Sheffield United 1-2 Bristol City Player Ratings: Brilliant Basham

Flint’s winner makes him Bristol City’s second top scorer with 6 goals… he’s a centre-back –

In an enthralling game that served up a fine advert for Championship football, Aden Flint’s injury-time winner gave Bristol City a dramatic 2-1 win at fellow high-flyers Sheffield United. Here’s our player ratings from the game.

The Blades

Simon Moore – difficult to blame him too much for the opener, which was a fine strike, but could have made himself bigger for Flint’s winner. On this evidence, the debate as to whether Moore or Blackman should start will remain. 3

Chris Basham – ironically, from centre-back he made the kind of bold, attacking runs one might have expected from Baldock, who he had briefly replaced at right wing-back for the last few games. Showed his versatility by filling in at midfield after the red card and the Blades missed his defensive qualities after he went off. A complete performance. 8
Richard Stearman – the most disciplined centre-back of the three made some good defensive headers in the first half and had few problems up against Reid. He was though caught ball-watching for the winner, which seems surprising considering the 30-year-old’s experience at this level. 5
Jack O’Connell – didn’t cover himself in glory with his positioning for either goal which will disappoint Wilder, given that his defensive awareness was otherwise rarely scrutinized by the Robins. Didn’t make quite as many attacking runs as usual, either. 3

George Baldock – always willing to get forward. Wasn’t especially explosive in possession in the first half, but we saw more of what he’s capable of on the ball in that 15-minute spell of dominance after the break. A welcome return. 7
John Fleck – picked out one or two good passes to find Clarke including an assist for the equalizer, but his evening was ruined entirely by his very poor challenge on Korey Smith, which resulted in a red card. The Scot’s dismissal changed the game. 1
Mark Duffy – combined well with Stevens and came close on numerous occassions. At the start of the second half, he linked up more with Baldock after drifting over to the right, from which position he hit the post with a curling effort. A constant threat and very unlucky not to score. 8
John Lundstram – kept hold of the ball well and, without playing as many Hollywood balls as Fleck, hit some tidy passes into wide areas. Might just be gaining some confidence from a consistent run of games at this level. 7
Enda Stevens – caused problems and won free-kicks with his runs down the left in the first half, but looked more subdued after the interval. Might have been quicker to spot Flint’s run for the winner, though others take greater responsibility. 5

Leon Clarke – worked hard and willingly held the ball up for other players, taking the equalizer well just after half-time. Sometimes lacked pace to exploit gaps in behind when Bristol City’s defence looked vulnerable. 6
Billy Sharp – hit the woodwork twice in a two-minute first half period and hit Baker in the face with a rebounded effort shortly after the break. Like Clarke though, he didn’t show much pace. 5

David Brooks (on 77) – naturally a very promising attacking player who perhaps lacked the defensive knowhow required for the occasion. 4
Clayton Donaldson (on 80) – not quite as quick as he was two or three years ago. The Blades could do with a striker that offers something different to Clarke and Sharp. 4
Samir Carruthers (on 86) – went on one lung-busting run but lacked awareness, both to pick out Clarke with the scores level and to drop back into his defensive position when required. 2

The Robins

Frank Fielding – enjoyed an excellent first half, denying Sharp and Duffy in hugely impressive fashion. Not tested as much after the red card but the fact the West Country side stayed in this game long enough to win it is largely down to Fielding. 9

Bailey Wright – reluctant to close down Stevens or Duffy, due to his schooling as a centre-back. Didn’t offer much pace and width in the transitional phases, although he did produce a fine and crucial challenge on Carruthers shortly before the winner. 4
Aden Flint – lost his positional bearing on occasions in the first half, but was let off the hook by a combination of his partner’s diligence and the opposition’s lack of speed. Improved in the second half and his winner late on was crucial, but this wasn’t the perfect centre-back performance. 5
Nathan Baker – had to bail Flint out at least twice in the first half, but his distribution might have been better and he was guilty of backing off Clarke for the equalizer. Defended bravely thereafter, though. 6
Joe Bryan – he made at least two powerful forward dribbles, starting from his defensive third, to relieve pressure on the back-line. Ideally we would have seen those qualities displayed in a more attacking sense but Bryan was at times befuddled by the home side’s right-sided threat. 4

Josh Brownhill – had plenty of energy and drifted into wide areas to create overloads, but his limited final ball and wasteful shooting at times denied his side chances to carve up openings. His pass to Paterson for the opener did see him register an assist, however. 4
Marlon Pack – for much of the game he positioned himself firmly in the defensive third. A player of his ability should perhaps have pushed further up to try and impose himself on the contest, but this wasn’t quite Pack’s night. 3
Korey Smith – looked more at home than Pack in defensive areas and made some crucial blocks in his defensive third, even if his passing wasn’t great. Went off injured just after the hour mark after suffering from Fleck’s bad challenge – we wish him a speedy recovery. 6

Niclas Eliasson – caught too far up the pitch at times when he should have been preventing Stevens and Duffy getting two on one situations against Wright. Considering he didn’t offer much in possession, he needs to be more defensively aware to avoid another half-time withdrawal. 2
Bobby Reid – didn’t have the pace or power to get the better of Stearman, especially when Bristol City moved the ball long. His game is mainly about subtle movement and clever link-up play, which lends itself to a deeper role which he enjoyed in the latter stages, when he assisted the winner with a first-time cross. 6
Jamie Paterson – started out in a wide left position when he made one or two runs cutting inside to create openings. Faded for spells but came alive for an excellent strike before the interval and was one of the players who drove the visitors on after the red card. 7

Milan Djuric (on 45) – his presence gave Bristol City a focal point, which they didn’t have in the first half. 7
Matty Taylor (on 62) – worked hard and battled well to win the second ball which led to the winner. 8
Jonathan Leko (on 76) – had the pace and sharp feet to exploit the extra space and enjoyed an impressive impact in the closing stages, even if he wasn’t directly involved in the winner. 9