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Sheffield Wednesday 2-4 Sheffield United: Clarke bags two

by 24/09/2017 20:03:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Sheffield United pulled off a stellar 4-2 win over rivals Sheffield Wednesday 
  • United wasted no time getting ahead after John Fleck struck on three minutes
  • Leon Clarke doubled the advantage for the visitors soon after by slotting home
  • Gary Hooper scored his 100th goal in English football on the cusp of half-time
  • Sub Lucas Joao rifled the ball into the roof of the net pulling Wednesday level
  • United instantly responded with a sublime solo goal from Mark Duffy
  • The Blades tied up victory late on after Clarke added his second of the contest 

By Matt Barlow for the Daily Mail

Published: 10:08 EDT, 24 September 2017 | Updated: 20:03 EDT, 24 September 2017

Chris Wilder let his players savour the applause of their fans as he made his way slowly across the Hillsborough turf.

When he was a Sheffield United player, he was never able to appear in this famous fixture against Sheffield Wednesday.

He was either out of favour or out on loan and then out of the club as he embarked on a circuit of the lower leagues and into management at the bottom before his return to Bramall Lane last year. 

Leon Clarke is smothered by his team-mates after completing his brace and winning the game
Leon Clarke is smothered by his team-mates after completing his brace and winning the game

Leon Clarke is smothered by his team-mates after completing his brace and winning the game

The goalscoring exploits of the 32-year-old were enough to seal victory at Hillsborough
The goalscoring exploits of the 32-year-old were enough to seal victory at Hillsborough

The goalscoring exploits of the 32-year-old were enough to seal victory at Hillsborough

Mark Duffy roars to the crowd after scoring an incredible solo effort to regain the lead 
Mark Duffy roars to the crowd after scoring an incredible solo effort to regain the lead 

Mark Duffy roars to the crowd after scoring an incredible solo effort to regain the lead 

Duffy twisted and turned to unleash a sublime effort from a slender angle to restore the lead
Duffy twisted and turned to unleash a sublime effort from a slender angle to restore the lead

Duffy twisted and turned to unleash a sublime effort from a slender angle to restore the lead

MATCH FACTS

SHEFFIELD WED: Westwood 5; Hunt 6, Lees 5, Van Aken 5, Reach 6; Wallace 6 (Butterfield 77), Lee 6, Jones 5 (Joao 46, 6), Bannan 6; Fletcher 5 (Rhodes 68), Hooper 6.5.

GOALS: Hooper 45+2, Joao 66

BOOKINGS: Bannan

SUBS: Wildsmith, Pudil, Palmer, Nuhiu.

MANAGER: Carlos Carvalhal

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blackman 6; Carter-Vickers 6, Wright 6.5 (Duffy 62), O'Connell 6; Baldock 6, Basham 7, Coutts 7, Fleck 7, Stevens 6; Clarke 7, Brooks 7.5 (Lundstram 84).

GOALS: Fleck 3, Clarke 15 77, Duffy 67

BOOKINGS: Basham, Fleck

SUBS: Moore, Lundstram, Carruthers, Lafferty, Sharp, Evans.

MANAGER: Chris Wilder

REF: Simon Hooper

ATTENDANCE: 32,839

So, he allowed his players their glory but all eyes in a jubilant top-tier of the away end were on Wilder as he approached, going the long way round for impact.

Born in the city and raised with Sheffield United engrained in his soul, the manager started tapping at the badge on his chest and fans roared their approval.

He punched the air and they roared some more and he punched the air again.

'What a great day to be a Blade,' said Wilder. 'I don't think it gets any better. We've had it rammed down our throats over the last six years. We've had to swallow a lot.

'This was everything, for both clubs. I don't think anybody came here thinking it was just about the three points.

'I've not slept a wink for about seven days. So to lead them out in a fantastic atmosphere and to cap it with a wonderful performance and win it in the way we did was special for everybody.'

United were two up inside 15 minutes, Wednesday stirred and levelled early in the second-half before the visitors kicked again.

