Championship
Sheff UtdSheffield United2RotherhamRotherham United0

Sheffield United 2-0 Rotherham United: Blades beat 10-man Millers to boost promotion push

Rotherham's Will Vaulks is sent off
Will Vaulks was sent off just days after signing a new contract for next season with Rotherham

Sheffield United continued their push for automatic promotion with a seventh successive home win as they beat 10-man Rotherham United at Bramall Lane.

Defender Jack O'Connell gave the Blades the perfect start by turning in Oliver Norwood's clever low corner as the Rotherham defence was slow to react.

The long throws of captain Will Vaulks looked a likely way for Rotherham to conjure a reply, but that threat disappeared when he was sent off for a late tackle on George Baldock.

Chris Wilder's side dominated a second half played in driving rain and, just seconds after Marek Rodak made a superb save to keep out an Enda Stevens header, the keeper was beaten by Mark Duffy's strike.

The victory made it eight games unbeaten for the Blades and lifted them back up to second in the Championship, although they later reverted to third after Leeds won at Bristol City.

The Millers went into the South Yorkshire derby unbeaten in six matches - albeit with only one win and five draws in that run - but the odds were stacked against them once Vaulks was punished for his rash challenge after a loose pass.

Their players wore black armbands in memory of chairman Tony Stewart's wife Joan, who died earlier this week, and there was applause for her from all sides of the ground in the 74th minute.

Rotherham did not manage a single shot on target and Rodak was kept busy with saves to deny John Fleck, Norwood and David McGoldrick twice, as well as Stevens

Duffy, however, gave Rodak no chance with a shot into the top corner for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Rotherham's defeat meant they remained third from bottom of the table, a point behind Millwall.

Jack O'Connell (far left) gives Sheffield United the lead at Bramall Lane
Jack O'Connell's goal was only his second of the season for Sheffield United

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder:

"They're stubborn opposition so we prepared just as much as any other game this year.

"It was two different styles today, it's back to front for them and it's effective. They ask questions so I am delighted that we answered those questions defensively.

"We started the game in a tremendous fashion and obviously we got an early lead after a couple of good chances before then.

"It was difficult because they sat in and at times maybe we tried to be too precise but we were always looking to get a second goal."

Rotherham boss Paul Warne:

"We're not a dirty team. I think Will is just really competitive, he plays with his heart on his sleeve and that's why he is so good for us.

"I don't think he has gone into the tackle with any intent to hurt the lad but obviously his exuberance meant it was a red.

"The lads put in everything they've got, I've got no complaints at all and I'm proud to be their manager.

"Two-nil away from home doesn't sound like a great result but goal difference is key for us. It could have ended up being a lot more so overall I've had better days but I've had worse."

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Henderson
  • 6BashamSubstituted forMadineat 65'minutes
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 16Norwood
  • 4Fleck
  • 3Stevens
  • 21Duffy
  • 17McGoldrickSubstituted forCranieat 84'minutes
  • 11Hogan

Substitutes

  • 8Dowell
  • 10Sharp
  • 14Madine
  • 15Coutts
  • 19Stearman
  • 25Moore
  • 28Cranie

Rotherham

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Rodák
  • 28JonesSubstituted forCrooksat 82'minutes
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 15Robertson
  • 3Mattock
  • 5Ajayi
  • 11TaylorSubstituted forFordeat 69'minutes
  • 4VaulksBooked at 28mins
  • 25Wiles
  • 22NewellSubstituted forWilliamsat 70'minutes
  • 24Smith

Substitutes

  • 6Wood
  • 7Forde
  • 12Price
  • 13Towell
  • 17Crooks
  • 21Yates
  • 23Williams
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
27,402

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamRotherham
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home19
Away3
Shots on Target
Home11
Away0
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Rotherham United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 2, Rotherham United 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. George Baldock (Sheffield United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack O'Connell with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Scott Hogan (Sheffield United).

  5. Post update

    Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by John Fleck with a cross following a corner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Semi Ajayi.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Joe Mattock.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Egan (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John Fleck (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Michael Ihiekwe.

  12. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Jack O'Connell (Sheffield United) because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Martin Cranie replaces David McGoldrick.

  16. Post update

    Delay in match Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) because of an injury.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens tries a through ball, but Scott Hogan is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Rotherham United. Matt Crooks replaces Billy Jones.

  20. Post update

    Delay in match Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United) because of an injury.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich36219672452772
2Leeds36217860382270
3Sheff Utd36208861342768
4West Brom361710968482061
5Middlesbrough351513739261358
6Derby361510114644255
7Bristol City35159114437754
8Nottm Forest361314950401053
9Preston361312115549651
10Birmingham35121495345850
11Hull36148145051-150
12Brentford3513101260471349
13Sheff Wed361213114249-749
14Aston Villa35111596153848
15Swansea35138144543247
16Stoke361015113742-545
17Blackburn361111144756-944
18QPR36127174255-1343
19Reading36812164053-1336
20Wigan3699183652-1636
21Millwall36810183955-1634
22Rotherham36615153758-2133
23Bolton3678212456-3229
24Ipswich36313202860-3222
View full Championship table

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