Youngster shines in Sheffield United player ratings as Blades are outplayed but not outfought

Sheffield United were beaten 2-0 at Manchester City in their final game of 2023 but neither that nor many of the other basic statistics told the full story from their perspective.

The best club team in the world won with something to spare but the fact the team the table says is the worst in the Premier League did not crumble as they did at Arsenal, Burnley or at home to Newcastle United, gave encouragement to their manager Chris Wilder for the second half of the campaign.

Effort rather than excellence was the feature of the Blades in the 2-0 reverse but a 20-year-old chosen ahead of three strikers bought for seven-figure sums stood out.

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Wes Foderingham – not the busy day he would have been bracing himself for but he still did some good work after a demoralising Boxing Day 7

Jayden Bogle – the Blades' main threat, such as it was, came down his side 6

George Baldock – did not let his side down at centre-back 6

Jack Robinson – backed off Rodri for the opening goal 5

Auston Trusty – combined well with Foderingham to snuff Phil Foden out at one point 6

WILLING RUNNER: Sheffield United striker Will Osula takes on Nathan AkeWILLING RUNNER: Sheffield United striker Will Osula takes on Nathan Ake
WILLING RUNNER: Sheffield United striker Will Osula takes on Nathan Ake

Luke Thomas – had his hands full on an increasingly rare start 5

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Oliver Norwood – his mishit cross forced the game's first save but he had a lot of shadows to chase against City's world-class midfield 5

Vinicius Souza – partly but by no means solely responsible for the side losing possession easily on the rare moments they won the ball 5

Andre Brooks – ineffective but he will never have faced opponents close to being this good 4

Anis Slimane – unable to have an impact in the hole 6

Will Osula – put in a good shift and had a couple of shots at the end of the first half 7


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Cameron Archer (for Slimane, 67) – the plan must have been for him and Rhian Brewster to come on for a late push for an equaliser but he barely saw the ball 4

Rhian Brewster (for Osborn , 67) – ditto 4

Ben Osborn (for Souza, 80) – N/A

Rhys Norrington-Davies (for Osula, 89) – N/A

Unused substitutes: Davies, McBurnie, Traore, Larouci, Seriki.

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