Moussa Djenepo celebrated his first Premier League start with a winning goal as Saints defeated Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

The £14m summer signing had a tough first half hour in an unfamiliar left wing-back role but was moved further up the pitch and produced a stunning goal on 66 minutes that proved to be the difference between the sides.

The Blades had a goal ruled out for VAR while former Saints striker Billy Sharp was sent off late on in an entertaining victory for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team.

Saints had the first sight of goal on ten minutes as Pierre-Emile Hojberjg headed back across the six yard box and found Jannik Vestergaard.

It wasn’t a simple header for the big centre half as he had to move away from goal to get to it and he guided his effort into the arms of Dean Henderson.

Henderson was beaten all ends up two minutes later as Che Adams struck a fierce half volley from the edge of the box which smashed against the post and cannoned to safety.

Sheffield United launched an immediate counter with Oli McBurnie’s pass playing in David McGoldrick down the middle. He opted to shoot early and Angus Gunn did superbly to save with his feet having charged quickly off his line to close down the options.

United were trying to exploit the defensive uncertainty of Dejenpo, who was preferred at left wing-back with Ryan Bertrand only on the bench. The Blades worked a good crossing situation past him and put the ball into the arriving John Fleck but he headed over when he might have done better.

The left wing-back area was vacant moments later and United quickly switched the ball to Fleck who opted for an early shot which was deflected behind at the near post.

It was an increasingly open game and there was a great chance for Cedric to give Saints the lead on 23 minutes but he sliced a shot wide from eight yards out.

Henderson made a superb save three minutes later to deny Adams who produced a decent downward header from James Ward-Prowse’s right wing cross.

United managed to turn the pressure up and up as the half wore on and continued to relentlessly attack Djenepo who looked unable to cope at left wing back.

It got so bad that Hasenhuttl eventually admitted defeat and moved Djenepo to an attacking right sided role, meaning he had to drop Ward-Prowse to right wing back and shift Cedric over to the left.

Djenepo looked far more natural in his new position and managed to square to find Sofiane Boufal in space in the area in stoppage time but the Moroccan’s first time finish was weak and saved by Henderson.

There was drama early in the second half as Sheffield United thought they had taken the lead only to have it chalked off by VAR.

John Egan stooped to try and head home an outswinging right wing free kick. He made no contact with the ball but appeared clearly offside. The cross travelled to McBurnie who turned home at the far post.

The linesman didn’t flag but the VAR check concluded that Egan was offside and the game remained goalless.

Adams forced Henderson into a first meaningful save of the second period with a long range drive on 61 minutes and the Blades keeper was up to the challenge.

Boufal and Djenepo both produced mazy runs and shots but the former’s went well over while the latter’s was an easy stop for Henderson.

Djenepo wasn’t to be denied on 66 minutes as he produced a brilliant moment of individual brilliance to break the deadlock.

He won the ball back, turned sharply and jinked past a challenge before turning on the afterburners to charge past more Blades defenders into the box and drilling a low finish across Henderson and into the far corner.

Saints survived a VAR check for a possible penalty for handball as United readied themselves for a late rally to try and bag an equaliser.

Gunn had to make a reaction save with his legs from McGoldrick’s first time shot with ten minutes remaining before the former Saints striker flashed a half volley narrowly over.

Another ex-Saints striker Billy Sharp, who came on as a second half sub, was sent off with four minutes remaining after a late challenge where he raked down the front of the shin of Stuart Armstrong.

That rather took the wind out of United’s sails and Saints were able to see out the victory without any further scares.