Football: Manchester United push past Sheffield
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
|Manchester United||2||0||Sheffield United|
|Goalscorers for Manchester United||Carrick (4'), Rooney (50')|
|Goalscorers for Sheffield United||None|
|Bookings (Manchester United)||Smith, Rooney, Ronaldo (Yellow (3))|
|Bookings (Sheffield United)||Geary, Morgan, Armstrong (Yellow (3))|
Manchester United opened a temporary six-point lead over Chelsea on Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United. The Blades are stuck in the relegation battle in the league, having only jumped out of the bottom three this past weeking after a 3-0 thumping of fellow strugglers West Ham. The Red Devils on the other hand came into the game on a two game winning streak, having scored 11 goals in those two matches. Man United started with the same striking pair used in the last two games in Wayne Rooney and Alan Smith. Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock played Colin Kazim-Richards up front with Luton Shelton, who was earning his first start, on the attack.
The first chance of the match fell to the Yorkshire side as a free Kick by Tonge was driven low, but lacked the power to beat Reds keeper, Tomasz Kuszczak. The Premiership leaders quickly made the Blades pay, and on 4 minutes, Michael Carrick received a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, and chipped the ball over the sprawling Paddy Kenny. Wayne Rooney then had a chance to double the Red Devils lead, but his shot lacked power and Kenny patted the ball away. Another free kick was taken by Tonge for the Blades, and this one packed more power, but Kuszczak sprawled to make the stop. Patrice Evra then had to be substituted for the Reds when he took a high challenge from Kazim-Richards, and was replaced by Keiron Richardson. Smith was then forced to change his shorts after being caught by Matthew Kilgallon. Luton Shelton continued to make an impact for Sheffield United as he blasted a shot just wide.
After the break, Rooney again had a chance to double United's lead, but he was stopped by a well timed tackle from Chris Morgan. Shelton meanwhile caused unrest in the Man United defence with strong runs, but no goals came of them. Rooney finally scored his goal on 5 minutes when his run was met by Ryan Giggs' pass, and the young Englishman blasted the ball far side on Kenny. Shelton again threatened as he turned away from Wes Brown, but he then scooped the ball over the bar. Danny Webber then had a chance for the Blades after beating out Heinze, but he raked his shot wide. Kenny was then forced into action to make saves off both Ronaldo and Rooney, to keep the game at a respectable scoreline. Shelton then had a legitimate claim for a penalty when he was brought down by Heinze in the area, but referee Rob Styles waved play on. The decision all but ended the Blades hopes of a comeback, but they still continued to press as Tonge hit the post with a curling shot. Kuszczak kept his clean sheat, however, and the Red Devils earned a valuable three points in the title race.
Manchester United's next match will be another Premiership game against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford. Sheffield United's next, also in the Premiership, will be against main relegation rivals Charlton Athletic, and that match will be very important for both teams.
- Alex Livie. "Red Devils Blunt Brave Blades" — , April 17, 07
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