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‘Scandalous’ Holgate tackle helps Brighton hammer Sheff Utd

Sheffield United defender Mason Holgate was sent off in the 13th minute for a horror tackle which helped Brighton ease to a 5-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

Holgate lunged in knee-high on Brighton’s Kauro Mitoma and was shown a straight red card following a VAR check before the visitors piled on the misery for Chris Wilder’s side, who became the first team in top-division history to concede five or more goals in three consecutive home games.

Facundo Buonanotte forced in the opener at a corner and Danny Welbeck slammed home the second four minutes later while the Blades had Ben Osborn’s goal ruled out for offside on the stroke of half-time.

Brighton dominated the second half, eventually repeating their quickfire double as Jack Robinson turned the ball into his own net before Simon Adingra swept in their fourth just two minutes later.

Adingra’s late deflected effort nestled into the bottom corner for Brighton’s fifth and became Sheffield United’s 65th goal conceded this season, the most in Premier League history after 25 games, which leaves them seven points from safety as Brighton move up to seventh.

Player ratings:

Sheffield United: Foderingham (5); Bogle (6), Holgate (1), Ahmedhodzic (4), Robinson (4), Larouci (5); Osborn (5), Hamer (5), Souza (5), McAtee (5); Osula (5).

Subs: Trusty (5), Brooks (5), Brewster (6), Norwoos (6), Davies (6)

Brighton: Verbruggen (7), Lamptey (6), Webster (6), Van Hecke (7), Dunk (8), Gilmour (7), Gross (8), Buonanotte (8), Adingra (9), Welbeck (8), Mitoma (8).

Subs: Igor (6), Moder (6), Ferguson (6), Fati (6), Estupinan (n/a)

Player of the Match: Simon Adingra

How Brighton hammered Sheffield United

Simon Adingra celebrates with Danny Welbeck after scoring Brighton's fourth goal at Bramall Lane
Image: Simon Adingra celebrates with Danny Welbeck after scoring Brighton’s fourth goal at Bramall Lane

Both goalkeepers were forced into early saves as Brighton’s Bart Verbruggen parried from Jayden Bogle before Wes Foderingham had to be alert to keep team-mate Anel Ahmedhodzic from diverting the ball into his own net.

Team news:

  • Cameron Archer was not in the Sheffield United squad with a calf injury so William Osula started up front. Yasser Larouci also come in for Rhys Norrington-Davies in defence.
  • Bert Verbruggen replaced Jason Steele in goal for Brighton while AFCON champion Simon Adingra returned to start instead of Adam Lallana. Adam Webster came in for Pervis Estpuinan.

Holgate’s moment of madness allowed Brighton to take control with Buonanotte soon hooking in from close range at a corner in the 21st minute and Welbeck then smashing home the rebound from Mitoma’s shot three minutes later.

Mason Holgate was sent off for his tackle on Kaoru Mitoma.
Image: Mason Holgate was sent off for his tackle on Kaoru Mitoma.

Mitoma and then Pascal Gross both had efforts cleared off the Sheffield United goal line but the visitors were fortunate not to concede when Osborn was given offside after scoring via a ricochet off Buonanotte which was deemed not to have been deliberate.

Brighton had 82 per cent possession in the second half yet it took until the 75th minute for them to score the third as Mitoma’s cross from the left was turned into his own net by Robinson.

Jack Robinson scores an own goal to condemn Sheffield United to a 3-0 deficit against Brighton
Image: Jack Robinson scores an own goal to condemn Sheffield United to a 3-0 deficit against Brighton

The home fans were still heading for the exits as Adingra netted the fourth from Gross’ cross and it got worse when the winger’s effort looped over Foderingham via a deflection.

Redknapp: Holgate tackle ‘scandalous’

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Curtis Davies and Jamie Redknapp discuss Mason Holgate’s challenge on Kauro Mitoma which saw the Sheffield United defender sent off

Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports Premier League:

“It’s one of the worst tackles I’ve seen in years. Even in my era, that would’ve been a scandalous tackle.

“How on earth Mitoma’s managed to get his leg out of the way, I’ve no idea but thank goodness he has or that’s career-ending.

“I feel so sorry for Chris Wilder when you have a player who does that. I’ve got no idea what he’s thinking, he’s cost his team.”

De Zerbi: Red card made it an easier game

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi told Sky Sports:

“We are very happy for the result. Obviously, the red card for Sheffield United changed the game. We have to be honest when they concede a red card and we have a player more it is [easier] because [otherwise] the game would be very tough.

“When we are dominating the game we have more intention and more focus not to concede a counter-attack. Because we play with our style, and our style is to try to dominate the game. Different teams play on the counter-attack and they want to play without the ball.

“We have to be more focused on the safe passes, short passes, shorter passes and to stay many players close to the ball because when we lose the ball we have to react, and not concede.”

Opta Stats: Holgate sees red again

  • This was Brighton and Hove Albion’s biggest-ever margin of victory in an away top-flight match, and biggest on the road in any league outing since February 2000, when they won 7-1 at Chester City in the fourth tier.
  • Brighton have had 12 Premier League goals scored by teenagers this season (excl. own goals), the most by a side in a single campaign in the competition since West Brom in 2012-13 (14).
  • Sheffield United have conceded 36 goals in 13 Premier League home games this season; in English top-flight history, only Darwen in 1891-92 (43) and Aston Villa in 1935-36 (41) have ever shipped more from their first 13 home matches of a campaign.
  • Since the start of 2021-22, no player has been given more red cards in the Premier League than Sheffield United’s Mason Holgate (3). In the 13th minute, his was the earliest straight red card given to a player in a game in the competition since Nathaniel Chalobah for Fulham v Newcastle in October 2022 (8th min).

Fantasy Premier League stats

Sheffield United vs Brighton FPL stats

Goals Adingra (2), Buonanotte, Welbeck, Robinson OG
Assists Mitoma (2), Dunk, Gross, Fati
Bonus points Dunk (3pts), Adingra, Gross (2pts)

Play Fantasy Premier League and see more stats here

What’s next?

Sheffield United are back on Sky Sports next Sunday, travelling to Wolves in the Premier League on Super Sunday; kick-off 1.30pm.

Sunday 25th February 1:00pm Kick off 1:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

Brighton are back in Premier League action on Saturday as they host Everton; kick-off 3pm.

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