CANARIES EDGE BATTLE DOWN THE FLANK
FOUR straight wins have earned Sheffield United instant respect following last season’s promotion.
In football, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Unlike previous opponents, Norwich had clearly done their homework on the Blades, particularly the home side’s tendency to overload the flanks and launch crosses into the box. They grafted all afternoon to drive United inside and backwards – anywhere but the byline.
Full-backs Ivo Pinto and Marco Stiepermann were superb, and even when the odd ball did slip their grasp, Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose mopped up.
Having been such a soft touch for much of the last 12 months the Canaries’ resolve must have delighted the fans.
For a United side that dominated the entire second half, this was deeply frustrating but nothing to worry about. Their approach play was slick, their defending sound. Even without Billy Sharp, on another day, against another team, their pressure would have paid off.