Sheffield United recorded an emphatic 6-2 victory over Peterborough United on Saturday, with The Blades picking up their first three points of the new Championship season.
Braces for Iliman Ndiaye and Ben Osborn, as well goals for Morgan Gibbs-White and John Fleck, ensured a first victory of the season for Slavisa Jokanovic.
The Blades, who had only scored one goal in their opening five games, scored five second half goals to go above Saturday’s opponents, whilst breaking out of the relegation zone completely.
Netting twice and providing a further assist, it was an absolute dream debut for 21-year-old Iliman Ndiaye.
However, a performance that perhaps went under the radar was Billy Sharp’s. The 35-year-old, who surprisingly did not get himself on the score sheet seemingly did everything but convert on Saturday.
Here, we focus on Sharp’s performance on Saturday, after another incredible performance from the veteran forward…
Finishing the contest with an Expected Goals figure of 0.89, it was his highest total since February 2020.
Sharp has proven to be an excellent scorer of goals in recent seasons, but his role was changed on Saturday, as he grabbed three assists, an amazing statistic considering he has not registered more than one in a game for over three years.
Another key feature from Saturday was the number of touches he had in the box.
Registering 11 touches in the opposition’s box in the first five league games of the season, Sharp recorded 12 against Peterborough.
In a performance that seems to indicate that he did everything bar score, the 35-year-old completed four successful crosses from four attempts.
Another indication of his brilliant performance on Saturday, and something that is not typically a feature of his game, was the fact that he recorded five successful dribbles from six attempts, which was again a figure that surpassed the total from the five previous games combined.
Sharp also won seven out of his 11 offensive duels against Peterborough, which looks mightily impressive next to his one out of 16 against Luton Town the game before.
The 25-year-old possessed an 89% passing accuracy percentage on Saturday, completing 25 successful passes – the highest number of accurate passes he has completed since 2017.