Sheffield United go sixth with win over Norwich
A bullet header from Billy Sharp gave Sheffield United a 1-0 win over bottom side Norwich City to lift the Blades to sixth place in the Premier League and move them closer to their dream of European football next season.
With Manchester City facing a possible European ban over breaches of financial fair play rules, Sheffield United have their sights on a top-six finish, a feat they have not managed since the 1974-75 season.
The hosts took the lead in the 36th minute when John Lundstram crossed for an unmarked Sharp to plant a firm header past Tim Krul, and they could have had a couple more goals before the break as Norwich struggled to match their intensity.
Norwich bolstered their attacking options at the break by sending on Josip Drmic to partner Teemo Pukki, and Drmic came close to scoring when his shot deflected off David McGoldrick and bounced off the crossbar in the 75th minute.
The visitors continued to throw everything forward in an effort to find an equaliser but United keeper Dean Henderson pulled off a string of fine saves, prompting the home fans to chant for him to be made "England's number one".
The win lifts Sheffield United above Manchester United, who face Manchester City on Sunday, with 43 points from 28 games, while Norwich remain bottom on 21 points from 29 games with time running out if they are to avoid relegation.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder praised goalkeeper Henderson, who is on loan at Bramall Lane from Manchester United until the end of the season.
"We'll all be very surprised if he's not named in the upcoming England group, and we'll be surprised if he doesn't get an opportunity in one of the next two games," Wilder told reporters.
Henderson's opposite number Krul was much more downbeat after Norwich's 18th loss of the season.
“I thought we dug in but the one moment we switched off at the back, they capitalised on it," he told reporters.
“It’s hard to take because I really felt this could have been the push to go into Southampton at home next week and move forward. We need to recoup and look in the mirror because we made a couple of mistakes today. But we also need to stick together and go again.”Reuters