MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 15:55:53

Result: Blackburn feel the Sharp end as Billy bags brace for Blades

Result: Blackburn feel the Sharp end as Billy bags brace for Blades
© Reuters
David McGoldrick scored Sheffield United's third goal.

Billy Sharp scored twice as Sheffield United rampaged their way to a 3-0 win over stubborn Blackburn.

David McGoldrick rounded off the scoring in a game at Bramall Lane that saw both sides reduced to 10 men.

The opening minutes were cagey, with some heavy challenges exchanged. There was a brief stoppage in play as Jack O'Connell had to receive treatment after an aerial clash with Kasey Palmer.

The first shot of note fell to the hosts. Rovers goalkeeper David Raya unconvincingly batted away a corner straight to Mark Duffy just outside the area, who despite bringing the ball onto his right foot saw his volley sail wayward.

Seven changes were made to the Rovers starting XI but they proved themselves credible opponents. From a corner, the ball reached the boot of Darragh Lenihan on the far post, but from a tight angle the centre-half ballooned his effort over the bar.

Not long after Rovers nearly went ahead. Charlie Mulgrew attempted to catch Dean Henderson out at his near post but cursed his luck as the ball smacked the frame of the goal.

United then broke quickly down the right-hand side and swiftly worked the ball to full-back Enda Stevens, bursting into the box from the left flank. From a tight angle, though, his thunderous effort smacked a post and looped out of the danger zone.

United came forward again and Chris Basham threaded a neat ball into Sharp, who was racing into the box. After attempting to take the ball past Raya he forced a good save at point-blank range from the keeper.

Six minutes after the break a spanner was thrown in the works as United were reduced to 10 men. Mulgrew aimed a free-kick goalwards and Basham, in the wall, was adjudged to have handled the ball, earning his second booking of the game.

Despite going a man down the Blades maintained their intensity. Sharp crossed over to McGoldrick but the Irishman was unable to make sufficient contact and saw his header trickle wide of the target.

United still had to be on their guard as Henderson was forced into an excellent save from Derrick Williams. On the break the ball was pulled back to the left-back deep inside the box and Henderson showed good athleticism to get down to his left-hand side to tip the ball wide.

With 20 minutes to go, Blackburn threw away their man advantage as Richie Smallwood received a straight red card for a vicious two-footed challenge on Sharp, giving the referee no choice.

Within minutes United took advantage. In the 73rd minute top-scorer Sharp was sent through on goal and thundered the ball into the net from close range.

Three minutes later Sharp doubled the advantage as, after United cleared the ball from their box, the ball was sent over the top. On the volley, Sharp guided the ball past Raya and into the bottom corner with pinpoint accuracy.

In the 83rd minute the Blades made it three. John Fleck received the ball deep inside the area, and pulled the ball across for McGoldrick, who was able to guide the ball into the net with his chest.

In the dying minutes of the game Blackburn worked to find a consolation, with Lewis Travis getting to the byline, but his pull-back was kicked away by Henderson.

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Daniel Farke in charge of Norwich City on April 14, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds27166546281854
2Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27155746281850
3Norwich CityNorwich27148549351450
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough271210530191146
6Derby CountyDerby2712783834443
7Bristol City2711883429541
8Birmingham CityBirmingham2791263930939
9Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2791263931839
10Hull City27116103933639
11Queens Park RangersQPR27116103335-239
12Aston Villa2791174943638
13Swansea CitySwansea27107103632437
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn2791083541-637
15Stoke CityStoke2781183134-335
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2788113245-1332
17Brentford27710103937231
18Preston North EndPreston2779113944-530
19Wigan AthleticWigan2785142840-1229
20Millwall2777133343-1028
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham27510122542-1725
22Reading2758143041-1123
23Bolton WanderersBolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich TownIpswich2739152246-2418

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