Championship
Sheff UtdSheffield United2MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1

Sheffield United 2-1 Middlesbrough

Lee Evans
Lee Evans gave Sheffield United victory with his first two goals for the club

Sheffield United boosted their Championship play-off hopes with victory over 10-man Middlesbrough.

Lee Evans fired home a wonderfully struck volley from outside the area to give the hosts an early lead.

Top-six rivals Boro had Grant Leadbitter sent off for a second bookable offence before Evans scored his second with another fine volley.

Daniel Ayala pulled a goal back for the visitors after the break but they could not find an equaliser.

Defeat, coupled with Millwall's win at Bolton, meant Boro drop out of the top six.

A dreadful first 45 minutes prompted Boro boss Tony Pulis to make a triple substitution at the break and the move paid off almost immediately as Ayala slotted home after Ben Gibson flicked on Stewart Downing's free-kick.

Jonny Howson and Britt Assombalonga went close as Boro pushed for a leveller but Chris Wilder's men held on to move to within three points of the top six.

The Blades host in-form Millwall on Saturday, while Middlesbrough entertain Bristol City.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"You always get value for money watching us. We never make it easy for the supporters or the manager.

"In the first half we were outstanding with the way we took the game to the opposition.

"All of a sudden, the whole atmosphere changes in terms of giving them a lift, and we got tight. From then on, it wasn't a straightforward game."

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"We threw the ball out of play from our own throw-in and that summed up our first 10-15 minutes. But they scored a great volley - sometimes you've got to hold your hands up.

"We were coming into the game from that point, but I've seen Grant's (second) challenge - the kid throws himself to the ground, he's got his hands up in the air, he rolls around and holds his ankle.

"It's a challenge you can give a free-kick for. A challenge to book someone knowing he's going to be sent off? That's very harsh."

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1Moore
  • 6Basham
  • 13WrightSubstituted forDuffyat 73'minutes
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 7LundstramSubstituted forLeonardat 90'minutes
  • 20Evans
  • 4FleckBooked at 35mins
  • 3Stevens
  • 36BrooksSubstituted forDonaldsonat 86'minutes
  • 9Clarke

Substitutes

  • 10Sharp
  • 11Donaldson
  • 14Leonard
  • 21Duffy
  • 24Lafferty
  • 26Holmes
  • 31Eastwood

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3FriendBooked at 87mins
  • 16Howson
  • 7LeadbitterBooked at 25mins
  • 27BesicSubstituted forClaytonat 45'minutes
  • 37TraoréBooked at 41minsSubstituted forda Silvaat 45'minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 11BamfordSubstituted forAssombalongaat 45'minutes
  • 19Downing

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 2da Silva
  • 8Clayton
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 14Cranie
  • 20Fry
  • 23Harrison
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
26,557

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home5
Away20

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Middlesbrough 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 2, Middlesbrough 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Evans (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  5. Post update

    Leon Clarke (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Leon Clarke (Sheffield United).

  8. Post update

    Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Ryan Leonard replaces John Lundstram.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Evans (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Adam Clayton.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leon Clarke (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Enda Stevens.

  13. Booking

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Lee Evans (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Clayton Donaldson replaces David Brooks.

  17. Post update

    John Lundstram (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

  19. Post update

    Offside, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens tries a through ball, but David Brooks is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Lee Evans (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves41278674363889
2Fulham422312772413181
3Cardiff41248962352780
4Aston Villa4222101066402676
5Derby401814860382268
6Millwall4218141054391568
7Middlesbrough421991459411866
8Bristol City4217141159481165
9Sheff Utd42198155749865
10Brentford4217131258471164
11Preston421615115244863
12Ipswich42168185052-256
13Norwich421414144652-656
14Leeds42159185460-654
15QPR421411175363-1053
16Hull421114176461347
17Sheff Wed421114175059-947
18Nottm Forest41137214359-1646
19Reading421012204661-1542
20Birmingham42117243261-2940
21Bolton42912213464-3039
22Barnsley41813204261-1937
23Sunderland42615214574-2933
24Burton42711243077-4732
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC