Season review- September

Last updated : 04 June 2009 By Bladesmadeditor

Arsenal 6:0 Sheffield United

September's results:

Derby County 2:1 Sheffield United
Sheffield United 1:1 Coventry City
Norwich City 1:0 Sheffield United
Arsenal 6:0 Sheffield United - (Carling Cup)
Sheffield United 2:1 Watford
Doncaster Rovers 0:2 Sheffield United

It was a dull start to September for the Blades, especially when they were embarrassed at Pride Park. Derby, who were relegated from the Premier League with the lowest total of points collected in a whole season, didn't have a league win under their belt for over 365 days, until they met Kevin Blackwell's Sheffield United. Paul Green opened the scoring when his deflected effort trickled in with 24 minutes gone. Paul Jewell's sides' lead soon disappeared - Darius Henderson nodded in Greg Halford's drifting cross into the top corner to quieten the home contingent. In the second-period, Matt Kilgallon was penalised for a tackle on Rob Hulse in the area, but after discussions between the referee and the linesman, the penalty was ruled out. Replays showed that Killa got the ball first. Former Blade Rob Hulse, who was sold to the Rams in the summer netted the Derby's first victory in over a year when he hammered in from close-range, although there were further controversy when he seemed to have handled the ball before smashing home.

After a controversial showdown in Derbyshire, United were soon back on home soil against Coventry City. Jay Tabb put the visitors in front with a sweet drill into the far-bottom-corner. Sun Jihai was dismissed when he lunged out at Michael Mifsud and he let out his frustrations by booting a water bottle on the sidelines. Billy Sharp was on the scoresheet at Bramall Lane once again when he twisted to convert past Westwood to make the scoreline level. Before the Blades' equaliser and Sun Jihai's sending off, City defender Elliott Ward missed a penalty - he struck the ball wide.

Goalkeeper David Marshall kept Norwich City in the Blades' next game at Carrow Road. He pulled off a string of saves to deny United victory, and those fine stops carried Norwich towards three points when Lee Croft's 90th minute winner broke Blades' hearts. It was a long journey back up to Sheffield, and it weren't made any sweeter by the pint-size figure's goal right at the death.

United were then beaten by Arsenal's second string. 56,000 fans saw Carlos Vela net at hat-trick, Nicklas Bendtner record a brace and Jack Wilshere claim a single goal. Utd were 3:0 down at half-time, which meant the tie was well and truly put to bed, and the Gunner's three nil lead was doubled in the second half. United's League Cup dreams were shattered.

It was back to league action, and United were looking for a healthy return against Watford. Gary Speed scored with just 56 seconds gone of the game when he pounced from close-range. John-Joe O'Toole, who later had a loan stint at Bramall Lane, converted for the Hornets 11 minutes after the restart. James Beattie scored his first goal of the season, a bullet header crept underneath the goalkeeper. Academy graduate Kyle Naughton made his league debut at right-back, and gave an illustrious performance. He was voted man of the match by the sponsors, and afterwards he described doing media interviews is more nerve-wrecking than playing the game in front of thousands of fans.

What a fitting way to end the month, the first South Yorkshire derby of the season on the United fixture list. Newly promoted Doncaster Rovers proved a stern test for United kitted out in black jerseys on a chilly Tuesday night, and more than 3,000 Blades saw the battle. Gareth Roberts' own goal handed United the initiative early on. Stephen Quinn nestled the ball into the back of the net midway through the second-half, to seal United's victory over Sean O'Driscoll's Doncaster side.