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James’ giant peach of a strike

WITH one sumptuous swish of his left boot, James McAtee breathed life into Sheffield United’s fight against relegation.

The Manchester City midfielder is on a second season-long loan at Bramall Lane. His moment here came on the stroke of half-time when he collected possession on the right-hand side of Brentford’s box. He showed daring and ambition to curl a peach of a leftfoot shot past Mark Flekken and into the top corner of the goal.

It was his first Premier League goal, worthy of winning any game, and a giant moment for the

Blades. Bramall Lane erupted as their fans began to sing about staying up.

Chris Wilder’s return as manager — following the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom in the wake of last week’s abject 5-0 surrender at Burnley — had had the desired effect, with United getting their second win of the season.

Wilder was delighted. ‘It was really emotional because that first win is huge for everybody.

‘We’re not daft, we listen to pundits and the media. The narrative is what it is and it’s our job to change that. McAtee’s found a moment — a big moment — and it’s decided a tight game.’

Even after this victory, the Blades remain bottom. Wilder was fuming in the first half after Brentford’s Frank Onyeka caught Vini Souza with an ugly challenge, going over the top with his studs.

Referee Stuart Attwell referred the decision to VAR, where Robert Jones deemed the challenge only worthy of a booking.

But, as the interval approached, Gustavo Hamer found McAtee and he settled the match.

Brentford offered little. Bees manager Thomas Frank said: ‘It looked like a game that had to be decided by one top action.’ McAtee provided that.

He was given a standing ovation when replaced by Sydie Peck, as the chant of ‘Chrissy Wilder, he’s one of our own’ was belted out by the home fans on the final whistle.

Premier League




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