Match Report: Sheffield United 0-4 Birmingham City
Birmingham City progressed to the 5th round of the FA Cup with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Birmingham were excellent throughout with Adam Rooney scoring two goals for the visitors.
Seventeen-year-old Nathan Redmond opened the scoring for Chris Hughton's men on 18 minutes after a low corner from Jordon Mutch found him unmarked on the edge of the box. Redmond hit it first time with precision, managing to keep it down and beat Steve Simonsen. It was the Blades that had had the better of the opening exchanges, however, with Stephen Quinn and Kevin McDonald having shots blocked as well as Ched Evans testing Birmingham ‘keeper Colin Doyle from distance.
The Blues were the better side after their opener though and Rooney doubled the lead seven minutes before the break. Chris Burke beat his man down the right and squared for Rooney who lashed home into the roof of the net.
The Blades once again started well in the second half and could have closed the gap in a moment of madness five minutes into the half. Lee Williamson broke through down the right and his shot was well saved by Doyle but the rebound was allowed to drop and Matt Lowton smashed the ball against the bar and it was eventually cleared.
Had Lowton converted then the shape of the game may have been different in the second half. As it was Birmingham regained the ascendency and further added to their lead after Wade Elliott was given far too much space thirty yards from goal and he carried the ball before firing an excellent finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The final goal was of equal quality to the first three as David Murphy surged down the left and crossed for Rooney, who opened his body up and guided the ball into the far corner of the net.
The score line was harsh on a United side who had enjoyed excellent periods throughout the game but failed to take advantage. The extra quality in the final third was the difference as Redmond, Burke and Rooney looked dangerous whenever they had the ball.
For the managers, Danny Wilson will not be too disheartened by the performance, although leaking 4 goals will disappoint him and the Blades still have work to do if they are to gain promotion to the Championship. Chris Hughton will be understandably delighted with the quality of Birmingham's attacking play and the clean sheet at the back. They will definitely be around the play off positions come the end of the season.