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Match Reports

Burton 1-3 Blades - report

17 November 2017

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United cemented a place at the top end of the Championship, with a 12th victory of the season at Burton Albion on Friday evening.

A first-half brace from skipper Billy Sharp and a header from Leon Clarke secured another deserved win against Nigel Clough's Brewers at the Pirelli Stadium.

For the clash at the Pirelli Stadium, boss Wilder made one change from the starting XI that beat Hull City, with Blackman returning in goal following a back injury and Moore dropping to the bench.

After a quiet opening, the game burst into life on 10 minutes and United took the lead from the penalty spot. Fleck seized possession in midfield and played in SHARP who saw his run brought to a premature end by McFadzean. From 12 yards, the skipper convincingly fired home into the roof of the net.

With 18 minutes on the clock, O'Connell headed home from a left-wing corner from Coutts, but referee Langford had spotted an infringement on Bywater. With the Blades dominating possession and territory, Clarke was next to have a chance, but he shot into the side netting from a tight angle, having advanced past Turner.

The Blades continued to push for a second, with Carter-Vickers and Clarke coming close, but in the 31st minute Burton levelled with their first effort of the night. Sordell held the ball up before laying off PALMER and the midfielder arrowed an effort past Blackman into the top corner.

Parity only lasted three minutes though, before SHARP raced clear and calmly slotted past Bywater to restore the Blades advantage. In the 39th minute, the Blades came within a whisker of adding a third. A cross from the left found Sharp at the back post and he teed up strike partner Clarke, who curled an effort against the post, with the rebound falling into the grateful hands of Bywater.

With half-time approaching and having halted a counter attack, Warnock was the first player to be booked. As four minutes added time were signalled, Duffy rasped an effort over the bar having found space centrally. The interval was delayed further, as Coutts looked to have picked up a serious injury having been caught when volleying towards goal. He was replaced by Lundstram.

The second-half saw United have early appeals for a second penalty waved away, despite Duffy's shot appearing to hit the outstretched arm of Warnock. In response, Burton forced a couple of corners in quick succession and Carter-Vickers had to make a brave block to deny Lund. After a slip by Lundstram, Akins fired a shot over from a promising position.

With 20 minutes remaining, Brooks was introduced and replaced skipper Sharp. And with 78 minutes on the clock, the Blades added a third goal to take a firm grip of proceedings. Lundstram and Duffy combined, before Fleck sent in a ball to the back post that was header home by CLARKE, who had got in front of Warnock.

In the next attack, Brooks found himself in the clear, but his shot went agonisingly wide, with Bywater beaten again. With timing running out, Duffy received a warm hand as he was replaced by Carruthers.

Three minutes of stoppage-time came and went without incident and the Blades returned to the summit of the Championship ahead of the remaining weekend's fixtures.

Burton: Bywater, Warnock (Miller 81), Allen (Scannell 65), McFadzean, Turner, Murphy, Lund, Dyer (Akins 26), Sordell, Palmer, Buxton.
Unused: Ripley, Flanagan, Naylor, Varney.

Blades: Blackman, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Clarke, Sharp (Brooks 70) Wright, Coutts (Lundstram 45), Carter-Vickers, Duffy (Carruthers 88).
Unused: Moore, Donaldson, Stearman, Lafferty.


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