Owls 2-4 Blades Player Ratings: Brilliant Brooks

Blades celebrate – mirror.co.uk

A star performance from 20-year-old David Brooks helped Sheffield United to score four goals at Hillsborough for the first time ever and deservedly win the Steel City Derby. Sheffield Wednesday’s Gary Hooper and substitute Lucas Joao put the game in the balance after John Fleck and Leon Clarke had given the Blades an early lead, but within a minute of the equalizer Mark Duffy scored the winner before Clarke secured a 4-2 win. Here’s our player-ratings.

Sheffield Wednesday

Kieren Westwood – wrongfooted for the first goal and went down too easily for the third. He’s been a very consistent goalkeeper at Championship level but this wasn’t his day.

Jack Hunt – did not make enough overlapping runs in the first half and struggled to handle Brooks. More adventurous after the break but the quality of his final ball was poor. 4
Tom Lees – gave away the free-kick for the first goal and slipped clumsily for the fourth, when he perhaps tried too hard to do his partner’s job. 3
Joost Van Aken – didn’t push high enough up behind the midfield and was at fault for three of the goals. Turned inside out by Duffy for the third and failed to handle Clarke for the second and fourth. 2
Adam Reach – often caught out of position due to his adventurous mind-set, but at least assisted Joao for the equalizer. 4

Ross Wallace – tried to make things happen, even if he sometimes needed to release the ball earlier in wide areas. Delivered for the first goal. 6
David Jones – lacked the physicality for the holding role, beaten off the ball far too easily and was rightly taken off at half-time. 2
Kieren Lee – one of the more creative players when he had the ball, but off the ball he was unable to make his usual third-man runs due to the way the opposition crowded the midfield. 5
Barry Bannan – some smooth passes but little drive. Wasn’t able to make the kind of lung-busting runs he is capable of that opens teams up. 4

Gary Hooper – won a couple of free-kicks and got the first goal. Tried to hold onto the ball and did well considering the poor service. 7
Steven Fletcher – grew a frustrated figure, suffering from a lack of quality into him. Lost out to tall opposing centre-backs whenever Wednesday went long. 3

Lucas Joao (on 45) – took his goal superbly and sparked a brief resurgence from the Owls. 7
Jordan Rhodes (on 68) – Carvalhal’s side didn’t play to his strengths. 5
Jacob Butterfield (on 78) – his corners didn’t beat the first man. 4

Sheffield United

Jamaal Blackman – shouldn’t have been beaten at his near-post for Wednesday’s first goal, but was less culpable for their second. 4

Cameron Carter-Vickers – one or two good defensive headers and some important clearances as the Blades generally defended their box well. 6
Jake Wright – at fault for the first goal, going for the ball at the near-post with his head rather than his foot. Taken off with half an hour to go. 4
Jack O’Connell – dominated Fletcher and was imperious in the air. The 23-year-old is already proving to be one of the most complete centre-backs in the Championship. 7

George Baldock – did the defensive aspect well, but broke forward when required to ensure the front two didn’t become isolated. 8
Paul Coutts – provided some good movement and creativity that might have caught Gordan Strachan’s eye. 7
Chris Basham – provided the kind of aggression their rivals lacked. Stole the ball on numerous occasions and played unselfishly. 7
John Fleck – his free-kick for the opener was superbly taken. Showed class on the ball as well as discipline. 8
Enda Stevens – made the League Two Team of the Year last season and on this evidence, he might have similar success in a league two divisions higher. An energetic display. 7

David Brooks – led the majority of the Blades’ counter-attacks with his troublesome pace. He also looks intelligent in possession with some clever reverse passes to find players in space. 9
Leon Clarke – the pre-match concerns were over who would play up front with Sharp not fully fit. Clarke though posed a threat with his running in behind, as we saw for the second and fourth goals. 9

Mark Duffy (on 63) – showed great trickery for his goal and did well to score from a tight angle.
John Lundstram (on 85)