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Thread: United 2 Ipswich 0 - report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    United 2 Ipswich 0 - report

    The Blades moved so close to promotion to the Premier League after a 2-0 victory over Ipswich Town at Bramall Lane. Goals from Scott Hogan and Jack O’Connell meant the Blades moved to the brink of the big time with only mathematics preventing them from fully celebrating. United were excellent and under pressure they delivered a very good performance and in truth could have won by more than the two goals they did.

    United made slight tweaks with Basham in for Cranie in an otherwise unchanged line up. Billy Sharp was back on the bench for the home side. Paul Lambert changed things around again for Ipswich who are starting to prepare for life in League One.

    In front of a capacity home crowd, United began well and a cross from Basham just evaded McGoldrick. Duffy was involved in many of the opening attacks and his play nearly led to an opening as United dominate the early proceedings. Chambers dithered and Hogan nearly got in but he was crowded out. It was one-way traffic as Norwood and Fleck moved it on and Baldock had a cross blocked.

    A rare break saw Bishop have a shot blocked from Bishop but United were back on the attack and Stevens nearly forged a chance but the ball was blocked. It was not long later, when United took the lead. Duffy played a ball inside to O’Connell whose driven cross was flicked deftly by HOGAN into the far corner of the goal. It had been coming but it still settled down the nerves of the fans inside Bramall Lane.

    McGoldrick continued to come off the front and pick up the ball and he combined with Duffy to nearly lead to another chance for the rampant Blades.

    Snail blocked a Norwood drive that seemed goal bound as United sought to turn the screw. Soon after McGoldrick played a sumptuous ball inside the full back and Baldock was in but took too long and the chance went awry. Judge was booked for a very late tackle on O’Connell just before half time as tempers started to rise.

    The second half saw United continue to dominate as they moved it around and forced the visitors back. Neat interchange nearly saw Hogan in after good work from Fleck and Stevens down the left. Then they won a free kick as Stevens was tripped. Norwood’s fierce free kick was flicked by Gerken onto the post denying United a ***** second goal.

    Norwood then came onto the ball and sent over a deep cross and McGoldrick met it but his flicked header went the wrong side of the post. Hogan then nearly got in twice after some good build up. Just after the hour, Wilder opted to make a change and Sharp came on for Hogan.

    A corner came over but Egan headed over as United could not quite do enough to get the second goal. That was until the 71st minute when from another corner, the ***** goal came. Fleck whipped in the corner and O’CONNELL powered home from close range with his header going in off the underside of the bar. The noise inside the ground as the goal went in was symbolic of what a huge moment it was for United.

    The next stage of the game saw United keep the ball and then Sharp nearly got in before a few changes came. Madine came on for McGoldrick and then Lundstram for Duffy. United just kept the ball and a few half chances came for Sharp and then Baldock as the home side continued to dominate.

    Ipswich finally started to have a spell after sitting back so long and they had a half chance as Judge’s shot had to be palmed over from Henderson. After this United settled down and moved the ball about to see things out comfortably as the game entered the final two minutes of stoppage time. This passed without incident and the referee ran towards the tunnel beckoning the players down as he blew the final whistle. A few supporters came on the pitch but they left as soon as they had entered and after this the players could go around and take the acclaim from the Blades fans who to a person had stayed inside the Lane.


    United – We did it. So many times, we have had big games and blown it. Yes, today we played an already relegated team but we had to still go and win the game and overcome the nerves of a potential promotion sealing contest at a sold-out Lane. Today, we were professional, displaced and showed no nerves at all. A game that may have seemed easy on paper but we had to go out and do the job. We did that and did it well. We played very well today and dominated the game and in truth it could have been a lot more than 2-0. We raced into the game and everyone was at it. We attacked from the off and had a few chances as we pinned them back and it seemed inevitable the goal might come and so it proved as Hogan flicked in after a patient move. After this we kept attacking and really could have had a few more as it was do dominant the United performance.

