Championship
Reading1Sheff Utd3

Reading 1-3 Sheffield United

Billy Sharp
Billy Sharp scored his 11th and 12th Championship goals of the season for Sheffield United

Sheffield United beat Reading to go sixth in the Championship and increase pressure on Royals manager Jaap Stam.

Leon Clarke crossed for Billy Sharp to open the scoring with a rebound off Vito Mannone before Mark Duffy cut inside and smashed into the top corner.

Omar Richards hammered in a rebound to make it 2-1 before Blades keeper Simon Moore saved Leandro Bacuna's penalty.

Sharp sidefooted in from a long ball as the Blades moved above Bristol City and into the play-off places.

The game hinged on two second-half minutes with United's substitute goalkeeper Moore pushing away Bacuna's low spot-kick after Liam Kelly was bundled over.

Having been close to making it 2-2, Reading instead found themselves 3-1 behind a minute later when Sharp latched onto John Fleck's pass to score via the inside of the post.

The striker's second goal of the game ensured a fifth Championship game without a win for Stam, whose side are 18th, four points above the relegation zone.

In truth the margin of victory could have been greater, with Clarke, Sharp and Clayton Donaldson all spurning good chances for the Blades, who moved a point above Bristol City.

Moore was on the pitch because of an injury to Jamal Blackman, while Clarke was replaced by Donaldson after both players were injured in separate incidents the same first-half minute.

Reading manager Jaap Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"It could've been six or seven to be honest. If you're not starting games well enough defending decisively and aggressively, you'll give the opposition chances.

"We could've gone forward quicker earlier on, but that didn't happen and we didn't make those decisions."

On his future in the job: "I don't feel pressure myself as everyone knows what can happen in football.

"If the club wants to make a decision then they can do that. Everyone knows if you're having a bad spell and not winning games, a decision can be made.

"That's not up to me, it's how it goes in football. I wouldn't be surprised if that decision comes."

Sheffield United assistant manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"It was a really good performance from the players today. Everything we asked for and everything we expect, we got.

"We were all really disappointed with the performance [in the previous game against Hull]. The standards have been set by the players so when we drop below them it's only right they know - and tonight was the perfect way to answer them.

"In the first half we should have been 3-0 up after 15 minutes, but it's good that we're creating."

Line-ups

Reading

  • 1MannoneBooked at 64mins
  • 20IloriSubstituted forSmithat 74'minutes
  • 6Moore
  • 4van den BergBooked at 57mins
  • 12McClearySubstituted forRichardsat 6'minutes
  • 19BacunaSubstituted forEvansat 69'minutes
  • 22ClementBooked at 70mins
  • 2Gunter
  • 38Kelly
  • 27Martin
  • 23Bödvarsson

Substitutes

  • 8Evans
  • 16Edwards
  • 17Barrow
  • 24Blackett
  • 31Jaakkola
  • 50Richards
  • 55Smith

Sheff Utd

  • 27BlackmanSubstituted forMooreat 34'minutes
  • 6BashamBooked at 50mins
  • 19Stearman
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 20Evans
  • 21DuffySubstituted forLeonardat 82'minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 3Stevens
  • 9ClarkeSubstituted forDonaldsonat 34'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 10Sharp

Substitutes

  • 1Moore
  • 7Lundstram
  • 11Donaldson
  • 14Leonard
  • 24Lafferty
  • 26Holmes
  • 32Evans
Referee:
Andy Davies
Attendance:
6,769

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamSheff Utd
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home11
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Reading 1, Sheffield United 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Reading 1, Sheffield United 3.

Offside, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens tries a through ball, but Clayton Donaldson is caught offside.

Pelle Clement (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Liam Kelly (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).

Attempt missed. Jón Dadi Bödvarsson (Reading) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Lee Evans.

Booking

Clayton Donaldson (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card.

Liam Kelly (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Clayton Donaldson (Sheffield United).

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Ryan Leonard replaces Mark Duffy because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Liam Kelly.

Attempt blocked. Sam Smith (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Kelly.

Attempt blocked. Sam Smith (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. John Fleck (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Clayton Donaldson.

Attempt missed. Clayton Donaldson (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by John Fleck with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

George Baldock (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Clayton Donaldson (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Sam Smith replaces Tiago Ilori.

Jón Dadi Bödvarsson (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Chris Basham (Sheffield United).

Offside, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens tries a through ball, but Billy Sharp is caught offside.

Booking

Pelle Clement (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Pelle Clement (Reading).

John Fleck (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. George Evans replaces Leandro Bacuna.

Attempt missed. Clayton Donaldson (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jack O'Connell with a cross.

Booking

Vito Mannone (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Reading 1, Sheffield United 3. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Fleck with a through ball.

Attempt blocked. Leandro Bacuna (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pelle Clement.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Simon Moore.

Penalty saved! Leandro Bacuna (Reading) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Penalty Reading. Liam Kelly draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Richard Stearman (Sheffield United) after a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt saved. George Baldock (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Billy Sharp.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves34227559283173
2Cardiff34207750272367
3Aston Villa34189753322163
4Derby341612653312260
5Fulham341611757372059
6Sheff Utd34174134940955
7Bristol City34141284840854
8Middlesbrough341571246341252
9Preston34121574033751
10Brentford341311105041950
11Leeds34147134743449
12Millwall341212104035548
13Ipswich34146144543248
14Norwich341211113437-347
15Nottm Forest34124184153-1240
16QPR34109153851-1339
17Sheff Wed34813133744-737
18Reading34810163948-934
19Bolton34810162951-2234
20Hull34712154551-633
21Barnsley34711163448-1432
22Birmingham3486202251-2930
23Burton3478192660-3429
24Sunderland34512173761-2427
View full Championship table

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