Sheffield United move step closer to Premier League return with 4-1 win against Cardiff
Sheffield United edged closer to promotion to the Premier League with a 4-1 victory over relegation threatened Cardiff at Bramall Lane.
Cardiff took the lead through Sory Kaba’s early penalty but James McAtee levelled before a second-half onslaught from the Blades ensured an important win.
The Blades moved eight points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough, who won on Friday, though Luton could close gap to five points later on Saturday.
Cardiff remained in 21st place and just one point above the Championship relegation places.
United boss Paul Heckingbottom made three changes to the team that lost 2-0 at Burnley, with Max Lowe and McAtee coming in alongside goalkeeper Adam Davies, who replaced the suspended Wes Foderingham.
Cardiff manager Sabri Lamouchi made four switches from the 1-0 defeat at home to Sunderland, with Jack Simpson, Joe Ralls, Andy Rinomhota and Kion Etete joining the starting XI.
Jaden Philogene had the first shooting chance for Cardiff but put his effort wide, before Ryan Wintle’s low drive forced a save from Davies.
The Bluebirds took the lead after 19 minutes when Lowe brought down Simpson in the box and Kaba stepped up to confidently convert from the spot.
The advantage did not last long however, as McAtee equalised in the 24th minute. The Manchester City loanee classily beat his man and finished into the bottom corner to level proceedings.
Visiting keeper Ryan Allsop made a couple of smart saves to twice deny Iliman Ndiaye.
Cardiff skipper Ralls had a huge chance to put his side back in front with the last chance of the first half but Davies came out on top.
The Blades went ahead after 54 minutes with defender Jack Robinson meeting Tommy Doyle’s cross from the right with a top drawer diving header.
Substitute and ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker Connor Wickham hit the bar for Cardiff with just under 20 minutes to play, which would prove to be costly for the Welsh side.
Senegal international Ndiaye made the points safe for United in the 80th minute after a howler from Mark McGuiness. The defender’s attempted pass to Allsop did not have the legs and the striker capitalised to make it 3-1.
The Blades added some gloss to the scoreline after 85 minutes when substitute Ciaran Clark tapped in from close range to cement a comfortable victory for the home side.
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