Blades Blown Away

Last updated : 15 August 2010 By @blades_mad1889

It was the Blades heaviest defeat inflicted on them against the Hoops at Bramall Lane since records began and whilst they lost this game they also lost their manager - within 30 minutes after the final whistle had blown by referee Mr. Woolmer news reports leaked that Kevin Blackwell had been sacked!

His departure marked two and a half years as manager of Sheffield United after he took over the reins from then manager Bryan Robson.

The game as a whole was a nightmare for United and left a bitter blow when within 25 minutes the visitors had blasted themselves into a three goal lead and left the home side with little hope of a comeback.

However to their credit the Blades plucked on and Paddy Kenny proved his familiar quality saves to deny his former team mates.

The most pivotal moment of the match happened early on and eventually leads to the visitor's opener; in front of the Kop the Red and White Wizards surged an attack. Jamie Ward leaped for a header but was dragged down with the referee waving away any penalty protests.

But in an instant Ephraim Hogan (11 minutes) broke away from the half-way line, catching out a sleepy defence and his run saw him soon one on one with keeper Steve Simonsen and there was only going to be one winner; 0-1.

Their lead was doubled eight minutes later when Adel Taarabt crossed for Jamie Mackie to head home at the far post - the former Plymouth Argyle striker netted at the Lane last season for the Pilgrims.

A third was added on 21st minute when former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Taarabt was seemingly tripped in the area by Simonsen; the Moroccan picked himself up; dusted himself down before sending the shot stopper the wrong way to end any hopes of a brave fight-back by United.

Defensively the Blades were shocking; new signing Johannes Ertl was instructed at right-back for the absent Matthew Lowton (suspended) whilst on-loan centre-half Kyle Bartley made his first start of the season.

In attack things were different despite the uncertainty of a heavy defeat; on 38th minute Richard Cresswell was dragged down in the penalty area but like Ward saw his protests turned away.

It was an evitable conclusion; Mr. Woolmer gave little away for the hosts though his performance was undoubtedly overshadowed by the presence of former keeper Paddy Kenny who saw any frustrations ventured at their former hero.

The Blades looked stronger in the second half but that three-goal defective looked like a too much of a high mountain to climb but never gave up hope of forging any consolations.

Cresswell, whom netted 14 times last season for the Wizards saw his opportunities out mastered by the brilliance of Kenny; he first saw his goal bound header tipped over the bar in familiar fashion before another chance was wasted when he shot over the top.

Towards the final whistle the home crowd had enough and slowly made their way to the exit doors; little was to expect that Kevin Blackwell would soon follow...