Swansea share spoils with Sheffield United after goalless draw in Wales
Swansea City and Sheffield United shared the points from a goalless draw in the Sky Bet Championship as the Blades frustrated the hosts in Wales.
United – relegated from the Premier League last season – had to make do with rare moments of joy on the counter as Swansea dominated the ball.
But Russell Martin’s men could not match their neat and tidy possession with a cutting edge as Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was forced into action just once.
Swansea had only one shot on target all game and the 90 minutes reinforced the fact new head coach Martin will need a new striker if his team are going to trouble the Championship’s top end.
Manchester United’s Ethan Laird was in Swansea for the game ahead of joining on loan, but Ryan Bennett and Kyle Naughton were out injured.
Flynn Downes made his Swansea debut while United named an attacking side. Former Swans Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie started up front and on the bench respectively.
Martin applauded the crowd before kick-off in his first home game, but his goalkeeper Steven Benda was nearly embarrassed by David McGoldrick.
Swansea still started impressively as they dominated the ball. Joel Latibeaudiere had a shot blocked by Jack Robinson. McGoldrick also had a shot saved by Benda on an away counter-attack.
Billy Sharp forced Benda into action too with a header from a free-kick while at the other end, Swansea captain Matt Grimes fired well over.
It was a first half of few chances and although Swansea had 65 per cent of possession, the two teams turned around level and the hosts had not registered a shot on target.
Jamal Lowe looked to race on to Liam Cullen’s through ball for Swansea at the start of the second half but was flagged offside.
Martin wanted his side to pass the ball quicker and he was furious when Grimes was booked for a tackle on Sander Berge. Brewster, who had been quiet, fired over the bar as did Grimes again.
United introduced McBurnie and Ben Osborn in the 58th minute and the former got a good reception from his old supporters.
Lowe finally had a shot on target for the hosts when he worked Ramsdale in the United goal and was then immediately substituted for Joel Piroe.
McGoldrick raced in on goal from the angle but blazed high and wide in ugly fashion to earn ridicule from the Swansea crowd and then headed a glorious opportunity off target.
It summed up a night when a lack of top quality in front of goal cost both sides two points.
The two teams went direct late on in a desperate search for a goal, but none arrived in front of a returning Welsh crowd of 15,946.
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