Southampton 3-1 Sheffield United: Danny Ings scores 22nd goal of the Premier League season but misses out on Golden Boot award as Saints complete comeback win over Blades
- Southampton came from behind to defeat Sheffield United at St Mary’s
- The Blades took the lead with John Lundstram’s first-half finish from close range
- Che Adams netted twice after the break to turn the match on its head
- Danny Ings scored his 22nd goal of the season from the spot to make it three
- Defeat sees Sheffield United end the season in ninth, Southampton in 11th
There was just one issue to settle at St Mary’s, so much so that the race for the Golden Boot even dominated the chatter among the substitutes sitting in front of the press box.
And by the end they were urging Danny Ings on, encouraging team-mates to pick him out and imploring him to shoot whenever he got the ball — at one stage when he received possession just inside the Sheffield United half.
It was not to be. Southampton’s talisman came up one goal short in his quest to cap a brilliant personal season with what would have been a share of the Golden Boot.
Danny Ings scored his 22nd goal of the season in Southampton’s 3-1 win over Sheffield United
But Ings could not get his name on the Golden Boot award as Jamie Vardy ended on 23 goals
Ings started the day needing two to draw level with Jamie Vardy on 23 goals, but had to settle for one via a late penalty.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who steered Southampton to an ‘amazing’ 11th-placed finish after being in the bottom three in December, said: ‘Scoring 22 goals for Southampton is a big message. For a player not only looking for the scoresheet but also for the team winning, that’s what makes him so special.
‘That was more important for him than winning the Golden Boot.’
Instead of Ings it was Che Adams who struck twice. After ending a 29-game wait for his first Southampton goal earlier this month, four have followed in Adams’ final six games of the season.
Che Adams continued his fine form by scoring twice in the comeback win at St Mary’s
Adams fired past goalkeeper Dean Henderson early in the second-half before adding another
Adams’ double means he finishes the Premier League term with four goals in his last six games
Ings might have sensed it was not going to be his day when he appeared to be fouled by Chris Basham early on, only for referee Peter Bankes to wave play on.
John Lundstram gave Sheffield United the lead before the Blades gifted Saints an equaliser when Sander Berge poked the ball towards his own goal and straight to Adams, who fired past goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
A ricochet off Basham then ran perfectly for Adams to score his second. Ings won the penalty that took him to 22 goals in the 84th minute but there was to be no second.
Having ended the season in ninth, Blades boss Chris Wilder said: ‘We have finished above some giant clubs. I’m proud of the way we attacked it and represented the club.’
Southampton (4-2-2-2): McCarthy 6; Walker-Peters 7, Vestergaard 4, Stephens 7, Bertrand 7.5; Romeu 7 (Obafemi 90, 5), Ward-Prowse 7; Armstrong 5.5 (Smallbone 30, 6), Redmond 7; Ings 7, Adams 8 (Long 85, 5.5).
Subs not used: Gunn, Long, Vokins, Bednarek, Dansu, N’Lundulu, Valery.
Goals: Adams 50, 71, Ings 84 (pen)
Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 7.5
Sheffield United (3-5-2): Henderson 6; Basham 6.5 (Norwood 80, 5.5), Egan 6, Robinson 7; Baldock 6, Lundstram 7, Berge 5.5, Fleck 6.5, Stevens 6.5; McBurnie 6 (Zivkovic 5, 52) Sharp 7 (Clarke 68, 6).
Subs not used: Moore, Jagielka, Freeman, Osborn, Rodwell
Goals: Lundstram 26
Manager: Chris Wilder 6
Referee: Peter Bankes 6.5
John Lundstram’s close range effort had given Chris Wilder’s side the lead in the first-half
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