SHEFFIELD, England (Reuters) - Substitute John Lundstram grabbed the 84th-minute winner as promoted Sheffield United continued their unexpected bid for European football with a 2-1 Premier League win over struggling Bournemouth on Sunday.
Chris Wilder’s side, expected by many to be battling relegation on their return to the top flight after 12 years, find themselves in fifth place, two points behind Chelsea who occupy the fourth Champions League qualification spot.
The Blades had to come from behind to get the three points at Bramall Lane however, with Bournemouth, fighting hard at the wrong end of the table, determined from the outset.
Callum Wilson put Eddie Howe’s team ahead in the 13th minute, firing home after a low drive from Harry Wilson was blocked.
But United levelled on the stroke of halftime when Bournemouth failed to clear a corner and from the resulting scramble, Billy Sharp blasted in from close range.
United keeper Dean Henderson did superbly to keep out a well-struck shot from Ryan Fraser, while at the other end, another scramble saw a Lys Mousset effort blocked.
Two of the United substitutes combined to decide the outcome with Mousset finding Lundstram inside the box and the 25-year-old did well to collect and clip the ball home.
That raises the possibility of the promoted club making a real push for Champions League qualification although Wilder was quick to play down such talk.
“I’m sure when we were coming off our fans were singing that we’re safe. We’re not there yet but there’s no let-up from us. There are no comfortable footballers in our changing room - they all have something to prove,” he said.
“It was a great comeback. I thought the players grew into game and towards halftime we were creating pressure and momentum.
“We have just rolled on and taken the defeats on the chin. We’ll keep going. We have 39 points which is fabulous. We want to achieve something this season. We won’t take our foot off the gas. Our performance was one of belief and drive. There was a real drive about the players after going a goal down,” added Wilder.
The result left Bournemouth in 16th place, two points above the relegation zone.
“In both halves we sat in and were good in our structures. When we get the lead in these types of games we need to defend better,” Howe said.
“It takes all the polish off. There were a lot of good bits but not enough to get a result today and we needed it away from home.”
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge
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