Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sheffield is Blue and White !

The 119th 'steel city' derby

Another Wednesday attack !

2-0, and the crowd realise that the game is ours !!

With the fans having to wait for almost half of the season before the first of the Sheffield derbies, anticipation for this match was at fever pitch. United were the slight favourites but that stood for nothing, just ask any Blade about Boxing Day 1979 when United were top of the league and came to Hillsborough to 'massacre' Wednesday - but somehow lost 4-0 ! in an event now immortalised by all in blue and white as the 'Boxing Day Massacre'.

So 28 years later, Wednesday clearly wanted the Sheffield bragging rights and from the first few minutes created some fantastic attacking football, particularly on the right wing. It was no surprise that the first goal arrived from this route as United just simply could not handle the direct attacking wing play by Jermaine Johnson. On the 25th minute, JJ beat Chris Armstrong and provided an inch perfect cross that evaded defender Bromby and fell in to the path of Akpo Sodje who smashed it past Paddy Kenny at the far post. The terraces were overjoyed (I managed to lose my glasses and later found them 5 rows forward !). United were shell shocked and Wednesday dominated play for the remainder of the half and totally out sang the red and white half of the city. Marcus Tudgay nearly increased the owls lead when on the 45th minute he acrobaticaly fired a powerful overhead kick at the United goal and had it not been for a last ditch diving save at the post from Kenny, would have scored maybe the best ever derby goal.

United came out for the second half a changed team with the introduction of striker Billy Sharp and reverted to 4-4-2. Wednesday had to weather the storm for the first twenty minutes with some frenzied United attacks. Lee Grant made a world class save tipping a deflected ball over the bar when a United goal looked a cert. It was soon clear that despite all of this United simply lacked any real finishing power or true desire to beat Wednesday. The game then settled into the pattern of the first half with Wednesday out compeating United. Wednesday won the game in the 76th minute with a superb twisting volley from Marcus Tudgay in front of the kop. Wednesday then simply dominated and could have added another 2 goals had Leon Clarke taken his chances better, after coming on to replace the exhausted Akpo Sodje. In the end it was a comfortable victory for Wednesday and the final whistle signalled jubilant scenes in the stands.

Well done Wednesday, United you were well and truly beaten !

Roll on February 16th and the double !

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