Millwall looking to make Championship Goal Of The Season a one-club competition after two stunners at Sheffield United


Millwall are starting their own competition for Championship Goal Of The Season after two stunning finishes gave them a priceless victory over Sheffield United.

Lions manager Gary Rowett was looking for a response after a poor performance against Luton on Saturday and he certainly got that as this result moved his team – at least until Wednesday night’s matches – back into the top half of the table and within three points of the top six.

Scott Malone returned to the side following injury but there was less good news on Murray Wallace, the latter was a concussion substitute against Luton and missed out. Danny McNamara was also absent from the matchday squad. Tom Bradshaw started in place of Benik Afobe.

To the surprise of many it was the visitors who started the better and they took the game to their hosts, quieting down the Bramall Lane crowd and making it very hard for the former Premier League side to put anything into motion.

The Lions showed their intentions as early as the second minute. George Saville and Sheyi Ojo combined to find Jed Wallace in the box but the Lions’ top scorer was offside. George Evans tried his luck from distance but his shot dropped wide of the post.

The scoring was opened in the 11th minute. Wallace received a pass from Ryan Leonard, then sent a cross-come-shot that caught out Blades keeper Robin Olsen and nestled perfectly into the net to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Luton got their pressing game at The Den spot on last Saturday, preventing Millwall from creating anything – the roles were reversed in Sheffield. It was Millwall’s pressing that forced United into problems. Indeed, the hosts were lucky not to be further behind four minutes later but Malone was unable to keep his shot down after the hosts ran into issues against the press.

Bartosz Białkowski, back-to-back Millwall’s Player of the Year, made a superb stop to deny David McGoldrick after the striker was played through on goal. Leonard also had to make a gutsy block after the ball fell to Enda Stevens, who positioned himself to strike low and hard towards goal.

The Blades very rarely troubled the Lions defence but were presented with a great chance to go into the break level. Malone’s cheap foul on John Fleck resulted in a penalty which Billy Sharp converted. Fortune favoured Millwall seven minutes into the second half, McGoldrick somehow failed to convert from virtually on the goal-line after Stevens’ troubling cross.

Playing against 10 men is something that Millwall have struggled with in recent times and they had a numerical advantage from the 54th minute after Morgan Gibbs-White was sent off for two bookable offences, the second being simulation. Rowett’s men did find it hard as Slavisa Jokanavic’s side began to play without fear and without anything to lose.

Despite being on the backfoot for the majority of the time after the sending off, the Lions came on strong at the end and got their reward. Cooper struck from outside the box with a thunderous effort which left Olsen with no hope.

It’s Millwall’s third win in their last four games and their second successive win away from home, following on from the 1-0 victory at Barnsley before the international break.

Rowett’s men are still in striking distance of the top six. They have 18 points from their first 13 games, one fewer than at this stage last season, and are in the same league position despite the fact there have been many more problematic factors to contend with. Not once has Rowett been able to pick from a fully-fit and available squad.

It’s safe to say that Cooper loves his visits to Bramall Lane, he scored a late equaliser the last time Milllwall were there in 2019. His goal will be a massive confidence boost after a challenging start to the season that has seen him in and out of the side.


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