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Sheffield United 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 27th Apr 2019 19:15

Scott Hogan and Jack O’Connell netted a goal in each half as Sheffield United comfortably beat the Blues 2-0 at Bramall Lane to all but secure their return to the Premier League after a 12-year hiatus. Hogan turned home the opener on 24 and O’Connell added the second in the 71st minute.

Town boss Paul Lambert made four changes with the Blues switching to a three-man backline - matching home side’s system - with Cole Skuse a surprise starter in between skipper Luke Chambers and Toto Nsiala.

Myles Kenlock was back in the side at left wing-back with Callum Elder dropping to the bench, while James Bree was on the right.

In midfield, Teddy Bishop joined Flynn Downes and Alan Judge with Trevoh Chalobah and Andre Dozzell among the subs.

Up front, Kayden Jackson came into the team, with Gwion Edwards missing from the XI that started against Swansea, alongside Will Keane.

Town were under the cosh from the off at a noisy, buoyant and expectant Bramall Lane with McGoldrick not too far away from getting his toe to a Basham cross from the right in only the third minute. Soon after, another ball in from the right evaded everyone in the penalty area.

The early pressure briefly subsided as Keane suffered what looked to be a recurrence of his hamstring injury in the eighth minute and, Town having no striker on the bench, was replaced by Chalobah, who came into the midfield with Judge moving to a free role off Jackson.

But the Blades dominance continued once the game restarted and in the 12th minute McGoldrick got away from Chambers on the Town right but Nsiala cut out his low cross towards Hogan. The former Blues frontman might well have taken the chance on himself.

The Blues finally began to see something of the ball as the quarter of an hour mark was reached and in the 16th minute Downes shot wide from distance.

Town began to become more confident in possession and in the 23rd minute Bishop broke into the area before hitting a shot which was blocked out for a throw.

But two minutes later, the Blades took the lead. Jack O’Connell was fed in on the left, leaving Bishop in his wake, crossed low and Hogan touched the ball across Dean Gerken at the near post and into the net.

Having got their noses in front the home side resumed their domination but didn’t seriously threaten again until the 33rd minute when skipper Ollie Norwood’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected over.

A minute later McGoldrick almost created a second for the Blades with a sublime pass which fed George Baldock in on goal as he broke into the area on the right but the former MK Dons man was crowded out and the Blues eventually forced the ball away from goal.

Blades attacks continued to come in waves with the Blues digging deep defensively to prevent the home side from adding to their lead, while play rarely moved to the other end of the field where Dean Henderson in goal was a virtual spectator.

On 40 Norwood scuffed an effort wide from the edge of the box after McGoldrick had nodded back a ball into the area.

Chalobah headed tamely wide for Town following a Judge freekick on the right in the 43rd minute but play quickly returned to the other end of the field. In two minutes of injury time Judge was booked for a foul.

The home side were applauded off at the break after a dominant display which deserved more than their single goal lead.

The distance between the teams in league position terms was evident throughout the half with the Blues never seriously threatening, only briefly able to pass the ball around and spending much of the period desperately hanging on at the back against a slick and confident home side.

The Blades went close to doubling their lead three minutes after the break, Norwood slamming a freekick from a very tight angle on the left against the far post.

Town continued to struggle to keep the ball out of their own half of the field and on 57 half of Bramall Lane thought McGoldrick had headed his side’s second of the afternoon from a Norwood cross from the right but the ball flew the wrong side of the post and nestled in the side-netting.

A minute later, Gerken saved from Hogan, then blocked the follow-up but with the flag having been raised.

On 62 Blades club captain and 24-goal top scorer Billy Sharp - a Town target in January 2015 and on a number of other occasions - took over from Hogan.

Sharp almost made an immediate impact after being sent away towards the penalty area as the Blades counter-attacked following a rare Blues foray forward. However, Skuse read the situation and got across to take the ball away from the Blades skipper.

Town were left without any out-and-out strikers on the field in the 68th minute when Jackson was replaced by Dozzell.

A minute later, defender John Egan should have added to the Blades’ lead but headed Norwood’s corner over the bar when it seemed easier to hit the target.

However, the home fans wouldn’t have to wait too long for the security of that second goal.

In the 71st minute Fleck sent over a corner and O’Connell, the man who supplied the first goal, headed home to send Bramall Lane into raptures, fans knowing that promotion to the Premier League was all but confirmed.

On 78 McGoldrick was replaced to a standing ovation from the home support but also the Town travelling fans. Gary Madine took over, the in the 85th minute, with the game effectively over to all intents and purposes, John Lundstram replaced Mark Duffy for the home team, whose fans had already begun their post-match celebrations.

As the clock ticked over to 89 Judge smashed Town’s first shot on target from 35 yards but Henderson helped it over the bar and the resultant corner came to nothing.

