Sheffield United ratings: Billy Sharp fades as Blades suffer defeat at Middlesbrough

Sheffield United's Enda Stevens (left) and Middlesbrough's Cyrus Christie battle for the ball (Photo: PA)
Sheffield United's Enda Stevens (left) and Middlesbrough's Cyrus Christie battle for the ball (Photo: PA)
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Sheffield United were unfortunate to come away from the Riverside without a point after losing 1-0 to Middlesbrough in the late kick-off on Saturday.

Football writer Leon Wobschall was at the game and gave his verdict on the Blades performances.

Sheffield United

Jamal Blackman. Stranded out of goal for Gestede's strike. Like his counterpart, didn't have a great deal to do. 6

Chris Basham. Moment he would want to forget with his poor clearing header letting in Gestede. 5

Richard Stearman. Made one key first-half intervention. An experienced, savvy Championship operator. 6.

Jack O'Connell. Competed well enough, forced to muscle up against the physically strong duo of Assombalonga and Gestede. Big controversy at end. 7

Kieron Freeman. In the wars at times. Not the usual bucaneering presence going forward, although did create one good early chance for Clarke. 6

Paul Coutts. Kept going all game and went very close to a second-half leveller. 7

John Fleck. Composed and produced some neat work in the middle of the park. 7

Samir Carruthers. Started brightly enough, but faded. 5

Enda Stevens. Unflustered, diligent showing down the left. 6

Billy Sharp. Extremely quiet first half and didn't get much better on the restart. Not his day. 5

Leon Clarke. Put himself about and always an outlet, but should have done better with an early chance. 7

Substitutes: Mark Duffy. Supplier of the free-kick at the death which should have led to a leveller. Busy 6

Ched Evans. Giving a great ovation when he came on for Sharp on 58 minutes. 6

David Brooks. Came on 11 minutes from time for Freeman. 6

Not used: Jake Eastwood, John Lundstram, Jake Wright, Daniel Lafferty.