Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea: McGoldrick and McBurnie deal Blues huge top four blow

Matt Debono

Chelsea were well-beaten against Sheffield United in the Premier League as a 3-0 defeat put Champions League qualification out of their hands. 

David McGoldrick bagged a brace, netting in either half and Oli McBurnie also pounced on a defensive error to punish the Blues on Saturday evening at Bramall Lane. 

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Frank Lampard made two changes as Jorginho and Tammy Abraham came into the side, replacing Billy Gilmour and Olivier Giroud. 

Chelsea dominated the ball in the early stages as Christian Pulisic came closest from a superb Reece James cross, but the American could only steer his header at the back post off target. 

Defensive errors have been the Blues' downfall this season and after a lack of goalthreat at the other end, Sheffield United punished inside 18 minutes to take the lead. 

Mason Mount failed to clear the ball on the edge of the box and ran into trouble, and despite a fine save from Kepa Arrizabalaga to deny Oli McBurnie's swinging volley, David McGoldrick pounced quickest to fire home from close range to give the hosts the lead and net his first Premier League goal of the season. 

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Frank Lampard was left frustrated by the quality being shown at both ends of the pitch and his frustration doubled on the 33rd minute. McBurnie was left free inside the box by the Chelsea defence and guided Enda Steven's cross into the bottom left-hand corner. 

Chelsea's best chance came just before the half-time break through Reece James, but his long-ranged half-volley was parried by Dean Henderson. 

Lampard switched it up at the break to try to change the course of the game as he brought on Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso, reverting to a back-three to match Wilder's side up. 

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The changes worked as Chelsea looked more solidified at the back and Olivier Giroud was then brought on for Christian Pulisic; he went close quickly but his volley sailed wide. 

Chelsea continued to look to reduce the deficit and Tammy Abraham went close after Rudiger flicked a corner to the back post but the Englishman could only fire off target.

Despite several changes in system, another defensive error from the Blues saw McGoldrick grab his second of the game. Rudiger passed his clearance to the forward and he fired past Arrizabalaga to make it 3-0 in the 77th minute. 

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The scoreline reflected the performance from Chelsea. Lacklustre in every single department. 

Bar the possession statistics, Lampard's side were second best to everything and it now leaves them in third, but their top-four place in huge jeopardy.

They will be now relying on results elsewhere to keep them in the Champions League spaces after this weekend. 

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