The Blades won their pre-season friendly against Real Betis at the Algarve Stadium last Friday thanks to a David McGoldrick second-half strike.
Over 1,000 Sheffield fans roared their heroes on and applauded loudly as new record signing Callum Robinson was introduced before the game. The former Preston North End forward joined for a fee in the region of £7 million (€7.8 million).
The evening was not without its problems as some United supporters were reported to have been attacked by Betis fans after their coach dropped them off near a fan park outside the ground.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, the man whose arrival three years ago transformed the club’s fortunes, saw his captain Billy Sharp get the ball in the net after half-an-hour. Sharp had received the ball after it ricocheted off referee João Bento who pulled play back as the new law states that it is now a drop ball.
The Seville side’s best moment came on the stroke of half-time when Simon Moore had to save smartly from Bartra and then Kieran Freeman blocked Loren’s follow-up on the line.
Supporters had to wait until after the break for their first glimpse of new signings Phil Jagielka (ex-Everton) and Luke Freeman (ex-QPR). Freeman had a great early chance after being set up by Enda Stevens, but his shot was weak and easily saved.
McGoldrick also wasted a good opening before Jagielka and Richard Stearman denied Juanmi in quick succession at the other end. The decisive moment came on the hour mark as a poor clearance found John Lundstram and his cushioned header allowed McGoldrick to finish from close range.
Real Betis pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages, but Lainez struck a post and Juanmi curled a free-kick over.
By CHRIS WRIGHT