SHEFFIELD UNITED and Leeds United fought out a keenly-contested Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane on Saturday, with the hosts edging out their rivals in a 2-1 victory.
The Yorkshire Post’s chief football reporter Richard Sutcliffe delivers his verdict after today’s Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane. Have a scroll down the page and see if you agree with the marks and leave your own thoughts in the comments section at the bottom.
Blackman 7: Had little to do in the first half until Jansson powered a header goalwards that he tipped to safety with fine agility. Little chance with goal.
Basham 7: Typically assured display, sweeping up if a team-mate got in trouble. He was, though, fortunate that Hernandez fired over late on after failing to clear the initial trouble.
Stearman 6: Didn’t always look comfortable in a second half when Leeds started to exert more pressure. He did, though, pull off a quite fantastic clearance late on to deny Ekuban a shot on goal.
O’Connell 6: Brilliant block to deny Pennington after a scramble in the Blades area typified his determination.
Baldock 7: Some searching runs and decent delivery, none more so than in the 70th minute when his cross looked
Evans 7: Lovely delivery with an early free-kick that presented Sharp with a chance he just couldn’t take despite being unmarked. Booked for foul on Alioski.
Duffy 8: Always a threat with the ball, his trickery and eye for an opening meaning Leeds could never rest when the Blades man was in possession. Played a pivotal role in the opening goal with a cross that Leeds could not clear and the quick free-kick for the penalty.
Fleck 7: Neat and tidy on the ball, though his influence was felt more in the first half than second. That was, however, until his dart down the left drew a foul from O’Kane and a penalty.
Stevens 7: Always poses a threat when flying forward down the left flank. Provided some searching crosses. Pace of Sacko troubled him late on but stuck manfully to the task.
Clarke 6: Agonisingly close to tapping in a Sharp cross in the first half. Thought he was clear after the break but Jansson pulled off a vital header despite being off balance. Had great chance to score late on but blazed over. Then had big appeal for a late penalty turned down.
Sharp 8: Clinical finish inside 71 seconds to put the Blades in front, his sixth in as many starts against Leeds. Could have had a second just nine minutes later when he headed over from a free-kick. Made amends by successful converting second half penalty. Booked and substituted to a standing ovation.
Substitutes - Leonard (for Duffy 77): Some nice touches.
Lundstram (for Evans 88): Brought on to see the game out.
Holmes (for Sharp 90): Barely got a touch as United held out for a vital win.
Wiedwald 6: Little chance with either goal. Sensibly left the large number of crosses that came in from the flank to his two central defenders, who were impressive.
Dallas 6: Pressed into action as a right back and did well. Pulled off a vital clearing header as Sharp waited to pounce in the first half. So closed with late shot that deflected wide.
Pennington 7: Towering presence at the back for United, the loanee getting his had on several dangerous crosses deep into Leeds territory.
Jansson 7: Powerful header tested Blackman in home goal on the stroke of half-time. Also pulled off some vital clearing headers and his partnership worked well with Pennington.
De Bock 6: Distribution sometimes let the full back down. Had a late shot but far from his best game.
Forshaw 7: Always offered himself to a team-mate for the ball, even when United were struggling in the first half. Booked for a late challenge on O’Connell.
Phillips 6: Got forward in support of the attack as much as he could. Picked out Hernandez, who was then denied by a Blades boot that deflected his shot just wide.
O’Kane 5: Unable to get anywhere near enough on a clearing header, in effect providing a flick on that was perfect for Sharp to convert with a first time volley to put the hosts ahead. Compounded this mistake by diving in to gift the Blades a penalty.
Alioski 4: A player who continues to flatter to deceive too many time. Early sighter of goal but shot well wide. Confident enough to try an ambitious overhead kick 15 yards out but ball sailed straight into Blackman’s hands. Substituted.
Lasogga 7: Did well to create himself a chance midway through first half but his shot curled just wide from 20 yards. Perfectly executed header brought the visitors level soon after the restart.
Roofe 4: Apart from being booked, he contributed little before being forced off with concussion following an accidental clash with Basham.
Substitutes - Hernandez (for Roofe 44) 7: Made a huge difference to Leeds after coming off the bench. Almost created an equaliser for Jansson with his first touch, a flighted free-kick from the right flank. His cross then brought Leeds level.
Sacko (for Alioski 75) 5: Has pace to burn but the overhit cross as Leeds pressed for an equaliser summed up much of his career at Elland Road.
Ekuban (for Phillips 78): Denied an attempt on goal by Stearman’s acrobatic clearance and intelligent reading of the game.