James Shield’s Player-Ratings: How Sheffield United performed against Queens Park Rangers

The Star's Sheffield United Writer James Shield
The Star's Sheffield United Writer James Shield

David McGoldrick's 10th goal of the season lifted Sheffield United into the automatic promotion places as they beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at Bramall Lane this afternoon.

Here is how Chris Wilder's players fared against Steve McClaren's side.

Dean Henderson 6: Sporting a pretty severe new haircut, the goalkeeper enjoyed a relatively trouble-free afternoon. Showed good powers of concentration as he did the basics well, though.

Chris Basham 7: Perhaps best known for his forays forward, the centre-half has clearly not forgotten the art of defending after making several vital interceptions to stop Rangers launching dangerous counter-attacks.

John Egan 7: Kept things simple and was as strong as an ox at the heart of United's rearguard. Once again, refused to over-elaborate and took the most effective and efficient approach throughout. Understated but effective.

Jack O'Connell 7: Showed commendable bravery by throwing himself in to a tackle with Pawel Wszolek, despite knowing he would probably get hurt, to start the move which ended with Oliver Norwood testing goalkeeper Joe Lumley.

Enda Stevens 7: Attacked when he could but the opposition's ability to dart forward at speed meant he could not neglect the other side of his game. A solid rather than spectacular afternoon from one of United's most improved players of the last 12 months.

George Baldock 7: Teamed-up well with Basham to deal with the threat posed by Nahki Wells and Ebere Eze, who both had a tend​e​ncy to drift out to their left whenever Rangers pieced together a move. Helped his fellow defender out on several occasions.

Oliver Norwood 8: Playing his first game since joining United permanently, the midfielder showcased his passing repertoire starting with a delightful pass to Billy Sharp who in turn found David  McGoldeick during the opening exchanges. 

John Fleck 7: Demanded the ball throughout after emerging from a quiet spell before Christmas and kept on going, despite finding himself on the wrong end of a poor challenge by Jordan Cousins. Like Egan, played with efficiency.

Mark Duffy 6: Prepared to drop deep in search of possession and ready to spray the ball across the pitch to try and ​c​atch Rangers' defence napping. Had to work hard to find space and, given the number of players swarming around him, is clearly becoming a marked man.

Billy Sharp 6: Did not enjoy a welter of opportunities but worked his socks off to help create openings for others. Never stopped running and, at times, demonstrated he can forge chances as well as take them.

David McGoldrick 8: Snatched at an early opportunity after being picked-out, first-time, by Sharp. Linked-up play well, though, and generally did what you expect McGoldrick to do before scoring his 10th of the season, and fifth in six outings just before the interval. 

Substitutes: Kieran Dowell (Duffy, 68), Leon Clarke (Sharp, 84), Richard Stearman (McGoldrick, 90).

Not used: Simon Moore, Leon Clarke, Gary Madine, Paul Coutts, Marvin Johnson.