Tag: Sheffield United

FA Cup: Sheff Utd 1-3 Preston

Preston North End rally to set up tie against Manchester United

Preston hit three goals in 10 second-half minutes to dispose of cup kings Sheffield United 3-1 and set up a mouth-watering FA Cup fifth-round home clash with Manchester United.

It looked as if the Blades, who were beaten in the Capital One Cup semi-final by Tottenham last week , would continue their love affair with the cup competitions as they led through Jamie Murphy’s first-half opener.

But they were second best throughout and Preston responded in style after the break as Paul Gallagher netted either side of Paul Huntington’s header to arrange the meeting with Louis van Gaal’s side, who saw off Cambridge 3-0 in their replay on Tuesday night.

It was thoroughly deserved for the visitors, who bossed matters from the off and should have been in front after 12 minutes when a defensive lapse from Chris Basham sent Kevin Davies clear but, with time and space, the veteran striker could only hit the post.

There were further chances for Simon Grayson’s men and home goalkeeper Mark Howard made a hat-trick of saves, the best a superb low stop to keep out Tom Clarke’s back-post header.

And it was against the run of play when the hosts, who reached the last four of this competition last season, stole into a 38th-minute lead as Murphy cut inside and his low shot went through keeper Thorsten Stuckmann’s grasp.

It was an open start to the second half, with both sides threatening, but North End wrapped up the tie with a 10-minute three-goal salvo.

Gallagher’s moment of brilliance brought the sides level after 63 minutes as the on-loan Leicester man whipped a stunning 18-yard free-kick into the top corner, and Huntington’s header from Scott Laird’s corner six minutes later put the visitors ahead.

The game was made safe when Gallagher netted from the spot following Jay McEveley’s foul on Chris Humphrey, and United had no response as their impressive cup exploits ended for another season.

Read more at ESPN

League Cup: Sheff Utd 2-2 Spurs (2-3 agg)

Tottenham survived a stunning fightback from League One side Sheffield United to set up a League Cup final with Chelsea after another late goal from Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen’s magnificent first-half free-kick put Spurs 2-0 up on aggregate.

United’s 18-year-old substitute Che Adams then struck twice from close range in three minutes to put the tie on the brink of extra time.

But Eriksen secured a 3-2 aggregate win with a composed low finish.

Spurs beat Chelsea in the League Cup final in 2008 for their last piece of silverware and the sides will now meet again at Wembley on Sunday 1 March.

Read more at BBC Sport

League Cup: Spurs 1-0 Sheff Utd

Andros Townsend’s penalty ensured Tottenham will go into the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final with an advantage over Sheffield United.

Spurs had been frustrated by the League One side before Jay McEveley’s needless handball in the 74th minute gave them a spot-kick, which Townsend converted.

Townsend and Emmanuel Adebayor missed the target for Spurs when well placed and Eric Dier also had a header saved.

The Blades did not hit the target and need a two-goal win in the second leg.

Read more at BBC Sport

League1: Convicted rapist and footballer Ched Evans issues apology

Footballer Ched Evans has apologised “for the effects” of his actions in 2011 but continues to maintain his innocence over his rape conviction.

Evans issued a statement hours after it emerged League One sideOldham Athletic would not be signing the player.

He was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman, 19, at a north Wales hotel.

The 26-year-old said: “I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.”

Wales international Evans was released from prison in October 2014 after serving half of his five-year sentence but attempts to resume his football career have met with widespread opposition.

Oldham pulled out of plans to sign the player on Thursday, citing threats made to staff and their families had the deal gone ahead.

A club director told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that a staff member was informed a named relative would be raped if the deal went ahead.

There has also been “enormous pressure from sponsors”, the board member said.

Sheffield United similarly shelved plans to sign their former striker in November, following public outcry.

Evans had been criticised for failing to apologise to his victim, but, in a statement issued via the Professional Footballers’ Association, he said: “Upon legal advice, I was told not to discuss the events in question.

“This silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance and I would like to state that this could not be further from the truth.

“I do remain limited at present by what I can say due to the ongoing referral to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.

“Finally, it has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so.”

The PFA also issued a statement to clarify its position.

It read: “We have had some discussions with Oldham Athletic regarding the interest they expressed in signing Ched, although we feel it is important to make clear that, contrary to what has been reported, we were not ‘driving’ any deal.

