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Match Reports

Blades 3-0 Sunderland - report

26 December 2017

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A bumper Boxing Day crowd - the biggest at Bramall Lane this season - saw the Blades dominate in picking up three points.

John Lundstram, Richard Stearman and George Baldock scored the goals that earned United a first win in December.

Boss Wilder was happy to select the same XI that earned a point in Saturday's draw at Aston Villa. There was just one change on the bench where Thomas replaced Heneghan.

The opening 20 minutes saw the Blades clearly on top, winning a number of free-kicks and corners in dangerous areas. Donaldson almost got around the back of the visiting defence but could only clip across the six-yard box and a Duffy shot, after cutting in from the left, struck team-mate Clarke.

An unmarked Donaldson was offside when he connected with Duffy cross and an assistant's flag again went up to deny Clarke a route to goal.

Referee Bankes was disinterested in United's penalty appeals on the half hour. A Duffy pass saw O'Shea wrong-foot his own goalkeeper, Ruiter, who caught Donaldson as he slid out but there was no whistle.

The goal that United's start deserved, though, was on its way. The front two of Donaldson and Clarke were both involved in the build-up before Duffy laid off for LUNDSTRAM to calmly side-foot into the bottom corner, beyond Ruiter's reach.

O'Connell headed wide a Duffy corner as United's dominance continued and Sunderland's first and last chance of the half arrived on 43 minutes but Stearman blocked from McGeady and reacted quickly to deny Honeyman the rebound.

United were not as quick out of the blocks in the second half but neither were the visitors. Sunderland picked up a couple of bookings, the second of which, for Oviedo, resulted in Duffy whipping in a free-kick and an unmarked STEARMAN stooping to beat Ruiter with a header to double the lead.

And it was quickly followed by a third, just after the hour. This time O'Connell provided the cross from the left and BALDOCK got in ahead of his marker to score with a close-range bullet header.

A combination of Stevens and Clarke resulted in a shot sailing into the Kop after Duffy's ball over the defence as the visitors continued to struggle force the Blades back. Carruthers took over from Duffy and Basham picked up a booking.

Oviedo and Maja were both way off target in rare Sunderland attacks and United were very comfortable late on. Lavery and Lafferty were given late run outs.

Three minutes of added time were concluded without incident, earning the Blades a first Championship double of the season.

Blades: Moore, Baldock, Stevens, O'Connell, Basham, Lundstram, Clarke (Lavery 84), Donaldson (Lafferty 89), Carter-Vickers, Stearman, Duffy (Carruthers 75)
Subs: Thomas, Sharp, Wright, Lafferty.

Sunderland: Ruiter, Oviedo, Vaughan (Maja 79), O'Shea, Browning, McGeady, Matthews, Gibson, Honeyman (McManaman 79), Gooch (Asoro 67), Wilson.
Subs: Steele, Jones, Love, Embleton.

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