Sheffield United 2 Chelsea 2: Oli McBurnie leaves it late as Blades keep fighting the lost cause right to the end

Fans going home very early has been one of the more depressing aspects of Sheffield United's football this season but when they take games deep, anything can happen.

It looked as though they were heading for another defeat at Bramall Lane, where they had broken a Premier League record for the most home goals conceded with three matches still to play. But Oli McBurnie had other ideas volleying in after his team kept a long punt forward to snatch a 2-2 draw.

They have lost a few too, but it was the fifth point they have taken after the 87th minute of games. Considering they have only won 11 more before it, it is not bad going.

It was no less than they deserved, either.

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EQUALISER: Sheffield United's Jayden Bogle strikes from a tight angleEQUALISER: Sheffield United's Jayden Bogle strikes from a tight angle
EQUALISER: Sheffield United's Jayden Bogle strikes from a tight angle

Chelsea dominated the ball, but the Blades did far more with it. And without they were so much better than they have been far too often on home turf this season.

A better, more battle-hardened team than the Blues might have made more of it but you deal with what is in front of you, and the Blades got their gameplan just right.

The match was slow getting going but as soon as Chelsea took the lead through an act of Sheffield United charity, you felt that was that. Not so by a long chalk.

Conor Gallagher had not long curled an effort wide when he found himself stood over an 11th-minute corner.

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STROKE OF LUCK: Anel Ahmedhodzic's celarance hits Jayden BogleSTROKE OF LUCK: Anel Ahmedhodzic's celarance hits Jayden Bogle
STROKE OF LUCK: Anel Ahmedhodzic's celarance hits Jayden Bogle

For the second home game running the Blades left a man disgracefully free, Auston trusty losing Thiago Silva, whose contact was not clean but his direction was perfect.

From there you feared the worst but the Blades relished their task, Jack Robinson making a great tackle on Cole Palmer, then booting clear after Jayden Bogle's poor pass played the young forward in again.

But a similar mistake by Silva, of all people, had given the home side encouragement, McBurnie finding Ben Brereton Diaz, who would be annoyed he allowed Moises Caicedo to block.

Gustavo Hamer's curling shot forced a low save after 32 minutes so there were groans when he passed rather than shoot but Bogle found the net from a tight angle.

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JOY: Chelsea players celebrate Thiago Silva's opening goalJOY: Chelsea players celebrate Thiago Silva's opening goal
JOY: Chelsea players celebrate Thiago Silva's opening goal

It did little to change the pattern of the game, Chelsea continuing to attack but not getting very far with it thanks to the Blades' defending, and them still posing a threat om the counter-attack.

Anel Ahmedhodic made a tremendous tackle to deny Noni Madueke as he was about to shoot. His next intervention, hot on its heels, was a bit more nervy, his cllearance bouncing off Mason Holgate and into Ivo Grbic's hands.

The Blades got lucky again in the 40th minute, Nicolas Jackson beautifully turning Holgate but letting Marc Cucurella's ball in go through him.

They had earnt it, though, by giving as good as they got – or at least as much circumstances allowed – Robinson heading at Dorde Petrovic at a free-kick, Ahmedhodiz trying an overhead kick at a corner but failing to make contact.

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Although McBurnie put a good chance wide after holding off former Huddersfield Town loanee Trevoh Chalobah and Hamer flashed a shot just wide to oohs from the kop, Chelsea eventually took a tighter grip on the second half.

Silva was once more given far too much space at a corner but he put this one at Grbic.

Too much space for those in blue was becoming a theme, Madueke too unbalanced to take advantage in the 64th minute but lashing home when the Blades fell into the same trap minutes later.

Grbic had to tip over from Palmer at a corner and Ahmedhodzic needed to make an excellent tackle on Jackson to keep it at 2-1.

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Again, you worried the Blades would not be able to come back and again they showed they good – but they took their time over it.

Robinson forced a stretching save from substitute James McAtee's deep 87th-minute free-kick, and Ben Osborn ballooned a shot over.

There was nothing beautiful about McBurnie's goal except, for every Blades fan, the outcome.

It came from a long punt forward, headed into the striker's path by Hamer, then Cameron Archer. He volleyed home to ecstasy at Bramall Lane.

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Lost cause it may be, but the Blades are still fighting it. To the end.

Sheffield United: Grbic; Holgate (McAtee 76), Ahmedhodzic, Robinson (Souza 90+1); Bogle, Hamer, Arblaster, Osborn, Trusty (Archer 87); McBurnie, Brereton.

Unused substitutes: Norwood, Foderingham, Slimane, Larouci, Osula, Brooks.

Chelsea: Petrovic; Disasi, Chalobah, Silva, Cucurella (Badiashile 90+2); Caicedo, Fernandez; Palmer (Chukwuemeka 74), Gallagher, Madueke (Mudryk 82); Jackson (Casadei 90+2).

Unused substitutes: Sterling, Bettinelli, Eugenio, Sharman-Lowe, Gilchrist.

Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).

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