HomeSheffield United 0-6 Arsenal: Gunners run riot against beleaguered Blades

Sheffield United 0-6 Arsenal: Gunners run riot against beleaguered Blades

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Arsenal continued their incredible goalscoring run and moved back to within two points of the Premier League summit by crushing a woeful Sheffield United side 6-0 at Bramall Lane.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners approached Monday’s game having scored 25 goals while winning their first six league games of 2024, while Sheffield United had shipped five goals in each of their last three home games against Brighton and Hove Albion (twice) and Aston Villa.

There was to be no reversal of the formbook as Arsenal cruised into a 5-0 lead by half-time, with Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice scoring while Jayden Bogle put through his own net for the Blades.

Ben White added a sixth in the second half as Arsenal issued an emphatic response to victories for Liverpool and Manchester City over the weekend, the only negative for the visitors being the sight of Martinelli hobbling off injured shortly after the hour mark.

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Arsenal laid siege to the Sheffield United goal from the first whistle, somehow failing to open the scoring within 80 seconds as Bukayo Saka volleyed against the crossbar before Auston Trusty cleared Martinelli’s follow-up off the line.

Sheffield United didn’t head that warning and the Gunners had their opener in the fifth minute. Rice underlapped Martinelli to cut the ball back for Odegaard, and the Norwegian made no mistake with his side-footed finish.

It looked like being a long night for the Blades from there, and two further goals within 100 seconds put the game beyond them with 15 minutes played. First, Saka’s low cross from the right was turned in by Bogle, before Martinelli’s left-footed shot deflected off Anel Ahmedhodzic to beat Ivo Grbic at his near post.

Arsenal’s fourth arrived after just 25 minutes as Havertz drilled across goal and in after Martinelli dispossessed Ahmedhodzic, and more pain awaited the hosts before the end of the half.

Sheffield United became the first team in English league history to concede five goals in four straight home games six minutes before half-time, with Rice stroking another Saka cutback into the bottom-left corner.

A crestfallen Chris Wilder made a triple substitution at half-time, but it wasn’t enough to slow Arsenal down. Their sixth goal arrived after 58 minutes, Havertz showing great hold-up play before teeing up White to arc a left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner.

The only blot on Arsenal’s outing came five minutes later, with Martinelli limping from the field after being hurt in a collision with Ahmedhodzic.

Arsenal sought more goals as Gabriel Jesus forced Grbic into a fine fingertip save, with Sheffield United managing to avoid a repeat of September’s 8-0 defeat to Newcastle United.

That will be scant consolation for Wilder’s doomed side, however, who have now conceded an astonishing 72 goals in just 27 Premier League games this season.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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