    After the break we again had chances but they saw the post deny us and a few other moments just went off target. Ipswich did not create anything at the other end and the Blades continued to attack but as the game entered the final quarter, you still felt we needed just one more goal. It came from a bullet O’Connell header. After this we saw things out quite easily really. Ipswich only had one effort late on and they looked a side ready for the holidays. As for us, we looked a team so determined not to have a let-down. We were on it on and off the ball. I felt there was a real desire and we won first and second balls. The final ball and chance let us down a bit and in truth it could have been even more than 2-0 as we completely dominated. I loved the fact we kept attacking rather than sitting back. We were determined to finish them off and when the second went in, everyone knew we were on the cusp of something special.

    Norwich won later in the day, so the title is a long shot but even me a pessimistic Blade cannot see us chucking this away in terms of promotion. Be nice if Leeds lost tomorrow to properly seal it but with such a big goal swing you feel it is over. Incredible season for United and Wilder. We have really done a superb job the last few weeks and after the Millwall game we have just put the pedal down and gone on and down what was needed. We have one game to see things out but you sense it is done now. What a job Wilder has done. What a job this group has done. To see the celebrations on full time as the team went around the pitch was superb. There was a real togetherness once again all-round the ground as they came and saluted the fans. I cannot say enough about Wilder, the players and everyone at the club. A phenomenal achievement considering where we were, the budget and what we were up against. Tonight, we were all so proud to be a Blade as everyone walked from the ground. The club has completely changed and turned itself around that is all down to Wilder. Cannot say enough about him. An inspiration to us all.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
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    Ipswich – They came with nothing to play for and it showed. They barely got over half way. They tried to sit in and counter but it did not work as we swarmed all over then. Admittedly they have tried to mix it up and play some younger players or try a few different formations or players in different roles. They struggled to stem the tide today and were lucky to just lost 2-0. In the grand scheme they may see relegation as a chance to rebuild. I spoke to a few Ipswich fans as we ate after the game and many said they would prefer going down to watching dire football of the sort they saw under McCarthy but not sure it will be easy to get straight back up as we and another found. They will need to move towards youth and recruitment will also surely see them going for the best of the bets in terms of players in the bottom two divisions. Lambert will get to start next season but a poor start and they too may consider another change. I personally felt axing McCarthy was the wrong move. He had them punching above their weight really and the changes have seen a further decline although losing so many goals and not replacing them properly clearly turned out to be an issue.



    Opponent man of the match – Not sure anyone stood out that much, Bishop was busy and Nsiala got his foot in a few times but for the most part they looked a team that looked like they could not wait for the season to finish.

    Weak link – The whole team may take this. They were all poor. Keeper looked a bit ropey but made a a few decent saves. It seemed like Skuse a midfielder ended up the back and he struggled with Didsy’s movement and pace. The whole defence got pulled apart a lot actually. Chambers tried to get close to McGoldrick but struggled with him all game.

    Henderson 7/10 – Nothing to do really. He made one routine flicked over save at the end but mostly a spectator. Came on the mic and grabbed it off Gary Sinclair to announce ‘I am not f*****g leaving!’ which drew cheers from the crowd. Loved to see his passion on the goals and at full time as he walked round the ground.

    Baldock 8/10 – Thought he played well today. He got up and down the flank all game and was tireless. Involved in a lot of out attacks and although a few he overplayed or made a poor final ball, I still thought he was very good and showed pace and hunger as well as a good football brain.

    Stevens 7.5/10 – Another solid performance. He defended well and attacked when he could. A few decent crosses just evaded our players. Ended up right wing at times which showed our level of adventure. He kept pushing them back second half with surging runs.

    Egan 7/10 – Solid. Not a lot to play against but did what he had to. Nearly scored with a header too.

    O’Connell 8/10 – Deservedly United’s man of the match. Set up the first and scored the second. He was also onto the ball all game long and helped propel us forward. Was dominant in both boxes but also nice and calm defensively when he had to.

