Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder praised his side’s character as they put last week’s thrashing by Aston Villa behind them to claim a first away win of the season at Luton.

The 5-0 loss at Bramall Lane last Saturday left the Blades 10 points adrift of Premier League safety, but they bounced back with a deserved 3-1 victory at Kenilworth Road.

Luton could not summon the intensity with which they dispatched Brighton 4-0 here 11 days previously. Instead, and despite dominating the ball in the first half, they allowed the visitors the spaces they needed to take control of the game by the break.

First, Cameron Archer recovered his composure after slamming wide from eight yards to seconds later give his team the lead, charging defender Gabe Osho off the ball before turning a clever finish inside Thomas Kaminski’s near post.

James McAtee doubled the lead from the penalty spot after a pitchside VAR review ruled handball against Reece Burke, as the Blades took a two-goal lead for the first time this campaign.

Carlton Morris got one back from 12 yards, another onfield review adjudging that Vinicius Souza had handled at a Luton corner.

But the Brazilian redeemed himself to net the clinching goal 18 minutes from time, rounding off a clinical counter-attack to slam home the Blades’ third and cut the gap to safety to seven points.

“It’s been long time coming,” said Wilder of his team’s first win on the road. “It shouldn’t be February. The club have come close on quite a number of occasions.

“It’s been a difficult week. I didn’t think they would have expected it to be any different, in terms of (my) message.

“It’s going to be there for a while that (Villa) result and performance, and the whole feel of it. So hopefully we can use last Saturday night, no hiding place. You have to own it as a manager. The players have to own it.

“What do you do? You work a little bit harder, tune in a little bit more to your week’s work, deliver good training sessions which they have done right the way through.

“I believe there was a steely attitude (against Luton), you feel it sometimes as a manager. There was desire to put what went wrong last week in today’s performance, and we did.

“Last week was certainly not how we set up this club since 2016 and through my time and through (former boss) Paul’s (Heckingbottom’s) time. It’s not what the club is built on, it’s not what we cherish.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards reflected on a missed opportunity against the league’s bottom side to add to the 11 points his team had taken from their previous six games.

“Tough day for us,” he said. “We made a couple of costly errors. It doesn’t matter how much of the ball you have, it’s what you do with it that counts.

“Goals change everyone’s emotions in a game. Key moments today we came up a little bit short.

“When we had loads of possession in the final third, we were not precise or quick or slick enough. We didn’t work the goalkeeper enough.”

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted there was little his side could do to stop influential Crystal Palace duo Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze after the pair lifted the hosts to a 3-2 victory at Selhurst Park.

A frenetic first 30 minutes in south London started in stunning fashion with Ben Brereton Diaz’s opener inside the first 21 seconds, cancelled out by Eze via Olise’s assist.

James McAtee quickly restored United’s lead but the sides were square at the break after Olise once again teed up Eze before he got himself on the scoresheet with the 67th-minute game-winner.

Wilder, whose side remain bottom of the Premier League, said: “We got pushed back, those two players decided a pretty tight game.

“The quality that those two players have, you’re up against minimum £50million for both of those players. You have to deal with that, that’s what the Premier League is about.

“Could have done with Olise having just a few more days off but that’s the challenges you’re up against. You want to play against the best players, and when they find those bits and moments that we’re trying to find it makes it a difficult evening.

“We do prep and we do structure and we have a game plan but I think what happens is that those boys can destroy your game plan through individual brilliance.

“You can have all the plan in the world, but those boys find a way.”

Despite injuries severely hampering their appearances together, Olise’s seventh assist for Eze moved him into joint-first with Andros Townsend and James McArthur for the most times a Palace player has assisted a single team-mate.

The victory eased pressure on Palace boss Roy Hodgson after the Eagles’ 5-0 dismantling at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, where fans in the away end raised banners protesting against the direction of their club.

Yet there were worrying scenes at Selhurst Park, with both Olise and Eze removed in the second half after they received treatment on the pitch.

The 76-year-old said he was more concerned about Eze than Olise, who had returned to his line-up for the first time in 2024 after sitting out since Palace’s Brentford victory in late December, having also missed a significant spell to start the season with a separate hamstring issue.

Hodgson said the pair “haven’t been fully assessed” but “both of them were pretty upbeat after the game, and with any luck” available to face bitter rivals Brighton on Saturday.