“As we understand it, the club and player were in discussions and contact was then made with the PFA as matters progressed given the particular circumstances of this situation and we were simply being asked to publicly reiterate our support for the club in signing him.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: QPR 0-3 Sheff Utd

QPR stunned at home in FA Cup by Sheffield United

Jamal Campbell-Ryce scored twice as Sheffield United humiliated QPR, knocking out the Premier League side and storming into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Marc McNulty slotted in a 36th-minute opener for the League One side after being put through by Louis Reed’s pass, and Campbell-Ryce netted early in the second half after keeper Alex McCarthy was unable to claim Reed’s corner.

Campbell-Ryce struck again in the final seconds when he gratefully collected Leroy Fer’s wayward back-header and skipped past McCarthy to cap a brilliant Blades victory.

The result continued United’s remarkable recent cup record. Nigel Clough’s men reached the FA Cup semi-finals last season, beating top-flight Aston Villa and Fulham along the way, and have knocked Southampton and West Ham out of the this term’s Capital One Cup.

QPR, meanwhile, have suffered numerous early exits, several against lower-division opposition, in the 18 years since they last made it past the FA Cup third round without needing a replay. The west London outfit have won only two cup ties in the last 11 years.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp made seven changes to his starting line-up but nevertheless named an experienced side which included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Fer and top scorer Charlie Austin.

They made a decent start, with Fer seeing a stinging shot saved at the near post by keeper Mark Howard, who also kept out an effort from Jordon Mutch.

But the R’s never looked comfortable at the back and Campbell-Ryce gave the hapless Armand Traore the runaround on the right flank.

Stefan Scougall was also a constant threat for the visitors and fired over before they eventually went ahead nine minutes before half-time courtesy of McNulty’s ninth goal of the season.

Redknapp sent Bobby Zamora on at half-time in an effort to change the course of the game, but United were two ahead within four minutes of the restart.

Traore needlessly conceded the corner, and McCarthy, in for the rested Rob Green, got nowhere near Reed’s right-wing delivery. After the ball bounced off Mutch, Campbell-Ryce had the simple task of scoring from close range.

Zamora squandered a golden opportunity to quickly pull a goal back when he headed Matt Phillips’ cross wide of the target.

Phillips was also guilty of a glaring miss, slicing a shot high and wide from inside the box following a surging run by Mauricio Isla.

Rangers, whose electrifying performances at Loftus Road have given them a fighting chance of avoiding relegation, were listless throughout.

Fer’s stoppage-time error in the build-up to the third goal summed up their display and they were booed off by the home fans at the final whistle.

Read more at ESPN

League Cup draw: Liverpool v Chelsea, Spurs v Sheff Utd

Premier League leaders Chelsea will play Liverpool in the semi-finals of the League Cup, with Tottenham meeting Sheffield United in the other tie.

Jose Mourinho’s Blues won 2-1 at Anfield when the teams last met, in a top-flight match on 8 November.

League One side Sheffield United have already knocked out Premier League teams Southampton and West Ham en route to facing 2008 winners Spurs.

League Cup semi-final draw
Liverpool v Chelsea
Spurs v Sheffield United
First legs: w/c 19 January; Second legs: w/c 26 January

The two-legged ties will be played next month, with the final on 1 March.

Liverpool and Chelsea both overcame Championship opposition with 3-1 away victories in the quarter-finals.

Brendan Rodgers’s Reds won at Bournemouth on Wednesday, 24 hours after Chelsea beat Derby County.

Rodgers told Sky Sports: “It didn’t matter who we got in the draw, it was just important to get there.

“To win this competition you have to win games against big sides.”

Tottenham beat Newcastle 4-0 to book their place in the semi-finals, while Sheffield United were 1-0 victors against Southampton.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “We have respect for Sheffield United – it is never easy. They deserve to be in the semi-final. We expect a tough game.”

Read more at BBC Sport

League Cup: Sheff Utd 1-0 Southampton

Sheffield United shock Southampton to reach Capital One Cup semi-finals

Sheffield United continue to be gripped by cup fever after they claimed a second Premier League upset of the season to book a Capital One Cup semi-final spot after beating hapless Southampton.

The League One Blades, who reached the last four of the FA Cup last season, saw off West Ham in the second round and were at it again in a one-sided quarter-final as Marc McNulty’s 63rd-minute winner gave them a 1-0 victory over Ronald Koeman’s men at Bramall Lane.

McNulty pounced from close range and that proved enough, but their winning margin and Southampton’s humiliation would have been far greater had goalkeeper Fraser Forster not made a string of fine saves.

The defeat is a fifth in a row and on this evidence the bubble has firmly burst on Southampton’s stellar start to the campaign, with the visitors worryingly out-fought by Nigel Clough’s men.

