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Close-fought: The midfield battle that swung Yorkshire derby in Sheffield United’s favour



Sheffield United took the latest set of Yorkshire derby bragging rights on offer against Leeds United with a 2-1 win over the Whites.

The game at Bramall Lane certainly started in the Blades’ favour after Billy Sharp crashed home with a fine volley early on and it would transpire that the men in red and white had enough to see off their county rivals.

For sure, it was a close-fought battle at times and few things surely demonstrate that more than our latest FLW Duels subject – the battle between Mark Duffy and Pablo Hernandez.

Duffy, for many, was one of the key men during the win at the weekend with his work and tenacity in the middle of midfield.

Indeed, he duly helped the Blades control important areas of the pitch but, looking at the stats, perhaps having Pablo Hernandez on earlier for Leeds would have been a factor to swing it the other way.

Indeed, the pair traded blows in terms of what they did out on the pitch, despite Hernandez being on for less minutes and perhaps if he had started, Leeds would have had a more creative foothold to deal with Duffy’s performance.

It’s all theoretical, of course, but the stats do suggest that Hernandez had a decent half despite how well Duffy was playing and so perhaps purely by being on the pitch longer to influence the game, Sheffield United saw their man help them to victory.