Championship
Sheff Utd4Reading0

Sheffield United 4-0 Reading: Blades go second with routine win over Royals

Gary Madine
Gary Madine scored his first goals for Sheffield United since joining on loan from Cardiff City

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was delighted his selection gamble paid off after they hammered Reading to go second in the Championship without top scorer Billy Sharp and strike partner David McGoldrick.

The Blades scored after just 38 seconds, when Kieron Freeman bundled home Mark Duffy's low cross.

And they never looked back as loanee Gary Madine twice fired home before the break and John Fleck's deflected strike made it 4-0 shortly after the restart.

"We try to pick the right team, always, and it got the job done," Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"We had to make the right decisions for the benefit of the energy that we wanted to put into the team."

Sharp is the Blades' leading marksman, with 22 goals, while McGoldrick has 11 - their 33 goals between them is just one short of Reading's tally as a team this season.

But Madine, on loan from Cardiff City, proved a more than adequate back-up for them both as he scored his first two goals for the club - and first since netting for Bolton against Ipswich in January last year.

"Gary has been outstanding since he walked through the door, in terms of his attitude," Wilder said.

"He's not played a lot of football this season but he's getting better and better. He and Scott (Hogan) were a handful for the opposition."

The win could have been even more convincing but for some good saves from visiting goalkeeper Emi Martinez, and lifts the Blades above Yorkshire rivals Leeds on goal difference, while Reading, who arrived at Bramall Lane on the back of a vital win over Blackburn, are one point above the relegation zone.

United visit promotion rivals West Brom next Saturday, while the Royals host fellow strugglers Rotherham on the same day.

Reading manager Jose Manuel Gomes told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"(It was) a very bad day. We didn't play well. I had to change Ovie (Ejaria) and (Liam) Kelly because they twisted their ankle, so I couldn't manage the game properly from the bench because I had just a last change.

"I didn't like the game. I didn't like the way we allowed this team to play against us.

"I said after the Wednesday game (against Blackburn) that we don't have much time to celebrate and now we don't have time to cry - just recover and prepare in the week to win the next one."

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 1Henderson
  • 28CranieBooked at 57mins
  • 12Egan
  • 3Stevens
  • 18FreemanSubstituted forStearmanat 77'minutes
  • 16NorwoodBooked at 13minsSubstituted forCouttsat 72'minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 22Johnson
  • 21Duffy
  • 14MadineSubstituted forDowellat 84'minutes
  • 11Hogan

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 8Dowell
  • 10Sharp
  • 15Coutts
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 19Stearman
  • 25Moore

Reading

  • 26Martínez
  • 3Yiadom
  • 19Miazga
  • 6Moore
  • 27Richards
  • 18EjariaSubstituted forBödvarssonat 45'minutes
  • 38KellySubstituted forSwiftat 19'minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 21Meite
  • 16Baker
  • 17Barrow
  • 22OliveiraSubstituted forMcClearyat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 4O'Shea
  • 10Swift
  • 12McCleary
  • 15Harriott
  • 23Bödvarsson
  • 28Walker
Referee:
Robert Jones
Attendance:
26,513

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamReading
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home14
Away10
Shots on Target
Home10
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Sheffield United 4, Reading 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sheffield United 4, Reading 0.

Attempt blocked. Andy Yiadom (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Swift.

Attempt missed. Lewis Baker (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

Jón Dadi Bödvarsson (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).

Attempt blocked. Andy Yiadom (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

John Swift (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mark Duffy (Sheffield United).

Foul by Omar Richards (Reading).

Paul Coutts (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

Scott Hogan (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Dean Henderson.

Attempt saved. Lewis Baker (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Omar Richards.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Kieran Dowell replaces Gary Madine.

Attempt missed. John Swift (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross.

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

Foul by Scott Hogan (Sheffield United).

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Emiliano Martínez.

Attempt saved. Scott Hogan (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mark Duffy with a through ball.

Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).

Gary Madine (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Jón Dadi Bödvarsson (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Coutts (Sheffield United).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Richard Stearman replaces Kieron Freeman because of an injury.

Delay in match Kieron Freeman (Sheffield United) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Garath McCleary replaces Nélson Oliveira.

Attempt missed. Yakou Meite (Reading) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.

Hand ball by Omar Richards (Reading).

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Paul Coutts replaces Oliver Norwood.

Booking

John Swift (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by John Swift (Reading).

Scott Hogan (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Baker (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.

Modou Barrow (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kieron Freeman (Sheffield United).

Andy Yiadom (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich33189665422363
2Sheff Utd33187858342461
3Leeds32187753361761
4West Brom32169764402457
5Bristol City31158840301053
6Middlesbrough311312635241151
7Derby3114984336751
8Nottm Forest33111484638847
9Birmingham32111384940946
10Aston Villa33101495652444
11Preston331111115047344
12Hull32128124542344
13Swansea32128124239344
14Blackburn321110114349-643
15Sheff Wed321011113647-1141
16Brentford311010115043740
17Stoke33913113441-740
18QPR31116143947-839
19Wigan3297163246-1434
20Millwall31710143445-1131
21Reading33611163449-1529
22Rotherham33514143353-2029
23Bolton3368192151-3026
24Ipswich33311192556-3120
View full Championship table

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