"Never mind the questions of whether Lionel Messi can do it at a rainy day midweek up north, because Millwall’s own Jake Cooper certainly can."
Boring football, a manager under pressure, a fan base divided with opinion and a playing staff who appear to play like they aren’t 100% sure of what they need to do on the field. Put those together and what do you get? Not the recipe for disaster that some online were predicting, but a very hard working and determined 2-1 away victory at recently Premier League relegated Sheffield United. Never mind the questions of whether Lionel Messi can do it at a rainy day midweek up north, because Millwall’s own Jake Cooper certainly can.
The misty and seemingly vaseline smeared lens of the Sky red button camera provided the coverage of what many predicted to be a dreary and depressing night up north. Before the game, I’d have bitten off up to your elbow for a 1-1 draw, and was thinking what would be the future of the club management if we were to experience another poor performance. The form guide for Millwall prior to the game did not look bad, with only one defeat in eight games prior to the clash at Bramall Lane, but when the performances left the fans searching for the nearest wet paint to dry instead of the game, I thought the game would only go one way. How wrong was I?
Due to the poor camera quality, I was still sat there wondering which player was which when Jed Wallace unleashed an absolute rocket into the back of the Sheffield United net in the opening ten minutes. Did he mean it? Well, from that angle and distance you can question it, but crikey if it were a cross and was going in the direction he meant, that cross would join the ball that’s currently in orbit from Jake Cooper’s missed penalty against Brighton a few years back.
It was a backwards and forwards game, and although you could say that the Blades did edge the opening half, some great defensive work from the Millwall back line and saves from Bartosz Bialkowski kept The Blades blunted. It was unfortunate, therefore, that a wild and clumsy tackle by Scott Malone got the home side back in the game, and it was Billy Sharp who smashed home his penalty just before the half time whistle.
Some online were saying that it wasn’t the most convincing of halves from Millwall, but this was chalk and cheese compared to recent games with Luton Town, and how I thought the game would pan out. We were defensively strong, chased balls down and although it wasn’t the tika taka that you’d want to see with your Sky red button subscription, it was certainly a lot more positive than in recent weeks.
Sheffield United went down to ten men due to some theatrical diving, and they may have been putting in a battle themselves to get the three points, but it was our Bermondsey Lions who had the loudest roar, and a cracking effort from Jake Cooper nestled into the back of the Sheffield United to take Millwall to 10th place in the league.
10th? Crikey, in hindsight, is it really as bad as we make out?...