The Palace boss said the win and presence of the two influential players did “wonders” for his side’s confidence and added: “Hopefully we put the black mark of last week, the heavy defeat, behind us.

“I think people, if they’re looking at the team now, should be doing so with a large degree of optimism. This team and this group of players are capable of lifting Crystal Palace up into a higher position than we find ourselves in.”

Michael Olise marked his return to Crystal Palace’s starting line-up by scoring the winner in their 3-2 Premier League comeback victory over Sheffield United to ease pressure on Eagles boss Roy Hodgson.

Villarreal loanee Ben Brereton Diaz stunned the home support into silence when he netted the opener inside 21 seconds at Selhurst Park before Olise teed up Eberechi Eze for the equaliser.

James McAtee restored the Blades’ lead before Olise once again set up Eze, who squared things up inside the first half-hour of a frenetic first period to complete his brace, before Olise ensured his side would walk away with all three points after the break.

Anel Ahmedhodzic came close to salvaging a point when he clipped the crossbar late in the second half, but the Premier League bottom side ultimately walked away with nothing to show.

Hodgson’s side came into the contest having won just once in their last 10 league contests, the Palace boss brushing aside suggestions that it was a “must win”, partially pointing once again to the lengthy list of absentees in the first half of the campaign.

His ranks on Tuesday were boosted by the return of Olise, recovered from his second hamstring injury of the season and starting alongside Eze for just the fifth league contest this campaign.

Brereton Diaz opened the scoring following a delivery from Gustavo Hamer and the January signing patiently weaved his way forward from the left before sending his strike into the bottom-right corner, our of reach of the diving Dean Henderson.

The hosts had a handful of chances to reply before Olise added his third assist of the league campaign when his fine delivery from the edge of the area allowed Eze to flick the ball past Ivo Grbic for a 17th-minute equaliser.

United restored their lead three minutes later when McAtee’s effort from distance took a deflection off Marc Guehi, giving Henderson little chance as the ball spun out of his reach.

It was all square again before the half-hour mark, Eze this time taking his time after latching onto Olise’s delivery at the edge of the area, weaving his way to centre and curling a left-footed effort into the top corner.

The second half began with bad news for Chris Wilder, when Grbic’s head collided with Jean-Philippe Mateta as he came out to collect the ball and, following treatment, he was replaced by Wes Foderingham.

Palace, who had settled into the contest, took the lead for the first time in the 67th minute when Mateta’s cross bounced favourably in the direction of Olise, who made it 3-2 with a half-volley.

But those in the stands had barely finished celebrating before witnessing a worrying scene. Olise had gone down and, after consulting physios, was removed after 69 minutes in what Palace fans will pray was a precautionary measure.

A similar sentiment surely extended to Eze, who was pulled less than 10 minutes later following his own consultation.

The Blades came inches away from salvaging a point when Ahmedhodzic clipped the crossbar with a header, Henderson reacting quickly to deny Andre Brooks soon after and neither side could take advantage of 11 minutes of stoppage time.

Sheffield United cruised through to the FA Cup fourth round with a dominant 4-0 victory against League Two side Gillingham at Priestfield.

Danish striker Will Osula scored his first two goals for the Blades to put the Premier League’s bottom side in control at half-time before James McAtee’s quick-fire double late on earned last year’s semi-finalists their first away win in all competitions this season.

Blades manager Chris Wilder made five changes to his starting line-up for the game, but his side delivered an assured performance to avoid an upset and progress to round four with ease.

Osula’s opener came following a United break on 14 minutes, with his low effort going through the legs of Gills goalkeeper Jake Turner.

Turner’s fumble shortly after almost allowed Cameron Archer, one of those players who came into the United team for this game, to double the Yorkshire side’s advantage.

The Gills’ last FA Cup victory against top-tier opposition came five years ago against Cardiff, who also sat bottom of the Premier League upon their visit to Kent.

However, in front of a season-best crowd of 8,801, their afternoon went from bad to worse when Osula capitalised on Turner’s poor parry from Femi Seriki’s shot to side-foot home for his second six minutes before half-time.

Oli Hawkins wasted a brilliant chance for the Gills, League Two’s lowest scorers with just 21 goals in 25 games, when he miscued a header from Connor Mahoney’s corner 10 minutes after the break.

