CA­NARIES EDGE BAT­TLE DOWN THE FLANK

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

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.

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