Sheffield United Player Ratings: A 9/10 mark as imperious Blades batter Blackburn at Bramall Lane
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Oliver Norwood started the ball rolling with a stunning free-kick before substitute Iliman Ndiaye came on and netted a brace. The first had a touch of fortune, deflecting Sander Berge’s shot in off his back, but the second was magnificent, picking up the ball and beating three men before netting in off the post.
United had numerous chances to extend their lead even further, with Oli McBurnie three times being denied by a combination of goalkeeper and defender.
Here’s how we rated United’s players on an afternoon to remember ...
Wes Foderingham 6
Had the best view in the house of United's excellent display and barely touched the ball
George Baldock 7
Went off in the second half to be replaced by Basham, in what Unitedites will hope is a precautionary substitution rather than any sort of injury worry
Anel Ahmedhodzic 7
Had an early chance to score his second in two games but Kaminski saved his effort from Fleck's corner. Beautiful pass picked out Fleck in space but he couldn't take advantage. Booked in the second half after a melee at a corner and walked a tightrope by fouling his man shortly after
John Egan 7
Showed great awareness to head Khadra's pass down into McBurnie's path in the second half, but Kaminski blocked the shot and then Egan's follow-up after Rovers failed to clear their lines. Defensively imperious to protect Foderingham
Rhys Norrington-Davies 6
His pace saw him get out of trouble comfortably enough on the rare occasions he was troubled and he is growing into the left centre-half position by the game. Could he be the long-term O'Connell successor?
Max Lowe 7
Another promising display down the left flank, with Lowe heavily involved early on as United made all the running and then did his defensive duties when called upon too. Looks to be growing in confidence by the game and saw a late shot palmed away by Kaminski before a nice ball over the top sent Brewster clear in injury time
Ollie Norwood 9
Burnley-born, Norwood played like a man possessed against his hometown's biggest rivals and capped his display with a stunning free-kick to put the Blades ahead. Snapped into tackles and almost netted a second from about 40 yards out which fizzed over the bar
John Fleck 7
Was picked out beautifully in space by Ahmedhodzic in the penalty area but his touch sent him wide and the chance went begging. Almost capped a fine team move in the second half but a defender got there just in time to nick it away from him
Sander Berge 7
Closer to his rampaging best in the second half than the first and a beautifully executed pass should have seen McBurnie end his goal drought. Could have had a goal to show for his efforts but his shot deflected off Ndiaye on the line. Replaced by Doyle late on
Reda Khadra 8
Booed and abused from the start by Rovers fans who idolised him last season and in turn looked determined to impress against them, chasing down every ball like a man possessed. Had some bright moments but twice, when he needed to be composed and find McBurnie, his pass was found wanting. Replaced by Ndiaye to a standing ovation
Oli McBurnie 7
Must have thought all his Christmases had come at once when Fleck's effort was deflected into his path, with almost all the goal at his mercy. But somehow Phillips blocked on the line and McBurnie's wait for that elusive goal went on. Had two more superb openings in the second half but Kaminski blocked and went off to a standing ovation
Subs: Iliman Ndiaye 8.5
Replaced Khadra and a few minutes later scored United's second, Berge's shot deflecting off his back almost on the line. A penny for the thoughts of McBurnie after toiling all afternoon with no luck! No fortune about his second though, a true wondergoal from the young man
Tommy Doyle 6
Came on for Berge and played a nice ball through to Brewster
Rhian Brewster 6
Replaced Oli McBurnie and could have had a goal late on but Kaminski blocked his shot after being sent clear