Sheffield United 1 Derby County 0: Reaction from Slavisa Jokanovic and Wayne Rooney as Billy Sharp's late penalty downs the Rams

Sheffield United returned to Championship action this afternoon when they beat Derby County at Bramall Lane.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 2:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th September 2021, 5:46 pm
Morgan Gibbs-White of Sheffield Utd and Graeme Shinnie of Derby County have an exchange of words: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Wayne Rooney’s side made the trip to South Yorkshire bottom of the table following their 12-point deduction, and suffered further frustration when Billy Sharp fired home an 89th-minute penalty.

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This is how the game unfolded, with reaction from both managers.

Blades v Derby LIVE from the Lane

Last updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2021, 17:46

I believe we are in the process. It wasn’t our best game, first 45 minutes we didn’t find the space between the lines and it was a flat game without enough energy. We pushed forward more in the second half after the sending off, we found more spaces and tried to add more people in the box. At the end, part of the football is that you can’t always play brilliantly but we had enough power and knowledge to win three points. We must look for improvement defensively and offensively, for all the things.

I detected some body language I didn’t like in the last 20 minutes, they must be brave and trust themselves. Fortunately we scored. Today we didn’t connect any passes in the last three minutes and started to think about what happened before, we kicked the ball a few times without any reason and gave them free-kicks to send the ball into our box. We need to play with personality until the next moment. We can still connect more passes.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s reaction

We tried to put them in trouble but we didn’t find a lot of space between the lines and they made one big mistake, giving us the opportunity to win the game. We had some bad experience in our stadium the last few games and we were lucky they missed an important chance at the end. It’s not our best game but we showed some improvement in our personality and character and we were lucky at the end they didn’t score. In general we must be happy with the progress after a game that wasn’t so easy for us.

Wayne Rooney’s reaction...

“It was a penalty. I think the red card is a red card too, so no complaints with those two decisions.

“Sheffield United are a very good team, the plan was to try and frustrate them and then try and nick a 1-0 win and I thought we were on course to do that.

“We had the best chances and the red card changes things. The lads gave everything and I can’t fault them. It’s disappointing to lose but the lads showed a great desire to play for the club today.”

“It’s been a very tough week for everyone at the club,” Rooney added.

“The players are the ones who have to go out there and try and perform during this tough period and their application all week has been first class. They deserve a lot of praise for that.

“It’s easy to criticise players for not caring or being loyal or putting the effort in for their clubs, but they’re doing everything to get us through this.”

Asked for his view on United’s chances of promotion this season, Rooney said: “They’re a good team. Dropping down from the Premier League, they didn’t have the best start but they’ve hit some form.

“So I’m sure they’ll be up there at the end of the season challenging for the play-offs or automatic promotion.”

How we rated United’s players today ...

and the Blades run out 1-0 winners despite the almighty scare in stoppage time - Billy Sharp celebrates in front of the Derby fans after scoring against them once again, and the Blades pick up three more points in their resurgence. It wasn’t pretty at times but the end result is there for all to see

in stoppage time as Davies’ flick on sends Lawrence free, he gets the better of Egan initially before the defender got a touch on the ball and deflected the shot onto the post, it rebounds to safety and United breathe a huge sigh of relief

for the blades to see this through ...

and it’s Sharp who steps up to smash home from the penalty spot after Davies handled in the box, inexplicably, with about two minutes to go - as nailed on a pen as you’ll ever see and Sharp smashed home the resulting spot kick to put the Blades ahead with a minute or so of normal time remaining

as Osborn’s shot is deflected over after good work from MGW to fashion a yard of space and cross, Hourihane to take... and it’s cleared

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