Victory thrusts them firmly into the promotion pack at the top of the Championship, five points up on their neighbours.

Substitute Lucas Joao made an immediate impression by rifling home an equaliser for 2-2
Substitute Lucas Joao made an immediate impression by rifling home an equaliser for 2-2

Substitute Lucas Joao made an immediate impression by rifling home an equaliser for 2-2

Gary Hooper darts in front of the defence to pull off an instinctive finish and grab a goal back
Gary Hooper darts in front of the defence to pull off an instinctive finish and grab a goal back

Gary Hooper darts in front of the defence to pull off an instinctive finish and grab a goal back

Hooper looks on as his 100th goal in English football hits the back of the United net
Hooper looks on as his 100th goal in English football hits the back of the United net

Hooper looks on as his 100th goal in English football hits the back of the United net

Dejection is etched across the faces of the Sheffield United defenders as their goal is breached
Dejection is etched across the faces of the Sheffield United defenders as their goal is breached

Dejection is etched across the faces of the Sheffield United defenders as their goal is breached

The experienced forward soaked up the adoration of the crowd after giving his side hope
The experienced forward soaked up the adoration of the crowd after giving his side hope

The experienced forward soaked up the adoration of the crowd after giving his side hope

Season at glance

  • Championship
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

Former Owls striker Leon Clarke scored twice for the Blades and this will go down in Sheffield football folklore like the Boxing Day massacre, a 4-0 win for Wednesday in 1979.

United were ahead inside three minutes thanks to a sweet John Fleck free-kick and Wednesday were rattled from their rhythm.

'The early goal made us more nervous,' said Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal. 'We made mistakes we don't normally make.'

Clarke seized upon the disarray to score the second. The striker is at the 17th club of a meandering career and was in the Wednesday team when they last lost a derby, in 2009.

This was not a popular goal and the home crowd grew restless and critical by the time Gary Hooper pounced in stoppage-time at the end of the first-half with his fifth goal in five games.

Leon Clarke puts his foot through the ball to score against his former club at Hillsborough
Leon Clarke puts his foot through the ball to score against his former club at Hillsborough

Leon Clarke puts his foot through the ball to score against his former club at Hillsborough

The 32-year-old charges to the dug-out to celebrate with his team-mates after the goal
The 32-year-old charges to the dug-out to celebrate with his team-mates after the goal

The 32-year-old charges to the dug-out to celebrate with his team-mates after the goal

Wednesday's hope was restored, the volume went up and Carvalhal sent Lucas Joao to play wide on the left, taking risks in search of the equaliser.

Wilder reacted by switching from a back-three to a four but he could not prevent Joao from scoring a thunderous goal after fine play on the left by Adam Reach.

Hillsborough erupted and was still bouncing in celebration when United substitute Mark Duffy wriggled through to beat Westwood for the third time, with a shot squeezed in from a tight angle.

Wednesday had been level for less than two minutes and Duffy's goal proved decisive.

John Fleck wasted no time putting his side ahead with a clinical strike just three minutes in
John Fleck wasted no time putting his side ahead with a clinical strike just three minutes in

John Fleck wasted no time putting his side ahead with a clinical strike just three minutes in

Fleck is mobbed by team-mates after breaking the deadlock early in the Steel derby
Fleck is mobbed by team-mates after breaking the deadlock early in the Steel derby

Fleck is mobbed by team-mates after breaking the deadlock early in the Steel derby

The Scotsman punches the air jubilantly after his strike rippled the back of the opposition goal
The Scotsman punches the air jubilantly after his strike rippled the back of the opposition goal

The Scotsman punches the air jubilantly after his strike rippled the back of the opposition goal

Clarke scored his second to complete the rout when centre-halves Tom Lees and Joost van Aken got into another muddle.

United had scored four in an away game at Hillsborough for the first time ever and there was no question who they considered the hero of this historic event.

They even put down the chip-butty anthem to serenade their manager with a chorus of 'Happy Birthday'.

Wilder turned 50 on the eve of the game and this was a party he will not forget.

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