Sheffield United maintained their momentum in the Championship promotion race with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Brentford at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night.
The Blades had to scrap with ten men for most of the game following Gary Madine’s first half dismissal. However, they defended stoutly throughout to preserve their clean sheet and unsure that they claimed the vital three points.
At the heart of this remarkable defensive resilience was centre-back Jack O’Connell. Alongside John Egan and Chris Basham, the 24-year-old was brave, focused and aggressive throughout.
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The former England under-19 international has been in fine form all season, but proved on Tuesday that he must now be considered amongst the most reliable centre-backs in the division.
Chris Wilder will be delighted with the Liverpool-born star’s contribution, and will realise that his form and fitness are vital to the success of the club’s promotion push.
After the match, plenty of Blades fans took to Twitter to congratulate O’Connell on another emphatic and dominant display…
what a game! the crowd and players were incredible. Jack O’Connell was was a man possessed.
— Alistair Wood (@_ali_bongo_) 13 March 2019
Egan and O’Connell are superb at the back, just seem to get better as the season progresses. Together with Stevens and Cranie in the 2nd half, one of the best defensive displays I’ve ever seen from a Blades side. Deserved the McGoldrick goal for it #SUFCvBrentford #SUFC
— Antony Simpson (@schillaci19) 12 March 2019
— CJ (@calumjohnmusic) 12 March 2019
Well that was exhausting to watch! What a performance. Our back 3 would hold a tsunami back! Special credit to Jack O’Connell… by far the best centre half in the league. UTFMB!!!! #Twitterblades #SUFC
— Mathew Wilson (@0Bigguns0) 12 March 2019
Jack o’connell has just produced the best defensive performance from a blades defender in my lifetime. The whole team were superb but he was like superman. What a win, set’s saturday up nicely. #Twitterblades #sufc
— David Greatorex (@david_greatorex) 12 March 2019
— Lea Boulby (@LeaBoulby) 12 March 2019
— Lizzy (@LizBurke2) 12 March 2019
Jack O’Connell unbelievable tonight #sufc
— Tom Fontana (@Fonzyy97) 12 March 2019