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Match Reports

Blades 2-1 Norwich - report

18 August 2018

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Skipper Billy Sharp was United's hero in Saturday's last-gasp victory over Norwich City.

The captain was jogging on the spot to score deep into stoppage-time as the Blades made it back-to-back wins in the Sky Bet Championship, after Jordan Rhodes had earlier cancelled on John Egan's first goal for the Blades.

For the clash against the Canaries, Norwood and Woodburn were handed full home league debuts, whilst Stearman dropped to the bench and Duffy missed out through illness.

On a bright afternoon at the Lane, it was the Blades who engineered the first opening, as Woodburn found space from a throw-in, but with Sharp waiting his pull back was cut out at the expense of a corner. It was United on the front again moments later, O'Connell won two tackles on halfway, Woodburn earnt a corner on the right, from which Fleck dragged an effort wide having being spotted by Norwood.

But in the ninth minute, United deservedly hit the front. Norwood won a corner on the right, before delivering deep where EGAN headed home with the aid of the goal line technology as referee Bond signalled the ball had crossed the line. Norwich's first effort of the game saw Pukki fire over much to the delight of the Kop.

The first scare on the game for the Blades came on 23 as Rhodes found space six yards out from Marshall's inswinging former, but the striker planted his header wide of Henderson's far post. And within three minutes of that warning, Norwich levelled. The visitors broke down the left, Pukki picked Hernandez out in the box, he held the ball up before turning Basham and crossing for RHODES to fire home.

The game was open now and the Blades almost found themselves back in front as Woodburn crossed from the right, Clarke got across his marker but found Krul at his best to deny him from point blank range. Pukki became the first to see yellow for hauling down Sharp.

At the break, Woodburn was replaced by Leonard. The first action of the second-half saw Krul make a reaction save at the back post, after O'Connell had managed to connect with Norwood's deep free-kick. In response, Klose headed wide at the back post from Leitner's corner.

Just after the hour, McGoldrick replaced Freeman, prompting a change in formation, before Trybull was booked for tripping an advancing Basham. On 65 minutes, United had Henderson to thank for keeping the scores level, after the assistant referee failed to spot one of three City players in an offside, with Leitner the one who missed when clean through.

Moments later the Blades had another let off, as Rhodes hit the post from Hanley's knock down, before Pukki lifted the rebound high and wide. This time it was the Blades turn to come close from a corner on 76, with Leonard heading over at the near post from Norwood's corner. A minute later, Norwood was again the supplier, this time Egan's header went a matter of inches wide, with Krul beaten.

The Blades were starting to gain the upper hand and with seven minutes remaining, Sharp found space in the box from Basham's pass, but with Krul committed, City scrambled the ball clear despite the best efforts of Clarke.

Three minutes of added time were signalled and United won it at the death, with skipper SHARP forcing the ball home after McGoldrick had kept the ball alive at the back post from Basham's cross and that proved enough to see off Norwich.

Blades: Henderson, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Clarke, Sharp (Stearman 90), Woodburn (Leonard 45) Egan, Norwood, Freeman (McGoldrick 61).
Unused: Lundstram, Stearman, Lafferty, Moore, Lavery.

Norwich: Krul, Marshall, Leitner (Stiepermann 78), Rhodes, Lewis, Klose, Trybull, Pukki (Srbeny 87), Hernandez, Tettey (Godfrey 90) Hanley.
Unused: Zimmermann, McGovern, Thompson, Aarons.

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