Report | Swansea City 0 Sheffield United 0
Swansea City picked up their first point under Russell Martin with a goalless draw against promotion favourites Sheffield United at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Missing a number of players through injury and suspension, the Swans performed admirably against a Blades side made up entirely of players who were plying their trade in the Premier League last term.
Their best chances fell to Joel Latibeaudiere and Jamal Lowe, while former Swan Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick had the visitors’ best opportunities as it ended in stalemate.
Nevertheless, there were again plenty of positives to take from the manner of the Swans’ display – including an assured debut from Flynn Downes - as they were roared on by a near-capacity crowd as the Jack Army returned in their numbers to cheer on their side.
New signing Downes was handed his debut in midfield, with Ryan Manning making his first appearance o the season in a back three as Ryan Bennett and Kyle Naughton missed out through injury.
The visitors, meanwhile, had former Swansea strikers Brewster and Oli McBurnie in their ranks, with the former starting and the latter among their substitutes.
It proved a fast start, with David McGoldrick charging down a Steven Benda clearance, before Brandon Cooper defended superbly to steer an awkward cross behind for a corner.
The hosts responded, hassling and harrying the Blades out of possession in quick succession, with Downes caught in two minds as he drove towards the area.
There was a pleasing zip to Swansea’s play, and they created the first big chance as Jamie Paterson drove forward before the ball was worked to Joel Latibeaudiere, who flashed a shot at goal that Aaron Ramsdale parried away.
Downes, who had made an industrious start, then fired an effort over from the edge of the box.
Benda saved at the other end after Brewster had robbed Ben Cabango on halfway and fed McGoldrick.
The German keeper then used his head to put the ball behind as Oliver Burke got in behind down the right flank, before saving a Billy Sharp header from close range.
At the other end, Chris Basham denied Jamal Lowe a close-range header by throwing himself in front of a superb free-kick delivery from Matt Grimes with just over 10 minutes until the break.
A lovely flick from Lowe then nearly freed Paterson after Manning had driven the ball into the striker’s feet.
It was goalless at the break and the half had rather meandered to a close, but there was a real energy about both sides early in the second period.
Brewster fired over from a George Baldock cross, while Lowe was brought back by the offside flag after Liam Cullen had spun and looked to feed him in.
The hour mark came and went with no further incident, although the visitors did send on McBurnie and Ben Osborn for captain Sharp and Burke respectively.
Almost immediately Lowe was picked out by a lovely pass by Manning, twisting and turning to get away a shot that Ramsdale did well to get down to.
McGoldrick then blazed high and wide from inside the area after the Swans had been robbed of the ball in their own third.
It remained a tight, and increasingly nervy, contest as the final 20 minutes began to wear down.
Swansea had the greater share of the ball but could not quite find the killer final ball to unlock an obdurate United defence.
McGoldrick gave the hosts another let-off as he wastefully headed wide from close range, while the visitors just about scrambled the ball away from a late set-piece as the spoils were shared.
Swansea City: Steven Benda; Ben Cabango, Brandon Cooper, Ryan Manning; Joel Latibeaudiere, Flynn Downes, Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell; Jamie Paterson (Yan Dhanda 88); Jamal Lowe (Joel Piroe 63), Liam Cullen (Morgan Whittaker 72).
Unused Substitutes: Lewis Webb, Lincoln Mcfayden, Dan Williams, Kyle Joseph,
Sheffield United: Aaron Ramsdale, George Baldock, Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack Robinson; Oliver Burke (Ben Osborn 59), Sander Berge, Oliver Norwood, David McGoldrick; Billy Sharp (captain) (Oli McBurnie 59), Rhian Brewster (Jayden Bogle 77).
Unused Substitutes: Michael Verrips, John Fleck, Luke Freeman, Rhys Norrington-Davies.