Chelsea claimed a third consecutive victory under Thomas Tuchel as they beat Sheffield United 2-1 in an incident-packed contest at Bramall Lane to climb to fifth in the Premier League.Mason Mount set Chelsea on their way with a clinical finish from Timo Werner’s cutback shortly before half-time, but the Blades were level within nine minutes of the restart when Antonio Rudiger’s bizarre own goal gifted the hosts an equaliser – the first goal conceded of Tuchel’s tenure.
Having denied Sheffield United a first-half penalty, VAR took centre stage as Chelsea restored their lead four minutes later, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale’s foul on Werner penalised after referee Kevin Friend consulted the pitchside monitor, allowing Jorginho to convert from the spot for the second game running.Rudiger atoned for his earlier error with a string of crucial defensive interventions that saw out the Chelsea win and condemned the battling Blades – who remain rooted to the foot of the table, 12 points from safety – to an 18th defeat of the season.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale (5), Basham (6), Egan (6), Bryan (5), Bogle (6), Lundstram (6), Norwood (6), Fleck (6), Lowe (5), Burke (6), McBurnie (5).
Subs: Sharp (5), McGoldrick (5), Brewster (n/a).
Chelsea: Mendy (6), Azpilicueta (6), Rudiger (7), Christensen (6), James (6), Jorginho (7), Kovacic (6), Chilwell (5), Mount (7), Werner (8), Giroud (5).
Subs: Alonso (5), Kante (5), Hudson-Odoi (5).
Man of the Match: Timo Werner
How Rudiger gaffe failed to derail Tuchel’s unbeaten start
Chelsea’s Timo Werner tries to control the ball vs Sheffield United
Sheffield United nearly got off to the perfect start inside 30 seconds when OIi McBurnie released striker partner Oliver Burke through on goal, but the Blades forward opted for a near-post finish instead of going for goal and lashed a shot into the side-netting.
Chelsea burst into life on six minutes when Mateo Kovacic played Werner through on goal but having lifted a shot over the on-rushing Ramsdale, the covering Chris Basham prevented the ball from crossing the goal line.
Kean Bryan, Max Lowe, Oliver Burke and Oli McBurnie returned as Sheffield United made four changes from the win against West Brom.
Andreas Christensen, Ben Chilwell and Olivier Giroud returned as Chelsea made three changes from the win at Tottenham.
Sheffield United promising start yielded a penalty on 10 minutes when Ben Chilwell was penalised for a rash lunge on Basham, but a VAR review found the Blades defender offside in the build-up, and Chelsea were reprieved.
Chilwell headed over while under pressure and Kean Bryan brilliantly blocked Mount’s goalbound shot as Chelsea upped the intensity as half-time approached, and they found the breakthrough with two minutes to spare.
Jorginho celebrates after scoring for Chelsea against Sheffield Utd
Werner brilliantly drove into space down the left after playing a one-two before cutting the ball back to the edge of the box where Mount dispatched into the bottom corner.The Chelsea lead lasted just minutes into the second half as the Blues conceded for the first time under their new manager. Edouard Mendy raced off his line to gather McBurnie’s wayward pass but was beaten to it by Rudiger, who watched on in horror as his back pass nestled in the bottom corner of his own net.
Antonio Rudiger scores an own goal against Sheff Utd
Chelsea’s lead was short-lived but parity was even shorter, with Ramsdale racing off his line and committing to a rash lunge on Werner after he raced onto Bryan’s loose back pass.Having been dismissed initially, referee Friend was instructed to consult the pitchside monitor where he swiftly awarded Chelsea a penalty, and Jorginho, just as he did in the victory at Tottenham, made no mistake from 12 yards.
Jorginho scores from the spot to put Chelsea ahead vs Sheff Utd
Rudiger nearly atoned for own goal at the other end, coming within inches of getting on the end of Cesar Azpilicueta’s near-post flick, but the Germany defender thwarted John Fleck and two shots in quick succession from substitute Rhian Brewster in stoppage-time as Chelsea continued their impressive start to life under Tuchel.
Opta stats – Chelsea rekindle away-day formChelsea have won each of their last three Premier League games, equalling their longest winning streak of the season (three between October-November). This was also just the second time they’ve won consecutive Premier League away games this term.Chelsea have only conceded one goal in their first four Premier League games under Thomas Tuchel – their fewest through a manager’s first four league games in charge since Guus Hiddink in February/March 2009.Since beating Chelsea at Bramall Lane in July 2020, Sheffield United have only won two of their last 13 home games in the Premier League (D1 L10).Sheffield United have kept just one clean sheet in their last 25 Premier League games, with that lone shutout coming at home to Newcastle last month.Since the start of last season, Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger is one of only five players to have scored multiple own goals in the Premier League (2), however the German has done it in the fewest appearances among this group (28).Aged 22 years and 28 days, Mason Mount is the second-youngest player to score 10 Premier League goals for Chelsea, after only Arjen Robben (21y 342d).Nine of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s 11 Premier League goals have come from the penalty spot (82%) – this is the highest ratio of any player with 10+ goals in the competition’s history.What’s next?Sheffield United host Bristol City in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday at 7.30pm, before travelling to West Ham in the Premier League on Monday at 6pm.
Monday 15th February 7:00pm
Kick off 8:00pm
Chelsea travel to Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday at 8pm, before host Newcastle on Monday Night Football at 8pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.