A superb strike from James McAtee in first-half stoppage-time was the only goal of the game, as Sheffield United beat Brentford 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

The Bees, who are struggling with a raft of injuries, struggled to carve out any real chances, with a volley from Yoane Wissa the only effort that really tested opposition keeper Wes Foderingham.

There were appeals from the Bees for a penalty in the 95th minute, but the referee waved away their handball claims before blowing for full time.

McAtee puts hosts ahead in first-half stoppage-time

There were three changes to the Brentford side that narrowly lost to Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday night.

Bryan Mbeumo missed out through injury, while Mads Roerslev and Yehor Yarmoliuk dropped to the bench. In their places came Keane Lewis-Potter, Wissa and Christian Nørgaard returning from suspension.

In his second game since returning to the Bramall Lane dugout, Blades manager Chris Wilder made no changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Liverpool in midweek.

It was a slow start in rain-sodden south Yorkshire. Auston Trusty had the best chance of the opening exchanges, forcing Frank Onyeka into a block on the edge of the box after only a few minutes.

The full-back then went into referee Stuart Attell’s book for a late challenge on Lewis-Potter. The resulting free-kick saw Ben Mee nod the ball across the box, but Foderingham was there to claim before the forward could capitalise.

After half an hour, Onyeka faced a VAR check for a heavy challenge on Vini Souza, but it was decided there wasn’t enough evidence to upgrade the yellow card to a red.

Nigeria international Onyeka then found space on the edge of the box, shooting low, but Foderingham was able to smother easily.

At the other end, Gustavo Hamer slipped a ball through to Will Osula, but his shot flashed wide of Mark Flekken’s left post.

Hamer then lined one up from the edge of the box but it was dragged wide of the target.

On the stroke of half-time, Vitaly Janelt burst down the left wing and squared for Neal Maupay. The Frenchman took aim but his shot was deflected narrowly wide.

United took the ball up the other end and opened the scoring in spectacular fashion. Collecting on the edge of the box, McAtee took a touch to his left before curling the ball over Flekken and into the far corner.

Late penalty appeal waved away as Brentford fall to a narrow defeat

The first half started with Anel Ahmedhodžić thinking he had a clean sight at goal when he latched on to a free-kick, but referee Stuart Attwell had spotted a foul in the build-up.

Flekken then pulled off a fine save to deny substitute Anis Slimane. The Tunisian was played in by Cameron Archer on the right but couldn’t score with only the keeper beat.

Slimane tested the Dutchman again a few moments later, this time from distance, but again found the Netherlands international in the way.

Chris Wilder's side continued to push forward and, when a ball was driven into the box from the left, Ben Mee made a perfectly timed challenge to prevent Archer from doubling the lead.

Just after the hour mark, Frank brought Mikkel Damsgaard and Michael Olakigbe into the fray. The latter produced a brilliant cross to the far post for Wissa to nod at goal, but it was saved by Foderingham.

The DR Congo international had Foderingham under pressure a second time with 10 minutes to go. He latched on to a high ball into the box by Damsgaard and volleyed it towards goal and the goalkeeper managed to cling on to the ball with Olakigbe lurking.

United might have sealed it when Archer ran clear after dispossessing Mee on the halfway line, but his shot was stopped by Flekken.

Slimane then robbed Damsgaard, dropped a shoulder to beat Mee and fired into the side netting from a tight angle with his team-mates screaming at him to square it.

There were appeals from the visitors for a penalty deep into stoppage-time as a crowd of Sheffield United defenders jumped for the ball, but the referee disagreed and blew his full-time whistle.

Sheffield United: Foderingham, Ahmedhodžić, Robinson, Trusty, Bogle, Souza, Hamer, Brooks (Lowe 72), McAtee (Peck 81), Archer, Osula (Slimane 52)

Subs not used: Davies, Seriki, Larouci, Thomas, Oné, Traoré

Brentford: Flekken, Ghoddos, Mee, Pinnock, Janelt, Nørgaard, Onyeka (Yarmoliuk 46), Baptiste (Damsgaard 65), Wissa, Maupay, Lewis-Potter (Olakigbe 65)

Subs not used: Strakosha, Roerslev, Adedokun, Goode, Zanka

Attendance: 28,509

Frank: We lacked quality actions

Head coach Thomas Frank believes that his side lacked "final, quality actions" at Bramall Lane.

The visitors created no big chances and an xG of just 0.74 on Saturday.

“It was a difficult game, a tight game - it’s exactly what we expected and exactly what we tried to prepare the players for,” Frank explained. 

“I’ve got no complaints about the effort from the players; they gave everything out there on the day. 

“It was a very even game. Fair play to Sheffield United, they made it very difficult for us, it was one of those games where you realise that one moment of brilliance will decide the game. Unfortunately for us, it was James McAtee with a fantastic finish and they win 1-0.” 

Pinnock: Brentford missed final touch

Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock spoke of his frustration following the Bees’ 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United.

“It’s disappointing,” Pinnock began. “We started strong, looked comfortable on the ball and entered their final third really well. It was the final touch that we were lacking.

“I think for the goal [McAtee] meant to cross it, so it was a bit of a freak goal. But that happens and we need to be able to bounce back.

“When you’re 1-0 down, you have to keep playing the same way. I think we forced it a bit too much today, which is something we need to look at.”