United, who officially parted company with Wilder less than 24 hours before the game, started life under caretaker Paul Heckingbottom by suffering their heaviest defeat of a season which is destined to end in relegation.
After watching his team climb to second in the table, Rodgers, the City manager, volunteered his thoughts on the circumstances surrounding Wilder’s exit after nearly five years in charge of the visitors.
“Chris has done an amazing job there and his ambition to go forward with the football club, his ambition to take it forward, that probably hit a ceiling.”
Heckingbottom, who was working as United’s under-23’s coach before Wilder’s exit, admitted the emotion of the past two days had taken a psychological toll on the players ahead of their visit to the east Midlands.
Rodgers, whose team scored four times during a one-sided second-half, echoed his opposite number’s sentiments, saying: “Sheffield United’s players are honest players. If you look at their results, even though things haven’t gone well this season, they don’t usually get beat by many. We pressed and showed good creativity and speed, and some of our football, I thought, was excellent. We really imposed our authority on the game all the way through.”
"We knew we would have to work them hard, and we did that,” he added. “And I thought we were ruthless at times.”