Billy Sharp insists he “doesn’t care” what critics think after his 88th-minute equaliser salvaged a point for Sheffield United at Bournemouth.
Sharp has now scored in all four tiers of English football following a prolific career in the lower leagues, and his latest goal was the perfect response to scathing criticism earlier in the week.
Five things to know about Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United…
- The Blades played their first Premier League game since 2007.
- Chris Mepham scored on debut after 62 minutes for Bournemouth.
- Sharp came off the bench to equalise just before the end of the game.
- The striker described the goal as a “dream”.
- Sheffield United host Crystal Palace in their first home game next Sunday.
Sharp had been the subject of some critical comments made earlier in the week by Talksport presenter Adrian Durham, who had described the striker as “not good enough” and “League One standard”. The striker provided a response on the pitch, with a finish typical of the veteran striker as he bundled home following a mishit Oli McBurnie effort.
“Sheffield United are going down, they’re not taking the Prem seriously.”
“They’re still bigging up Billy Sharp, he’s League One, not good enough for PL.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 26, 2019
Durham later apologised, but Sharp told reporters after the game: “I don’t really care what they think. He’s never kicked a ball in the Premier League. That’s one more goal I’ve got than him and he’ll never get that back off me. He can say what he likes.”
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Sharp finish to open his account
Billy Sharp may have only played three Premier League games with Southampton in 2013/14, but the forward is well known among English football fans.
He has been prolific at nearly all levels of the football league ladder, bagging 24 goals last campaign to fire Sheffield United to an unlikely promotion under highly-rated coach Chris Wilder.
However, Sharp hadn’t scored in the Premier League before today. And what a way to open his account.
Billy Sharp has now scored in each of England's top four divisions:
✅ League Two
✅ League One
✅ Premier League
A goal with his first ever shot in the top flight. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/sUA9nhiMRs
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 10, 2019
Sharp told BBC reporters after the game just how much it meant to him: “I wanted to get on the pitch and help the football club out. We put bodies in the box, managed to create something and I was the lucky one to get on the end of it.
“It was what I dreamed of last night and it was a proud moment for me and the family.
“I’m very proud of the boys, they were magnificent. It’s a great point, we’re off the mark and deserved something out of the game.”
Durham himself also reacted to the goal on Twitter, posting: “I’d already admitted I was wrong about Billy Sharp, but delighted he proved me wrong in front of my eyes today, it was always going to happen of course.
“Celebrations were fantastic, I was dreading VAR taking that moment away, thankfully no minor meaningless nonsense was spotted.”
Sheffield United have their first home game of the league campaign next Sunday when they host Crystal Palace, who also drew their opener against Everton.