Ndiaye gives in-form Blades win at Fulham

Ndiaye gives in-form Blades win at Fulham


Iliman Ndiaye
Iliman Ndiaye won it for the visitors with a fine solo goal

Sheffield United continued their winning start to life under Paul Heckingbottom as Iliman Ndiaye’s excellent solo goal gave them victory over stuttering Championship leaders Fulham.

Ndiaye broke from his own half before sliding an inch-perfect shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards in the first attack of the game.

The hosts, who had drawn their previous four games, dominated possession but struggled to really threaten the Blades goal for most of the match.

Championship top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic smashed an effort against the angle of the post and crossbar in time added on before Harry Wilson sent the rebound way off target as the visitors hung on for three points.

Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck came on as a second-half substitute for his first appearance since collapsing on the pitch against Reading in November.

The Scotland international was given a great ovation by the travelling fans as he took to the field and he was able to help his side battle to a fourth successive victory and third straight under Heckingbottom.

The Blades opened the scoring in stunning fashion when young Frenchman Ndiaye carried the ball from 20 yards inside his own half before slotting in a composed finish from the edge of the area.

Neeskens Kebano fired narrowly wide for the home side after a free-kick landed at his feet 10 yards out but that, along with some enterprising runs from Harry Wilson, were rare bright spots in a first 45 minutes where Marco Silva’s side saw plenty of the ball but looked short of cutting edge.

Mitrovic, who has now scored once in his past four appearances, headed over at the start of the second half as Fulham sought to find a way back into the game.

Blades full-back Jayden Bogle should have done better when he was played in down the right but he chose to cut inside and the chance went. Billy Sharp also smashed a shot high into the roof of the net only to have his strike ruled out for offside.

The hosts finally got behind the resolute Blades defence in time added on but Mitrovic thundered a fierce strike against the woodwork and Wales international Wilson could not keep the rebound on target.

Defeat ended their 11-match unbeaten run but they are now without a victory in their past five games and are just two points clear of third-placed Blackburn.

Tough times at the top

Halfway through the season Fulham and Bournemouth occupy the top two places in the Championship, as they have since 24 October.

However, both sides head into the second half of the campaign in poor recent form with no wins in their past 10 games combined.

As they have floundered Blackburn Rovers, beaten 7-0 at home by Fulham just last month, have surged up to to third off the back of five successive victories and are just one point off the Cherries.

West Brom are a further point and place behind, as the race to win automatic promotion to the Premier League no longer looks like the formality it had just a few weeks ago.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rodák
  • 2Tete
  • 16Tosin
  • 13Ream
  • 33RobinsonSubstituted forMuniz Carvalhoat 69′minutes
  • 6Reed
  • 24SeriSubstituted forCairneyat 45′minutes
  • 8Wilson
  • 28CarvalhoSubstituted forDe Cordova-Reidat 61′minutes
  • 7Kebano
  • 9Mitrovic


  • 4Odoi
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Chalobah
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 19Muniz Carvalho
  • 21Gazzaniga
  • 23Bryan

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 18FoderinghamBooked at 45mins
  • 6Basham
  • 12Egan
  • 19RobinsonBooked at 55mins
  • 20BogleBooked at 85mins
  • 16Norwood
  • 24HourihaneSubstituted forFleckat 77′minutes
  • 3Stevens
  • 27Gibbs-WhiteSubstituted forBergeat 45′minutes
  • 29NdiayeSubstituted forOsbornat 78′minutes
  • 10Sharp


  • 2Baldock
  • 4Fleck
  • 8Berge
  • 14Burke
  • 15Freeman
  • 23Osborn
  • 31Eastwood

James Linington


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