Sheffield United came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers yesterday. Substitute David McGoldrick, a free transfer from Ipswich, scored a second half penalty to win the game for the Blades.
United had to come from behind after Ebere Eze struck an unstoppable effort past Dean Henderson from distance after 30 minutes. United responded well and just before the break levelled via Billy Sharp. United won a penalty in the second half and substitute David McGoldrick sent the keeper the wrong way to score the winner.
United, who were bottom of the table jumped up the twelfth place with this victory whilst QPR took United’s place at the foot of the Championship standings.
Following two disappointing defeats to Swansea and Middlesbrough, Chris Wilder rung in the changes, with 4 new players starting from the previous two fixtures. One was enforced following Lee Evans move to Wigan on Friday – Duffy took his place.
In defence Richard Stearman was recalled to make his first starting appearance this season whilst Basham moved into midfield. Sharp took position alongside Clarke in attack with McGoldrick on the bench, and Kieron Freeman replaced George Baldock at right wing-back.
For QPR it was their new manger Steve McLaren’s first home match in charge but it was visitors who were the better side in the early exchanges as United pushed the Hoops back into their own half. Despite United’s rich procession it was the hosts who twice went close before they took the lead.
Henderson was in fine form in his third competitive match since joining on-loan from Manchester United. After the ball was played in to Sylla from Smyth, the keeper got down to Eze’s sizzling volley and the ball was headed over the top by Luongo when the ball was played back into the box.
Freeman, who has been linked with United won the ball in his own area before undertaking a surging run, and when he set up Eze and Henderson was able to block his low shot.
On 29 minutes the hosts took the lead and it was third time lucky for the youngster. The ball made its way to Bidwell on the left flank and as the ball was played in the ball was cleared as far as the 18 yards out and EZE’s low volley cannoned through a crowd and into the bottom corner.
Eze then almost doubled their lead but after composing himself he dragged his effort wide of the far post following good play from Freeman.
Shortly before the half-time break United pounced and neat play which gave them credit last season brought them a goal. Freeman worked well down the right, his low cross saw keeper Ingram come out to collect but SHARP timed his run to stab home.
Half-Time: Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Sheffield United
United were on top for the majority of the second half, perhaps spurned on now firing towards their own supporters. The Blades should have gone ahead sooner but Ingram saved well from Leon Clarke’s shot after he skilfully played the ball down and away from his marker in the box.
The winner on 64 minutes came by a bit of fortune as David McGoldrick, who had only been on the pitch a minute after replacing goal-scorer Sharp, was nudged in the back by Bidwell after a cross in the box was failed to be met by the former Ipswich striker at the far post. It was a soft penalty but one non the less. McGOLDRICK stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to send the nearly 2,000 travelling support into raptures.
The hosts rarely troubled the Blades and when they did make their way into the final third struggled to find the net. Half-Time substitute Osayi-Samuel shot into the side netting and Luongo headed wide of the mark from Eze’s cross.
Henderson was called into action again as he pushed away Eze’s effort and in stoppage time was on call to save Scowen’s shot as United held on for their first points of the season.
Full-Time: Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Sheffield United
Queens Park Rangers: Ingram, Bidwell, Freeman, Eze, Scowen, Luongo, Kakay (Washington 88), Lynch, Leistner, Smyth (Osayi-Samuel 45), Sylla (Smith 69). Unused: Cousins, Lumley, Manning, Baptiste.
Sheffield United: Henderson, Stevens, Fleck, O’Connell, Basham, Clarke, Sharp (McGoldrick 64, Leonard 83), Egan, Freeman, Stearman, Duffy (Woodburn 70). Unused: Lundstram, Lafferty, Moore, Norrington-Davies.