The Blades were also increasingly wasteful in front of goal, with McAtee and Archer flashing efforts over the bar, before the latter’s deflected shot on 63 minutes called Turner into action.

Gillingham’s best spell saw Mahoney test Wes Foderingham from distance, before Hawkins again failed to work the United goalkeeper with another header.

The hosts looked to have pulled themselves back into the tie 12 minutes from time when Max Ehmer’s glanced header crashed off the inside of the post, but the ball went back into play instead of over the line.

McAtee ended any doubts about the result on 83 minutes, as he beat the offside trap to meet Ollie Norwood’s pass and fire past the luckless Turner.

He completed the scoring with the best goal of the tie with three minutes remaining, blazing into the top corner from 20 yards after Gustavo Hamer’s short corner caught Gillingham napping.

Wilder sent new signing Ben Brereton Diaz on for his debut 20 minutes from time, but the Villarreal loanee was denied a first Blades goal by Turner in the final minute.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted his first win back in charge was “emotional” after beating Brentford 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

The decisive moment came on the stroke of half-time when James McAtee superbly curled into the top corner for his first Premier League goal.

Wilder’s side had chances to put the game to bed through Anis Slimane, who saw his one-on-one effort saved by Mark Flekken before lashing another effort into the side-netting.

Bramall Lane celebrated victory after Stuart Attwell blew for full-time after a late handball call to earn United their second success of the season.

Wilder was glad to get his first win out of the way on his return to the club.

He said: “It was really emotional because that first win is huge for everybody.

“I’d have been desperately disappointed (if Sheffield United conceded) for the amount of effort they’ve put in.

“The word we use is suffer and the club has had to suffer this season, nationally we know what the narrative is, we are not daft, we listen to pundits and commentators about certain aspects. It’s our job to change that.”

Wilder felt his side could have sealed victory in the second half but spurned opportunities which gave the visitors a chance of an equaliser.

He added: “The only disappointing thing is we didn’t put the game to bed and we’ve all been in that position.

“We took a step into them and then we had to suffer at the end of the second half to put our bodies on the line and keep the ball out of the net and that’s the most simplistic way of doing it.

“It’s a quick turnaround especially with the amount of energy we put into the game and the emotional energy with what’s happened this week with the manager leaving and what that does to players and staff.”

Brentford top scorer Bryan Mbeumo picked up an ankle injury in their midweek defeat to Brighton and boss Thomas Frank admitted his presence was missed.

He said: “Of course he was a big miss.

“Take any of the top producers out of any of the top sides and they will also feel it but it is what it is and it is up to me to find solutions for it.

“We are trying and sometimes it doesn’t succeed the first time, hopefully we get another chance on Sunday (against Aston Villa).”

James McAtee’s brace inspired dominant England Under-21s to a routine 3-0 win in Serbia.

The Manchester City midfielder, on loan at Sheffield United, scored his first goals for the Young Lions.

Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott added a third early in the second half as England saw out their Euro 2025 qualifier on Saturday with minimum fuss, shrugging off last month’s rare defeat to Ukraine.

Lee Carsley’s side remain second, three points behind leaders Ukraine in Group F after their 4-0 win over Luxembourg on Friday.

England thumped Serbia 9-1 at the City Ground last month and were dominant from the start in Backa Topola.

It took just five minutes for the Young Lions to open the scoring when McAtee collected the ball on the edge of the area and his strike deflected off Mihajlo Ilic to loop over Veljko Ilic in goal.

Four minutes later Liam Delap came close to doubling the lead when he glanced Noni Madueke’s cross just wide.

But it was 2-0 after 19 minutes when McAtee received Hayden Hackney’s pass 20 yards out and drilled in, although Ilic should have done better.

England dominated the rest of the half without adding to their advantage but took just nine minutes of the second half to make it 3-0.

Elliott scored twice in the rout in Nottingham and got in on the act when he drilled into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Striker Jay Stansfield, making his debut after a late call this week, hit the woodwork after a neat turn and strike with 13 minutes left and also went close late on.

Stansfield, on loan at Birmingham from Fulham, was denied a debut goal with three minutes remaining when he latched onto Madueke’s pass but saw his shot blocked.

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