Sheffield United ratings: Assured performance from Blades despite Leon Clarke's needless dismissal

Billy Sharp celebrates scoring in the 17th minute for Blades (Photo: Sportsimage)
Billy Sharp celebrates scoring in the 17th minute for Blades (Photo: Sportsimage)
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Billy Sharp scored the only goal as Sheffield United overcame Barnsley in a fiery South Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane.

Chief football writer Richard Sutcliffe was present at the lunchtime kick-off and has rated the performances from the Blades squad. Share your thoughts on Twitter by including @YPSport in your tweet.

Blackman 6 - Well protected by his defence, the Chelsea loanee was rarely called into action other than to deal with crosses.

Basham 7 - Laid on an excellent chance for Billy Sharp that deserved to be converted. Got forward well and worked hard in defence.

O’Connell 7 - Typically solid at the back, throwing himself in front of a couple of Barnsley efforts. Created the only goal.

Wright 7 - Pulled off a couple of important blocks as the visitors tried to pick a way through the Blades backline.

Freeman 6 - Got forward well down the right flank and always wanted the ball.

Fleck 7 - Industrious in the centre of the field. Rarely let Barnsley settle. Booked for lunge at Matty Pearson.

Duffy 7 - Carried his usual threat on the ball, always looking for an opening with his probing passes. Substituted to deserved ovation midway through second half.

Coutts 6 - Neat and tidy on the ball and another who was always available when a team-mate wanted an outlet.

Stevens 6 - Started strongly down the left flank and linked up well with team-matesl.

L Clarke 5 - Used his physical strength very well, holding the ball up and an opponent at bay countless times but then got himself needlessly sent off after grabbing the throat of Angus MacDonald.

Sharp 7 - Typically assured finish from the Blades captain. Unfortunate not to have another, too, as Davies saved a similar effort moments earlier. Booked and then substituted..

Substitutes

Brooks (for Duffy 66) 7 - Looked to have scored only for Davies to pull off a fine reflex save and divert the ball on to the post. Lively on the ball.

Evans (for Sharp 75) 6 - Little impact from the bench.