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Match Reports

Blades 1-0 Norwich - report

7 March 2020

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Billy Sharp's first half header proved to be decisive as United deservedly beat Norwich City at Bramall Lane.

United dominated for long periods against the Premier League's bottom side, but goalkeeper Dean Henderson was the hero in the second half, making a number of fine saves as the Blades climbed to sixth spot in the table.

For the clash against the Canaries, boss Wilder made one change from the side that drew with Brighton, with Lundstram replacing Berge, who is named amongst the substitutes.

United were quickly put of the blocks and McBurnie had the first sight of goal in the fourth minute, but his header from Sharp's cross was tipped over by Krul. That was taken short, but the Norwich stopper was equal to Norwood's inviting centre. And it was the Blades who continued to force the issue, but this time Godfrey cleared at the near post after Sharp had freed Stevens on the left.

On 13 minutes, Buendia's long range effort was deflected behind for a corner and from the resulting set-piece Pukki hit the outside of the post, after Egan's header didn't clear the initial danger. The Finland international then got the better of Egan on the left, but thankfully Stevens was ideally positioned to avert the potential danger.

As the clocked ticked past the half hour, goalscoring chances had become limited, until a Blades on the left wasn't cleared, Egan's effort was blocked but fell nicely for O'Connell, only for McLean to divert his goal bound effort off the line at the expense of another corner. Two more followed in quick succession, but Norwich managed to clear the danger with Hanley and Tettey the men standing between the Blades and a goal.

But United's constant pressure paid dividends nine minutes before the break. Lundstram's inch perfect cross missed the run of McBurnie, but SHARP was there to nod home past Krul to the delight of the majority inside the Lane. Moments later, from another corner, Lundstram volleyed inches wide of Krul's far post, with the Dutch stopper scrambling across his line.

The pressure continued right up until half-time. Stevens, Lundstram and McBurnie all saw efforts blocked before Lundstram stung the palms of Krul with the last action of the half.

The start of the second half saw the visitors force a couple of early corners, but United comfortably defended them.

On the hour, the Blades were forced into a change, with Stevens limping off and being replaced by Osborn. United won a corner themselves moments later and it almost ended in Basham making it two, but he fired high and wide from a promising position, having got the better of McLean.

On 71 minutes, the skipper received a standing ovation as he was replaced by McGoldrick and the striker was the unlikely hero in his own penalty box after Henderson had saved a Godfrey header and denied Vrancic from a corner. The substitute managed to clear the ball off his own crossbar before Baldock header out.

With the clock ticking down it was the visitors chasing a goal, but Henderson stood tall to deny Lewis with a volley at the back post. Berge replaced McBurnie who had suffered a heavy fall in a challenge with Krul. Four minutes of added time were signaled, but United rarely looked troubled as they made it six games unbeaten in all competitions.


Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens (Osborn 60), Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Lundstram, McBurnie (Berge 90), Sharp (McGoldrick 71), Egan, Norwood.
Unused: Jagielka, Verrips, Mousset, Retsos.

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Godfrey, Lewis, Tettey (Vrancic 66), McLean, Buendia, Duda (Idah 87), Cantwell (Drmic 45), Pukki.
Unused: McGovern, Zimmerman, Rupp, Stiepermann.


As it happened...

15:00
We're underway.

2'
United with the first threat of the game.

Enda Stevens turns in a low cross in towards the penalty spot. Norwich clear. United on the front foot early doors. 0-0.

3'
Deep cross from Chris Basham cleared away by Buendia.

United come again down the right and Sharp stands up a cross from Oli McBurnie whose header is tipped over by Tim Krul.

The 'keeper claims the following corner. 0-0.

5'
Max Aarons getting treatment after a challenge from John Fleck. Slight break in play here. 0-0.

7'
Brilliant hold up play by Sharp under pressure. He finds Steven who delivers another low cross which is vollyed behind, corner...

9'
First corner flicked behind of a Norwich head, second corner from the opposite side is headed clear at the near post. 0-0.

13'
Buendia's shot takes a deflection and goes behind for a corner.

It is whipped in towards the back post. Pukki heads across goal, Egan heads it back into his direction and the striker lashes an effort against the outside of the post. 0-0.

15'
Norwich coming into it now.

