#5 - Cardiff City 1 Sheffield United 1
English Championship (Sky)
Home side Cardiff lined up in a traditional 4-4-2, Michael Chopra and Jay Bothroyd as the front pair whilst opponents, Sheffield United deployed a variant of 4-2-3-1. It was Sheffield United's 4 banded system that asserted the early dominance, taking an early lead through former Manchester City hopeful Ched Evans and although being a man down after 30 minutes due to a committed high tackle from Matthew Lowton, Kevin Blackwell's side continued to govern the game.
The Lowton sending off is a great example of the how key decisions in football can split opinion, some agreed with referee Peter Walton judgement, others didn't. With the man advantage Cardiff showed little sign of a Plan B, unable to break down their well organised opponents.
Opportunities did present themselves, Michael Chopra dwelling on possession when one touch instead of five would have released substitute Ross McCormack who was peddling in to opportunist space behind the Sheffield United defence. An example of Chopra demonstrating the naive frustrations that have always held him back from being a player of high rank.
However moments later Chopra displayed his capable trickery, dashing past charging keeper Steve Simonsen at the corner of the penalty box, composed himself before picking out Jay Bothroyd with a drilled cross, Bothroyd volleyed home and Cardiff were level.
At level pegging Cardiff finally asserted their numerical advantage, Blake and Burke linked well on the Cardiff right-hand side, Peter Whittingham a wonderful passer of the ball showing signs of over ambition on this occasion, aiming balls at the penalty spot to often. Keeper Simonsen and the Sheffield United defence sufficiently coped as the pressure increased, helped by the adamantine captain Morgan, the raw steel of the Sheffield United side.
Blades wide man Jamie Ward gathered attention for the wrong reasons, becoming the pantomime villain for the day, his naivety lead to being substituted for the one time not so long ago promising Mark Yeates.
1-1, fair result.
Match Report from: Telegraph
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