Emil Riis Jakobsen scored a 95th-minute equaliser as Preston North End denied Sheffield United a second consecutive Championship victory at Bramall Lane.
The Blades missed a chance to clear a ball into their box from deep, with Jordan Storey crossing for Danish forward Jakobsen to calmly control and lash home.
It had looked like Slavisa Jokanovic’s hosts had done enough for a hard-earned three points when substitute Sander Berge sidefooted through the legs of Preston goalkeeper Daniel Iversen to finish off a slick move.
United had taken an early lead through Morgan Gibbs-White’s half-volley on the stretch, with the visitors making it 1-1 as Daniel Johnson took advantage of poor positioning from Blades debutant keeper Robin Olsen to slot in.
The point extends Preston’s unbeaten league run to four – having started the campaign with three defeats – while for the Blades it was a third game without defeat, though they will be frustrated not to have built on Saturday’s long-awaited first Championship win of the season.
When Wolves loanee Gibbs-White made it two goals in two early on it looked like Jokanovic’s side may pick up where they left off from their 6-2 triumph over Peterborough last time out.
But after Olsen misjudged a fine diagonal pass from Ryan Ledson, allowing Johnson to chest pass him and score, Preston grew into the match.
Kieron Freeman skied a golden chance and John Fleck was denied by Iversen when through one-on-one as United probed, but the turning point appeared to come inside the last 10 minutes of normal time.
Moments after Preston’s Jakobsen saw a shot excellently diverted over by Sweden keeper Olsen, Billy Sharp’s effort fell for Norway midfielder Berge to pounce.
However, Jakobsen was to have the final say, with United defender Jack Robinson unable to clear the set-piece which led to the leveller.
Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic told BBC Radio Sheffield:
“We’re definitely really disappointed after everything that happened, especially the last few seconds.
“In the last seconds we weren’t strong, focused or concentrated enough – we made some mistakes and paid an expensive price.
“We are conceding a lot of goals, but from another side we’re conceding goals without our opposing teams creating a lot of things.”
Preston head coach Frankie McAvoy told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“I thought we probably deserved it [a draw] over the piece.
“We felt the best way to try and go and compete against them, and win the game, was to go toe to toe – we did that.
“The one thing I’ve said is these guys give me everything and you can see that they’ll keep going right until the end.
“That for me is magnificent as a coach, you can’t ask for any more.”
- 33Norrington-DaviesBooked at 74mins
- 16NorwoodBooked at 45minsSubstituted forHourihaneat 78′minutes
- 29NdiayeSubstituted forBrewsterat 71′minutes
- 15FreemanSubstituted forBergeat 61′minutes
- 5BauerSubstituted forMurphyat 88′minutes
- 2van den Berg
- 11JohnsonSubstituted forMcCannat 84′minutes
- 24MaguireSubstituted forPottsat 71′minutes
- 19Riis JakobsenBooked at 13mins
- Geoff Eltringham
Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Preston North End 2.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 2, Preston North End 2.
Goal! Sheffield United 2, Preston North End 2. Emil Riis Jakobsen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordan Storey following a set piece situation.
Foul by Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).
Ryan Ledson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United).
Jordan Storey (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Morgan Gibbs-White.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Daniel Iversen.
Sander Berge (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Joshua Earl (Preston North End).
Offside, Sheffield United. Morgan Gibbs-White tries a through ball, but Billy Sharp is caught offside.
Substitution, Preston North End. Josh Murphy replaces Patrick Bauer.
Offside, Preston North End. Emil Riis Jakobsen tries a through ball, but Brad Potts is caught offside.
Goal! Sheffield United 2, Preston North End 1. Sander Berge (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Fleck.
Substitution, Preston North End. Alistair McCann replaces Daniel Johnson.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Robin Olsen.
Attempt saved. Emil Riis Jakobsen (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Johnson.
Attempt saved. Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Morgan Gibbs-White.