Helik and curled a lovely finish.

Two minutes later Osborn got to the byline and crossed for him to slide onto.

The space Osborn had to control Baldock's cross and pick his spot was generous to say the least but the game was over by then, or so we thought.

Barnsley: Collins; Sibbick, Helik, Kitching; Brittain, Moon, Gomes, Styles; Adeboyejo (Cole 59), Woodrow, Frieser (Iseka 54).

Unused substitutes: Walton, Oduor, Hondermarck, Vita, Oulare.

Sheffield United: Olsen; Baldock, Egan, Davies, Stevens; Norwood, Fleck; Ndiaye (McGoldrick 68), McBurnie (Basham 86), Osborn; Mousset (Sharp 62).

Unused substitutes: Brewster, Foderingham, Robinson, Hourihane.

Referee: G Ward (Surrey).