Cardiff 0-1 Sheffield United: Baldock goal takes Blades to summit
Sheffield United moved to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with a 1-0 win at Cardiff.
A 64th-minute goal from George Baldock was enough to secure all three points for the visitors.
Cardiff dominated much of the first half after a ponderous first 20 minutes, with the Bluebirds’ front three causing plenty of issues on the counter-attack.
The home side had plenty of chances, but failed to capitalise on several chances as the half wore on.
The introduction of James McAtee at half-time helped the Blades take control, although the visitors spurned several golden opportunities to take the lead before Baldock shot powerfully past the helpless Ryan Allsop.
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts, after goalkeeper Allsop played an impressive long pass to Callum O’Dowda. The resulting cross was cleared but the ball fell straight to Callum Robinson, whose tame effort drifted over the bar.
Billy Sharp was providing an outlet for United, who were slowly growing into the game and Perry Ng was forced to make two last-ditch clearances.
However, Cardiff continued to cause issues on the break and they went close again when O’Dowda looped in a beautiful cross – but Robinson failed to get the contact he wanted with his head, as his effort went wide.
The home side continued to press for the opener towards the end of the half and their front three were causing the Blades problems, with Robinson continuing to test his shooting accuracy.
Mark Harris had a glorious chance towards the end of the half. The Welsh striker intercepted a poor backpass from Chris Basham and rounded keeper Wes Foderingham, but could not find a shot to give Cardiff the lead.
On-loan Manchester City man McAtee made an instant impact off the bench, but he was unable to capitalise on a poor pass from Cardiff’s Cedric Kipre.
The visitors continued to threaten and John Egan and Basham failed to convert excellent opportunities from corners.
However, the pressure told when right-back Baldock won the ball from Kipre and unleashed a thunderous strike which beat Allsop at his near post.
The visitors took control of the game following the goal and Bluebirds boss Mark Hudson tried to respond with the introduction of Rubin Colwill and Sheyi Ojo.
However the Blades continued to dominate and Cardiff rarely threatened in the closing stages.
Ben Osborn had a chance to seal the game late on, but Allsop produced a superb save to deny the 28-year-old’s well-struck attempt.
The closest the hosts came to a late equaliser was when Ojo found space in the box but his effort went agonisingly wide.