Championship
Sheff Utd2Rotherham0

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

  • 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

  • 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

Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Rotherham United 0.

Full Time

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

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.

Foul by Scott Hogan (Sheffield United).

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

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.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Semi Ajayi.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Joe Mattock.

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

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

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Michael Ihiekwe.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

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

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Martin Cranie replaces David McGoldrick.

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

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

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Matt Crooks replaces Billy Jones.

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

Foul by Scott Hogan (Sheffield United).

Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Fleck.

Foul by Mark Duffy (Sheffield United).

Ben Wiles (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Sheffield United 2, Rotherham United 0. Mark Duffy (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by John Fleck following a corner.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Joe Mattock.

Attempt saved. Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mark Duffy with a cross.

Hand ball by Mark Duffy (Sheffield United).

Attempt saved. George Baldock (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

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

Foul by Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United).

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Ryan Williams replaces Joe Newell.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Anthony Forde replaces Jon Taylor.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Enda Stevens.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Gary Madine replaces Chris Basham.

Attempt missed. David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by John Fleck.

Attempt saved. David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Fleck.

Attempt missed. David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

Offside, Rotherham United. Michael Smith tries a through ball, but Michael Ihiekwe is caught offside.

goal

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
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