Sheffield United’s vital 2-1 Championship victory over Sunderland was not only watched by the nation on Sky Sports, but by Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele.
The France international was spotted in the directors box alongside Sunderland chairman and majority owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, as the Blades came from behidn to pick up three important points on Wednesday evening.
The 25-year-old was picked up by Sky Sports’ cameras, and fans quickly took to social media to ask what the World Cup winner was doing on Wearside.
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However, the reason is a simple one. Dreyfus counts Dembele, as well as Michy Batshuayi, as personal friends. The Barca man also congratulated Dreyfus on Instagram after Sunderland secured their return to the Championship last season.
The Blades had fallen behind to Edouard Michut’s opener after half an hour when he drilled low inside the far corner with a fine finish. But Sheffield United hit back through James McAtee when he curled inside the far post at the end of the first half.
And just after the hour Tommy Doyle’s free-kick appeared to bounce straight in from the left flank to give the visitors the lead. Referee Matthew Donohue and his assistants allowed the goal to stand despite Sander Berge having been in an offside position and attempting to go for the ball before it dropped in the net. The goal meant Sheffield United climbed six points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough ahead of this Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Blackburn.
Heckingbottom, whose side lost to Luton at the weekend, said: “If I am Tony (Mowbray, Sunderland boss) I am claiming that. It is harsh on Tony, if I am seeing that, I’m spewing. But he is not blocking the keeper’s sight and there’s no touch, I don’t know the law.
“We were really bright, brave and sharp with the ball. To concede the way we did was a kick in the teeth. We showed good mentality to get back into it, the energy and bravery we wanted to show. I’m pleased with the response. We got the goal we deserved first half. The message was the same at half-time and I was pleased with how we did respond and played.”
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