Sheffield United were planning to party long into the night after clinching promotion back to the Premier League with a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at jubilant Bramall Lane on Wednesday.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side saw off Albion thanks to goals from Sander Berge and Anel Ahmedhodzic, ensuring they earned the second automatic promotion spot behind Burnley in the Championship with three games to spare.
Second-placed United sprinted to the finish line, with six wins from their last seven games as they moved seven points clear of third-placed Luton, who have just two matches left.
The Blades were relegated from the top flight in 2021 and lost in the Championship play-off semi-finals against Nottingham Forest last season.
But Heckingbottom, in his second season as United boss, has astutely guided his club back into English football’s elite.
“I don’t think it will sink in for a while but I’m just determined to enjoy tonight and make sure everyone else enjoys tonight. It’s a shame we’ve got three more games left!” Heckingbottom said.
“But we’ve got to enjoy it, you enjoy every win and when it’s a win as special and significant as this, we are going to have a good time.”
Promotion will be worth up to £170 million ($212 million) in increased revenues over the next three seasons for the Blades.
It is a well-earned reward for United’s consistency this season, with Heckingbottom’s men in the top two for much of the campaign.
Mikel Arteta had challenged his side to deliver the perfect game. He was right that that is what it would have taken but the unbearable weight of expectation crushed Arsenal. When Holding was dragged infield, plugging the gap Partey had left behind and Haaland had attacked, he bounced into the air in frustration. It took exceptional scramble defending from Gabriel just to keep De Bruyne from getting his second.
That would come in due time but not before City had raised Arsenal’s hopes and dashed them quite expertly. As Haaland bent shots wide that the Etihad thought were in or smashed efforts just too close to Ramsdale, the traveling contingent might just have convinced themselves that something was written in the stars, that it was not meant to end this way. All the more so when Stones had the ball in the net only to see the linesman’s flag deny him. On first viewing, it was as clear an offside as you could wish to see until that stray toe of Ben White popped up on the VAR.
It did not get any easier from there on out. This was always going to be a bridge too far for Arsenal but “Mission: Impossible” actually becomes mission impossible when a player as foundational as Partey, who it should be noted was as fully fit as any player can be expected to be at this stage of the season, is a shadow of an approximation of his true self. Martin Odegaard sold him short with a pass but Arsenal’s anchorman was flat-footed as De Bruyne stole in, running off the coast of Holding island before rolling the ball into the net.
Manchester City the clear title favorite now
What seemed almost inevitable for months appears to be happening. With two games in hand on the still (for now) first place Gunners, Manchester City fully controls its own destiny after Wednesday’s win.
Arsenal has been the surprise Premier League leader for most of the 2022-23 campaign. But there has been a sense since at least February that the Cityzens, the English titlist in four of the last five seasons, would eventually leverage its pedigree and experience and overtake Mikel Arteta’s team down the final stretch.
City has won its last seven Premier League games and Guardiola touched on the mindset his side have had throughout their dominant run.
“We are back-to-back Premier League winners so in September, October, November, when you lose a game, I said: ‘We have time, we have time,’ and Arsenal in the beginning was completely the opposite – so every game is like a final,” the 52-year-old Guardiola.
Then Manchester United awaits City in the FA Cup final on June 3. In the first ever Manchester derby at this stage of the knockout cup competition, City could secure the second part of a Treble, one week before the Champions League final in Istanbul is set to take place.
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com