Two minutes of injury time were seen out without incident before referee Tim Robinson’s whistle triggered the biggest cheer of the afternoon, Blades fans knowing that barring ludicrous scorelines in the final games they will be playing Premier League football for the first time since 2006/07.

A handful of fans ran on the pitch to boos from their fellow supporters before the home players celebrated in a huddle on the pitch.

Meanwhile, the Town players trooped off following yet another defeat having been thoroughly outclassed by a hugely impressive Blades side.

The Blues were never able to impose themselves on the match and but for some desperate defending and occasionally less than clinical finishing would have been beaten more comprehensively.

Town’s nightmare 2018/19 campaign will finally end next Sunday when they host Leeds at Portman Road in a game which following tonight’s match will be a dead rubber with the Whites now effectively out of the running for the top two given their goal difference.

Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Norwood (c), Fleck, Stevens, Duffy (Lundstram 85), McGoldrick (Madine 77), Hogan (Sharp 63). Unused: Dowell, Madine, Stearman, Moore, Cranie.

Town: Gerken, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Bishop, Downes, Judge, Keane (Chalobah 8), Jackson (Dozzell 68). Unused: Elder, Emmanuel, Bialkowski, El Mizouni, Ndaba. Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex). Att: 30,140 (Town: 914).

Photo: Action Images

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Dolphinblue added 12:37 - Apr 28
Well l guess everyone got their opinion but l strongly disagree...Chambers/Skuse Centre back pairing is a strong one and l utterly fail to see your objection 😞

londontractorboy57 added 13:07 - Apr 28
RobsonWark your opinion old pal recent history says we were a more successful team under MM than the Hurst or Lambert era however i do think that Lambert will pull us round.

dirtydingusmagee added 13:15 - Apr 28
i was half confident when Lambert came in that we would avoid relegation [just]. but as the season has progressed [nothing else has] i started getting nagging doubts. I stopped getting a season ticket in the final Mc Carthy season, and in latter part of that season stopped attending altogether. Now having returned and endured this dreadful season ive finally said enough is enough, 55 YRS of supporting ITFC has come to an end. Im retired with limited income,ive decided my money would be better spent elsewhere. I wont be attending anymore. Evans has dragged the club down [i know some argue against it ,thats their opinion] He has done nothing to show any intent of investing to get out of the mess, and will be happy just to jog along and see the club slip further and further into the abyss. Respect to all those who will continue with their support ,hope you all live long enough to see ITFC move forward. It wont be whilst Evans is at the helm .

londontractorboy57 added 13:20 - Apr 28
Haven't seen Blueboys opinion on yesterdays game or has even he given up.

Dolphinblue added 13:26 - Apr 28
Nooooo....DirtyDing stick with us 👍

algarvefan added 13:32 - Apr 28
Even if you don't like me saying so, the Norfolk lot have done a great job in a short space of time, maybe we should all (and I include myself in that comment) just calm the hell down and have a look at how they have achieved success and try to replicate it.

Onwards and upwards but for me that includes a completely new start, clear out the manager, some of the older players and get some new talent and youth in. We will need to be patient and have a Burley style 5 years plan.

runningout added 16:52 - Apr 28
We need to aim higher than that, and forget about our decent past and a 5 year plan. We are looking Sunday league in the face. So complete clear out needed and get out of Portman Road and nip to the park

blueboy1981 added 18:07 - Apr 28
My opinion is like many others - the worst ITFC I can remember, it is genuinely that bad. What I don’t agree with is excusing consecutive Managers, and labelling blame on indivjidual players - most, if not all, are just not good enough.
Money for Managers to spend isn’t always the answer, Sheffield Utd prove that point - good management, coaching, and scouting being the answer.
Norwich are another good example of such required traits - evidence stating us in the face. Quite simply root and branch clearout required - including some of our overated youngsters.
Where are they ? - no better time could they have had to prove themselves.
Poor scouting, poor management, and poor recruitment are our problems. Not an open cheque book.

budgieplucker added 18:42 - Apr 28
I am not necessarily playing to the PL bandwagon here and I have to say some of his rhetoric is becoming a bit too repititive, at times I have been unsure whether I have been watching the same match as Paul. However, fair enough this was always was going to be a tough match against a side that probably deserves promotion and a crowd that was absolutely buzzing. We cannot currently win games and to a certain extent we are taking our medicine at the moment. I think most Championship sides would have struggled to have come away from Bramall Lane yesterday with a result. On first half stats we had 49% of possession, and for 10 minutes before the first goal we did actually dominate spells of possession.

However we all know we are awful in both boxes and that has to be addressed in the summer. The cross for the first goal should have been stopped or at least dealt with in the six yard box - pretty much where we let the attacker get free of marking for the umpteenth time this season.

But hey I haven’t lost faith, I have watched this club for 55 years and I see some great youngster coming through. I see many of the U23 matches and enjoy them. But Marcus be warned don’t let’s get wrapped up in the spin, many of us got carried away with the spin of young and hungry for our new manager, let’s not make the same mistake with thinking young and hungry players will get us out of the current mess. Its imperative that we make the right and some very good experienced additions to the squad this summer to get the right blend next season. Quite frankly our more experienced players have let us down and young players are consistently inconsistent. Take Chalobah yesterday who recently has had some good matches but yesterday was awful.

