In a match at Kenilworth Road that included VAR, Sheffield United defeated Luton 3-1 to increase their fragile chances of surviving.
After a controversial spot kick award following a Reece Burke handball, the Blades scored twice in six minutes through goals from Cameron Archer and James McAtee.
Following halftime, Vinicius Souza was given a penalty for a more obvious handball, which led to Luton receiving a similar penalty. Carlton Morris was able to equalise the score.
With 20 minutes remaining, Souza sealed the outcome with a skillful goal on the break, making up for his earlier mistakes. This was the Blades’ first away victory of the season, and Chris Wilder’s team now trail Luton by seven points, one spot above the relegation zone.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: “It’s been a difficult week. It’s going to be there for a while that [5-0 loss to Aston Villa] result and performance. Hopefully we can use that last Saturday night, there’s no hiding place, you have to own it, I have to own it, the players have to own it. It’s the Premier League, around the world it gets around.
“What do you do? You have to work a little bit harder. You need to do two weeks’ work, you deliver training sessions like they’ve done right the way through. You feel it as a manager, there was a steely attitude to go a little way to put wrong last week’s performance.
“Last week was not certainly how we’ve set this club up since 2016, in my time and in Paul’s time. It’s not what the club is built on, it’s not what we cherish and need to show to bridge the gap.
“They [Luton] have got it spot on here, they’ve had a bit more time at it to build, it’s difficult to build in the Premier League with new players. They’ve got that connection. When you have that, it’s good and you can work from that.”
Luton manager Rob Edwards: “A tough day for us. We made a couple of errors that were really, really costly in the end, weren’t they? It doesn’t matter how much of the ball you have, it’s what you do with it and we were punished in the end.
“Goals change everyone’s emotions in the game. We tried and we huffed and puffed, but in the key moments today, we came up short.
“We had loads of possession in the final third, we weren’t quick enough or precise enough. When we did get behind them, it was a wayward cross, or not picking someone out or not working the goalkeeper enough. No complaints, well done to them.
“Neither ones were penalties in my opinion. I don’t know what a penalty is anymore when it comes to handball. Neither player is looking at the ball and had their hands up.
“I don’t think [being favourites had an impact on the game]. I like to think not. I want to get to the point we are favourites more often. I don’t think the performance showed a team that was not comfortable with that.
“We did dominate massive spells of the game, and I will take the penalties out so it’s a 2-0 loss. We made two mistakes and at this level you can’t do that. I don’t think that had a bearing on the game today, we just didn’t have enough quality on the day. We haven’t had that tag for a long time, barring a few FA Cup games.
“It was an opportunity [to move away from the drop zone] but there’s still a long way to go. I can’t think abut other teams and what they’re doing. If we don’t do our job, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”
Luton host Man United next on Saturday while Sheffield host Brighton on the same day.
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