Sheffield United left it very late to secure all three points against a resilient Derby County side at Bramall Lane, and it was a wily old veteran who sealed the three points for the Blades.
United were the dominant team in terms of both shots and possession and it was to be expected with the line-ups on paper, and their task was made a bit easier when Kelle Roos was sent off for Derby before the hour mark.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s men struggled to break the Rams down but in the final moments of the game, a Curtis Davies handball gave Billy Sharp the chance to shut the opposition fans up who had been heckling him for the duration of the game.
Quiz: Have Sheffield United ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
He did just that, slamming his penalty past Ryan Allsop to secure all three points and following that his celebration was directed at the travelling supporters, and post-match when on his lap of appreciation at Bramall Lane for the home fans he stopped off in-front of the Derby contingent, with both parties giving each other a verbal bashing.
“I wish I could play against them every week,” Sharp said post-match, per the Sheffield Star.
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“I think their fans were disrespectful today. I don’t mind stick but if they’re going to give me that all game, then they deserve it back.
“I’m delighted I scored because I don’t like them.
“To be honest, I was pretty nervous today over the penalty, just because of the last penalty (against Hull City last weekend that was saved).
“I was happy to see it go in and my emotions took over a bit. It was great to score in front of the Kop, because it’s what I love doing.”
It’s clear to see that there’s no love lost between Sharp and the Derby fans from years gone by, and that extended to yesterday.
Clearly things were said in the away end for Sharp to react in that manner and it would have felt very sweet to score the winning goal.
At 35 years old, Sharp is still finding the back of the net on a regular basis in the Championship and he could be a catalyst in United’s promotion push this season.
Let this be a lesson though to opposition fans – don’t rile Sharp up as it may come back to bite by the end of the game no matter how late it is.