Slavisa Jokanovic finally got his first league win as Sheffield United manager on Saturday with a resounding 6-2 victory over newly promoted Peterborough United.
It was an incredibly impressive result for the Blades who had only scored once in their opening five league games. Ben Osborn and Iliman Ndiaye grabbed braces on a very memorable afternoon at Bramall Lane.
Morgan Gibbs-White’s impact cannot be underestimated on debut, the Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee thundered United’s fourth goal into the top corner and was a thorn in the Posh’s side from minute one.
The win comes at a very convenient time for Jokanovic, the Serbian manager was gaining doubters by the week but with the way they dramatically fell to a rock bottom finish in the Premier League last season means it was not a surprise to see a stuttering start to the 2021/22.
Here, then, we take a look at two tactical tweaks that enabled Sheffield United to hammer Peterborough 6-2…
A diamond formation
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With many calling for a back three system to be adopted by Jokanovic, instead he opted for a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, such that wreaked havoc on Saturday afternoon. The big man, little man duo of Billy Sharp and Gibbs-White worked a treat with the former leading by example with three assists.
The win pushes the Blades up to 18th in the table but crucially stops the rot, to score six goals in one match after just one in five is incredible and gives the supporters a scoreline to put all the stress and nerves of the last 18 months or so at rest. The new system will have another chance to bear fruit when they host Preston North End on Tuesday evening.
Ben Osborn unleashed
Ben Osborn has played in a variety of positions in his 51 appearances for Sheffield United but his fluid role behind the front pair on Saturday clearly suited him really well. The 27-year-old scored more than he had in his previous 50 appearances for the club in one game, demonstrating how much he relished the chance to play in a more advanced role, arriving in the box at the perfect time to finish.
Osborn was a bright spark in a disappointing 2020/21 season and should be able to kick on from this as an experienced player at Championship level.