They rarely threatened throughout and their misery was compounded at the death when Florin Gardos was dismissed for hauling down McNulty.

The Blades are no strangers to beating top-flight opposition, having seen off the Hammers, Aston Villa and Fulham over the last 12 months, and they immediately settled, more than holding their own against a team ranked 45 places above them in the football pyramid.

They hit the woodwork in just the third minute when defender Jay McEveley’s looping effort landed on top of the bar after Forster had spilled a cross, though the visitors did have defenders on the line protecting the goal.

The hosts continued to impress and a rampant spell before half-time saw them nearly break the deadlock on two occasions.

First after a fine passing move Louis Reed drilled a 20-yard effort just over the bar, and shortly afterwards Florent Cuvelier skewed wide from a great position when a loose ball fell to him eight yards out.

Southampton were being constantly harried and pressed by a marauding home side who were out-working them and it forced Koeman into a half-time change as Matt Targett, who had been run ragged by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, was replaced by Lloyd Isgrove.

Campbell-Ryce was also withdrawn at the interval, but that did not stop the Blades creating another opening early in the second half.

Some neat work saw Bob Harris find space on the left and he whipped a cross into the far post where Jamie Murphy was unmarked, but he was off target.

The biggest criticism that could be levelled at Clough’s men was perhaps that they had not tested Forster but that changed in the 56th minute as England goalkeeper Forster produced a fine save.

A wicked ball was sent in by Murphy which McEveley flicked on and it was heading into the bottom corner until Forster produced a strong hand to palm it away, with Che Adams’ follow-up effort blocked.

United sensed blood and moments after Forster made another fine stop to deny Michael Doyle they took a deserved lead.

A free-kick on the edge of the area was hit low by Harris and Forster could not hold it, with McNulty following up and bundling home from close range.

Southampton had to pick themselves up off the floor quickly or they were in danger of being brushed aside, and they did at least force Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard into his first save of the night when his feet kept out Sadio Mane’s low effort.

But it was Forster who remained the busiest Saint on the pitch as he kept his side in it with another save, staying big to deny McNulty, who should have scored.

Southampton did not even threaten to force extra-time.

The Blades, who could have added a second had Forster not made another save to deny Murphy, saw it out without danger, sealing a first semi-final appearance in this competition since 2002/03, with Wembley now in their sights.

Read more at ESPN

League 1: Sheff Utd 1-1 Oldham

Sheffield United came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Oldham.

A 63rd-minute goal from substitute Jamal Campbell-Ryce cancelled out Jonathan Forte’s first-half strike.

Forte struck after getting on the end of Daniel Johnson’s superb ball into the area, while Campbell-Ryce’s equaliser was a low, angled shot through a packed penalty area.

Oldham’s Jabo Ibehre was sent off with three minutes remaining after being shown a second yellow card.

Read more at BBC Sport

League 1: Ched Evans: Sheffield United will not let convicted rapist train

Sheffield United have retracted their offer to let convicted rapist Ched Evans use their training facilities.

The Blades had been heavily criticised for agreeing to allow Evans to train at the club after his release from prison.

Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill stated that she wanted her name removed from one of the Bramall Lane stands should he play for the club again.

The club said reaction to their initial decision “has been at an intensity that could not have been anticipated”.

In a statement it said: “Sheffield United have decided to retract the opportunity for its former player, Ched Evans, to use the club’s facilities for training purposes,” adding that the U-turn followed consultation with supporters, officials, staff and sponsors.

“We recognise that a number of our supporters will be disappointed with this decision, but would ask that they remember the responsibilities we have not only to a fine and proud club, but also to the communities in which Sheffield United is active.

“The club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms.”

Evans was released last month after serving half of a five-year sentence for the rape a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in 2011.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Crewe 0-0 Sheff Utd

Last season’s FA Cup semi-finalists Sheffield United were held to a goalless first round draw by League One rivals Crewe Alexandra.

Ryan Flynn went close for the Blades in the first half but his effort was cleared off the line by Adam Dugdale.

Jamie Murphy thought that he had put the visitors ahead after drilling home but he was judged to be offside.

Crewe then almost sealed their place in round two when substitute James Jones forced Mark Howard into a smart save.

The two sides were meeting at Gresty Road for the second time in a fortnight, following the Blades’ 1-0 League One win on 25 October and they will now meet again at Bramall Lane for the replay next Tuesday night (18th November, 19.45 GMT).

Read more on BBC Sport