The Blades advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a hard-fought win over AFC Fylde at Bramall Lane.
Manager Chris Wilder changed his entire XI for the visit of the non-league outfit. The likes of Ravel Morrison came into the fold, while there were starts for Ben Osborn, Leon Clarke, and Callum Robinson, too.
The Blades were quick out of the blocks, too. After Wilder had questioned his players’ attitude against Barnet last year, the United XI seemed determined to show the manager what they could do.
They got their rewards too, when Callum Robinson neatly fired in Luke Freeman’s cross, albeit, via a deflection.
In the second period, the Blades continued to push and Ravel Morrison thought he’d got his first Blades goal. However, Leon Clarke was correctly adjudged offside.
But United didn’t have to wait too long for number two. Luke Freeman again did well and hit the post before Leon Clarke smashed into an empty net for his first goal in over a year for the Blades.
A late scare was on the cards when Jordan Williams lobbed Dean Henderson. However, Chris Wilder’s men saw out the game well enough and advanced to the next round.
Here’s a look, then, at how the Sheffield United players performed against AFC Fylde.
Michael Verrips – 5
So unlucky to come off injured but needs must after getting a nasty blow from Kean Bryan.
Ben Osborn – 6
Huffed and puffed down the left and linked up well in the first 30 minutes with Luke Freeman especially.
Kean Bryan – 5
Strange game from Bryan. Seemed, at times, to be carrying a few knocks but soldiered on.
Phil Jagielka – 7
Experience told from Jagielka and he was rarely troubled despite a spirited display from Fylde.
Jack Rodwell – 8
Did very well on his debut and showed why Wilder brought him in. Slotted seamlessly into the United system too.
K. Freeman – 8.5 (MOTM)
Stepped in admirably for George Baldock and did his chances no harm. He’s been reliable for a number of years and was good today.
Ravel Morrison – 6
Disappointed to see his goal chalked off but never looked like he was out for second gear. Needed to show more, in honesty.
Mo Besic – 7
Dependable performance from Besic who bossed the middle of the park and put in some strong challenges.
Luke Freeman – 8
One of United’s better players and played his part in both goals. Apparently wanted by Leeds, it will be interesting to see if he stays put.
Callum Robinson – 7
Got his goal and worked hard upfront. Could tell he was desperate for more goals too as he looked to prove a point to Chris Wilder.
Leon Clarke – 6
Did little else but was there when it mattered to smash home. A nice touch from Chris Wilder to make Clarke the skipper for the day.