'Revelled in the moment', 'Took the safe option' - Sheffield United player ratings from 1-0 victory over Derby County
It wasn’t pretty at times, but the end result was damned effective as Sheffield United beat Derby 1-0 late on at Bramall Lane.
The Blades struggled to break down the Rams even after they were reduced to 10 men, with goalkeeper Kelle Roos sent off for bringing down Billy Sharp.
And it was the Blades skipper who was the hero for the Blades once again, as he stepped up to smash home a penalty late in the game after Curtis Davies had handled Conor Hourihane’s cross.
Here’s how we rated United’s players on the day...
Robin Olsen 6
Made a few straightforward saves in the first half, the most eye-catching a parry from Shinnie's driven shot that you would expect a player of his calibre to save. Spilled Lawrence's shot and was fortunate it didn't rebound to a Derby player and otherwise did all he had to do
George Baldock 7.5
Up against his brother Sam, a superb ball over the top early on sent Sharp free but he couldn't finish. A good cross from deep found Sharp but he couldn't get his header on target, and his centres were a threat all afternoon - until late on when he tried to take matters into his own hands by cutting inside and shooting on his left foot, the well-struck effort going not too far over
John Egan 6
Solid as ever defensively and even looked dangerously when he forayed forward, too. Looked to have been beaten by Lawrence initially in the dying stages, but did superbly to recover and get enough on the shot to deflect it on to the post
Ben Davies 6
Barely looked in trouble all afternoon as he anticipated brilliantly and just stepped across to clear any trouble whenever it arose - until the dying minutes, when he was beaten by Curtis Davies in the air to flick on for Lawrence's chance
Rhys Norrington-Davies 6
Had a nervy opening as he missed his kick and allowed Sibley to race clear and missed a couple of other touches, but then defended well against Sibley to sniff out the danger when he was the last man. Seemed to take the safe option and pass backwards too often in the first half
Ollie Norwood 8
Recalled to the starting XI after missing out at Hull, Norwood was heavily influential in the first half as he sprayed the ball about and moved Derby's defence from side to side. Sublime ball over the top set Sharp free before he was taken out by Roos
John Fleck 6
Saw an early curled effort comfortably saved by Roos and made his mark on the game with a crunching tackle on Sibley in midfield. Came into it as the Blades gradually got on top
Iliman Ndiaye 6
Should have put the Blades ahead with just over 10 minutes remaining, but he somehow planted his header wide of goal from Gibbs-White's excellent cross. Couldn't affect the game too much in the first half and showed a few nice touches in the second but hasn't replicated the heights of his debut yet. Replaced by Hourihane
Morgan Gibbs-White 7
Booked after a flashpoint with Shinnie after being denied a penalty and then appearing to take his frustration out on the Derby man. Grew into the game as it went on and almost equalised with an audacious volley which went just wide
Ben Osborn 7
Heavily involved during the first half, either winning the ball with a well-timed tackle or using it intelligently. Worked his blood to water for the cause and victory over Derby will taste especially sweet for the ex-Forest man
Billy Sharp 7.5
Uncharacteristically spurned a golden chance early on when Baldock set him free one-on-one - his touch didn't let him down, but the finish did as he blazed over. Held his nerve from the spot to smash home the winning penalty, and revelled in the moment as he shushed the Derby fans who'd abused him all game
Oli McBurnie 6
Came on for Norwood but didn't get much change out of Davies and Jagielka
Enda Stevens 6
Replaced Norrington-Davies and blazed over a chance after the ball went right across the penalty area
Conor Hourihane 6
Sent on in place of Ndiaye and his cross led to the penalty