    Basham 7/10 – Steady-ish. A few balls overplayed but overall, he set the tone by coming onto the ball and helping us move up the pitch. He was sensibly second half only going occasionally and weighing up when we may have an overload down that side.

    Fleck 7/10 – Decent performance. Snapped round the Ipswich midfield and made sure we turner over possession quite quickly. He won tackles and the little loose balls and did send it forward quicker and had a few driving runs too. His corner led to the goal also.

    Norwood 7/10 – As above. He got on it deep and helped us dictate play. Solid if not showy but he was decent in terms of helping us move it on and controlling things rom his position. Played a few lovely crossfield passes and also very unlucky when he hit the post.

    Duffy 7/10 – First half thought he was very good and got in and made us tick. He did a lot of good thing and was involved. I felt his influence on the ball waned second half but his effort on and off the ball was excellent. He chased down and contested several opposition players. He made sure he did the defensive things too.

    Hogan 7/10 – His mark is more about his goal than his performance. His goal was crucial with a lovely deft fleck. Before then he had a few half chances to get in but is offside a lot. Second half he then have a series of half chances but missed and this was the cue for Wilder to replace him. He at least moved them about with his pace and running but needs to do more for me; closing and effort as well as what he does on the ball.

    McGoldrick 8/10 – Another excellent performance and for me just misses out to O’Connell for Man of the Match. Did his usual of coming off deep and picking up play really well. Drifted inside and showed his strength and skill as he keeps the ball but kept making chances. He was superb at times with the things he did. The ball to Baldock was sublime and then another opening he nearly made second half Maybe dithered a few times when he had a chance but that is being ultra-critical.

    Subs –

    Dowell –

    Madine – Gave away a few silly fouls but he won a few flicks too. At this stage we did not really seem too concerned about going for the jugular so his work was more pressing/marking etc.

    Sharp – Came on and nearly got in twice but his lack of pace and the fact the defender read his run, stopped the glory ending. Great to see him on the pitch though for the celebrations.

    Lundstram – Just brought on to beef things up and stop them having any kind of foothold in midfield and it worked as we kept it simple in the final stages.


    Wilder 9/10 – Brilliant. Kept the team disciplined but energetic and we were at them from the off. We played some of the stuff we have seen for some time and the pragmatic approach over the last two months since Villa, at least seems to have gone. We got back to the overlapping centre backs and wing backs bombing on. We saw the one touch stuff, the pass and move nc create an overload ad finally after a few half chances the goal came. We did not let up after the break too. The subs were timed well although felt we looked poorer after they came on and we did not keep it as much.

    What an achievement though if we do go up as expected now. The man if a legend. He has turned around the style, ethos, personnel and more importantly, the togetherness and belief in thus club is sky high and it all down to him.

    Referee – Tim Robinson. Not sent a man off all year and no need to panic today. Only one really poor tackle the one on O’Connell which was rightly a booking. We were keyed up and a few challenges we sought to get get it back, he blew up for and had a word. The rest of the game was easy with no poor tackles and no moment of much controversy.


    Fans/Crowd – I felt the start was very loud and this carried on though kick off. We scored and you expected the noise to keep increasing but we actually did not have as much voice in this period. Everyone got a bit nervous and then the second went in, people relaxed as we saw it out. Good that only a few idiots went on and were quickly shooed off. After this to jubilant cheers and applause the team went around the ground to salute not only the final home game but hopefully the game that seals promotion.

    After the game the streets round the Lane were full of noise and chants. It was all good natured despite a man falling through a bus stop on London Road and needing ambulance treatment. The rest of London Road was very merry with flares, fireworks and chants serenading the night air! The Police cordoned a section off but in affect it meant the whole road was closed. Most fans had bought bottles from local shops although Waitrose closed not long after we left around 7.30pm and other stores were doing the same. Still most had boxes/cans of lager and it seemed set to carry on after we left. We went back along there on the way home around 10ish but it had all supressed by the time. Maybe everyone will be back down there tomorrow 2ish if the Leeds game goes our way!

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