Downs, Skuse and Bishop all at times show that they can compete with the best in the Championship but only at times. The Tedster has the promise of being another James Madison BUT quite frankly is there any one of us supporters who have any form of optimism that this trio can score any goals from midfield? There lies a big part of our problem.

Again I like Josh Emmanuel and I think Myles Kenlock has done really well of late, both for me offer more than Jonas Knudsen and Jordan Spence, but again watching Sheffield United I cant help thinking that our team could be transformed with proper wingbacks. Myles and Josh are merely fullbacks who can play a little more further forward. I often think Tristan Nydam a good all round footballer could be a huge success if converted to wingback.

I can buy in to a lot of what ME is trying to sell, but that doesn’t mean I am any less angry with him for not loosening the purse strings a little. It’s easy to lay all the blame at Hurst who only did what he thought was right off the back of success in the lower leagues - naivety was more to blame, but if ME had shown more ambition to keep players like Webster and Waghorn we might not be where we are today. Surely Bristol City are not a bigger club than us? Yes it’s easy to say we don’t want to keep players who want to go, we did resist the sizeable offer from Leicester for McGoldrick the other season, in hindsight it may not have been the best decision but I felt it was the right decision at the time to send out a powerful message to other players and other teams that we are serious in becoming a top club again. Waghorn having recently moved his parents to the area as they were very happily settled!!!! I suggest a further modest investment from Evan without selling could have stabilised the mid table team that we were and given us a base to improve from.

Last year I was very much of the mind that Graham Potter was by far the best choice for us providing the pragmatism and tactical approach of a Mick but also playing a more pleasing brand of football with a reputation of improving young and older players. Ok he hasn’t pulled up trees with Swansea yet but I am convinced he will turn things round there. I was very annoyed to hear that we did interview him but rumour has it we didn’t want to pay the level of compensation being asked from his Swedish Club.

So it goes on ME haggles to save an extra hundred grand or so here and there making transfers very protracted. PH has much to answer for but I believe he was largely setup to fail.

We have a good manager in PL and I struggle to think who would be a better option at this point in time. His hands were very much tied when he joined and indeed in January. We must give him time to be able to have a clear out and put his own markings on the squad.

We have a number of advantages, yes the wage bill will come down by around 50%, finance experts confirm that this is the average reduction being written into most Championship contracts. That saves us around the 8 million we loose in TV revenue. We have 10,000 season tickets, if we can get this to 12,000 then a 20% reduction brings us to a stand even position. We have young players signed on three year contracts and that exempts them from the Div 1 FFP equivalent. So we have a good base to work from and there should be no excuse for ME not providing strategic investment in 3 or 4 right and key players who can make the difference in league one.

Wooly74 added 19:05 - Apr 28
New left back
New right back
Huws (if fit)
New CF

4-3-3 formation, go and find the best attacking wing backs that can cross the ball and have pace to work the complete flanks for 65 minutes, whipping balls into the danger area.

Rest of main squad to be...
GK - Wright
New CF

Freddie to return when fit.

Everyone else not mentioned can go, All loan players including Keane plus Collins, Adeyemi, Ward, Downes, Nydam, Roberts, Rowe, Emmanuel.... cut the loses, the wage bill and go and buy the best we can attract seriously. If Jackson is to be given a place on the bench it’s as a winger not forward

alfromcol added 19:13 - Apr 28
As Mick Mills has said on numerous occasions, recruitment is the key to success. Only got to look at the scum, a team of cheap talented footballers.

Money from Evans won't get us out of Div 1.

Saxonblue74 added 20:17 - Apr 28
Perhaps we should form a TWTD coalition? Itfcsince73 as Manager/Head coach, Director of finances has Bluearmy nailed on (once he's ousted ME) and Dolphinblue could deal with Public Relations. I really think I may be onto something here?!

Barty added 08:18 - Apr 29
So sad because that was embarrassing to watch. We were awful

beornioblue added 09:02 - Apr 29
Anyone who still thinks Luke Chambers is the man for the job after that performance needs the head examining, and that wasn't even his worst game this season !! I like the bloke as an example of professionalism but if your captain is the most liable to make an error what message does that send !!!

Kirbmeister added 10:04 - Apr 29
5 years at least before we’re in any sort of position to get out of League 1.

bugledog123 added 13:00 - Apr 29
When will this season end....

bugledog123 added 13:04 - Apr 29

runningout added 15:32 - Apr 29
Sheff Utd game was horrendous for us... want to forget about this season and quite a few before.... we have been on a slippery slope for at least 5 years.

dirtydingusmagee added 17:34 - Apr 29
bugledog it ended ages ago .

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