Todd Cantwell's deep cross is aimed at Buendia at the back post but Basham flicks the ball away with an important header. 0-0.

18'
Good spell from the visitors who have now settled and are playing some nice football.

An attractive move ends when Aarons delivers a poor cross into the near post. 0-0.

23'
After a quiet period, Fleck almost has Sharp through on a goal with a defence splitting pass, but it wouldn't quite run in the striker's stride, Norwich scramble clear. 0-0.

25'
United move up a gear again as Stevens travels forward and feeds O'Connell on the overlap.

The low cross is turned behind at the near post, and the resulting Norwood corner is headed away by Tettey. 0-0.

30'
After another lull in proceedings United burst forward again through Lundstram but whenit comes to the final ball his cross doesn't find the intended target of Sharp and Norwich clear. 0-0.

33'
Persistence by Stevens wins a corner for the Blades.

Norwood's corner is deep and kept alive at the far post. Egan has an effort blocked, comes out to O'Connell who also has a dip which looks like it's in but it is deflected wide and Norwich clear back-to-back corners. 0-0.

35'
Quick VAR shout for handball in the area is waved away. Another Norwood corner is dangerous as Tettey heads clear. United turning the screw now...

36'
GOAL!!!!!

It's been coming. Lundstram with the delivery from the right and there's Sharp totally unmarked six yards out to head in. 1-0!

39'
Another good chance.

United totally dominant at the moment as Fleck dances into the area. His cross his cleared only as far as Lundstram whose dipping volley is just inches wide of the post. 1-0.

44'
Norwich look to have weathered the storm, Blades totally on top since the goal. 1-0.

45'
Low Stevens cross just needed a touch but it falls for a Norwich player, a scramble follows which ends with a scuffed effort from McBurnie. Norwich hanging on. 1-0.

One added minute.

45+1'
Lundstram effort held by Krul. 1-0.

15:46
Blades 1 - 0 Norwich

Billy Sharp's header has United deservedly 1-0 in front at the break.

16:02
We're back underway...

46'
Half time change for Norwich as Cantwell is replaced by Josip Drmic.

50'
United have started on the front foot once again, with Fleck in particular showing some graceful touches to find Stevens in the area, but he's robbed by Duda when preparing to cross. 1-0.

52'
Norwich's first attack of the second half sees Drmic head a cross from the right just wide. 1-0.

53'
Jamal Lewis works a position down the left to cross which is put behind for corner. United see off the danger as McBurnie heads away the cross from the left. Norwich coming back into it. 1-0.

58'
Lovely ball into the feet of Lundstram whose first touch immediately creates a chance to shoot but his low effort is blocked as United continue to knock on the door. 1-0.

60'
Enda Stevens down for United, this doesn't look good...

61'
We're going to have a change.

Stevens can't continue, he walks off and Ben Osborn replaces him.

64'
Chance for United!

Fleck's corner is headed clear. The ball is lifted back in where Basham takes a brilliant touch to create half a yard but sailed an effort over from a tight angle. 1-0.

66'
Substitution for Norwich as Tettey is replaced by Mario Vrancic.

68'
Some more great play by United as Basham combines with Lundstram which ends in a low cross which is only half cleared, could have gone anywhere and Norwich are lucky a grey shirt is on hand to clear. 1-0.

71'
Change for United and it is a standing ovation for Sharp who is replaced by David McGoldrick.

78'
Quiet period in the game but Norwich have forced a corner down right and all of a sudden the game comes to life again!

How Norwich didn't score following Godrey's initial header. Henderson blocks on the line three times from Vrancic and Drmic, followed by a brilliant goalline clearance by McGoldrick after Drmic has another go! Looks like he cleared against the bar and over! 1-0.

16:38
Attendance: 31,379 (2,192)

85'
Big chance again for Norwich as Henderson comes to United's rescue again to save from Lewis' volley at the back post. Not over this one by a long way. 1-0.

87'
Duda is off and Adam Idah on for Norwich

89'
Break in play as McBurnie is down with a head injury.

90'
McBurnie looks okay but he's coming off anyway to be replaced by Sander Berge.

90'
Four minutes added

90+4'
Buendia smashes a long range effort well wide, that should be it...

16:50
Full time

Blades 1 - 0 Norwich

Billy Sharp's first half header wins it for United who produce another impressive home performance.


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