Happy travellers Sheffield United far from a long-ball team

Happy: Lys Mousset celebrates scoring the equalising goal  at the London Stadium. Picture: James Wilson/Sportimage
Happy: Lys Mousset celebrates scoring the equalising goal at the London Stadium. Picture: James Wilson/Sportimage
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Sheffield United have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League but they have shown they are much more than a team who only love to defend.

The Blades left West Ham United’s London Stadium with a share of the spoils in a result which midfielder Enda Stevens felt was richly deserved.

I am not really too bothered about what other people say about us.

Enda Stevens

The Republic of Ireland player set up the Blades’ second-half equaliser which was beautifully tucked away by Lys Mousset, who claimed his second goal in as many games.

The visitors defended well, giving West Ham little space in dangerous areas. They picked their moments going forward and should have been at least one goal to the good before Robert Snodgrass slotted past Dean Henderson just before half-time.

The result extended United’s unbeaten away run in the Premier League to five and also means they have not lost a game away from Bramall Lane since January.

“We have a belief in how we play and we know that we can cause teams problems,” said Stevens.

“We go out to win every game. It might not work that way and it might not happen for us but we prepare week in, week out to win each game.

“That is how it will be all season.”

The Blades have lost three of their 10 Premier League games but have not been beaten by more than a one-goal margin.

Stevens added: “Every place you go to is tough and I feel that we have been in every game.

“There has not really been a team that has run over the top of us and we are fighting for every point we have earned.”

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini described the Blades’ style as ‘totally English’ in the lead-up to Saturday’s game.

It felt like a back-handed compliment from the former Manchester City chief, who went on to explain how he believed Chris Wilder’s side were hard-working and direct.

Sheffield have already proven they are more than a team who only have the ability to work hard and thump it long.

The Blades stand alongside current league leaders Liverpool as the only teams yet to lose a Premier League game away from home this campaign.

“I am not really too bothered about what other people say about us,” said Stevens.

“We know what we have in our dressing room and that’s all that matters.”

He continued: “I think the back three have been excellent all season.

“We have come up against some good players and they have shut out a lot of teams.

“We defend as a team and we attack as a team, it is not only the back three.

“The midfield three work their socks off and the strikers do the same. We defend as a unit and we attack as a unit.

“We don’t just defend, you could see Jack (O’Connell) and Bash (Chris Basham) pushing forward to help get the equaliser.

“We want to defend and we want to work hard for each other.

“We have got that togetherness, we have got that way of playing and we want to impose ourselves on each game.”

Stevens felt Saturday’s affair was a typical game of two halves as West Ham took a first-half lead before being pegged back with just over 20 minutes to go.

The Blades were put under a lot of pressure by the hosts in the first half but had the two best chances to go ahead.

David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson both missed chances from inside the six-yard area before a long punt from Roberto ended with the ball in the back of Henderson’s net.

“We had to see the first half-hour out. Our backs were up against the wall and our passing wasn’t at it,” said Stevens.

“They were dominating the game but we still created real opportunities to go and score but, unfortunately, we couldn’t take those chances.

“They deserved to be 1-0 ahead at half-time but in the second half we came out fighting and really put them under pressure.”

George Baldock had sights at goal for the visitors in the second half but as the chances came and went it felt like the all-important leveller might not come.

But it soon did as Stevens nodded the ball into the path of Mousset, who opened his body to guide the ball into the far corner.

“It was deserved after all our pressure,” said Stevens of the equaliser.

“That was the biggest thing for us, that we scored while playing our best football.

“We didn’t play well at times and still created chances from which we were disappointed not to score.

“But when you are piling on the pressure you want to see something at the end and, thankfully, we got that goal.”

The Blades were backed in East London by a vocal and packed-out away end and Dublin-born Stevens added: “In the first half compared to the second half, they could see we were trying to get something out of the game and that is what they were cheering for.”