Sheff Utd 1-0 Barnsley - 19-Aug-2017 : Match Report
Sheffield United made it nine home wins in a row as they claimed local bragging rights with a 1-0 victory over South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley in the Sky Bet Championship at Bramall Lane.
Billy Sharp's first-half goal - his 20th in his last 29 appearances - gave the Blades their second three points of the season, though it could have been a far more handsome victory for Chris Wilder's men.
Sharp, David Brooks and Jack O'Connell all could have added to the scoreline, but as it was United still kept up their string of home success, going back to a League One draw with Scunthorpe in February.
Both sides played the second half with 10 men after Leon Clarke and Angus MacDonald were sent off for an ugly spat and for Barnsley, who never really threatened to get back into the match, it is a third loss from four league games this season.
There was a raucous atmosphere in Bramall Lane for the first South Yorkshire derby of the season and it was United who made the most of home advantage.
They came close to taking the lead in just the fifth minute when the industrious Enda Stevens cut back for Sharp but his effort was drilled straight at Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies.
That move served as a dress rehearsal for the one that saw the Blades take a worthy 17th-minute lead. Fed by John Fleck, Stevens again got in down the left and his cut-back found Sharp, who this time made no mistake from 12 yards, firing home for his second match-winning goal of the campaign.
After a period of inactivity there was a flashpoint just before half-time that saw both sides reduced to 10 men.
Clarke and MacDonald tussled for the ball in the Barnsley penalty area and that escalated into something more serious as United striker Clarke appeared to grab his opponent by the throat, with MacDonald retaliating by moving his head towards Clarke.
As a result both men received their marching orders after referee Tim Robinson conferred with his linesman.
The game took on an end-to-end nature after the restart and both sides had early chances.
Barnsley, who switched to two up front, could have equalised but Brad Potts' goalbound shot was bravely blocked by Jake Wright while Sharp might have doubled his tally but he could not convert Chris Basham's cross at the far post.
The longer it went on, though, the more dominant United became and they had a number of great opportunities to put the game to bed.
Substitute Brooks thought he had made it 2-0 but his low shot from Stevens' cross hit the feet of Davies, rolled along the line and then struck the post.
O'Connell then brought a flying save out of Davies with a header from a corner and Brooks again tested the Reds stopper.
A stern defence at the other end snuffed out any hopes of a Barnsley equaliser as the Blades were again left to enjoy some home comforts.