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November 24 2020 3.40am

Sheffield United 1 - 3 Palace

Tue Sep 25 2001 - League

The Eagles made it three wins in a row after beating Sheffield United by three goals to nil tonight.

Sheffield United started well in this midweek fixture, but it was Palace who took the lead after eleven minutes.

Jamie Smith drilled a low shot through a packed penalty area after Blades keeper Simon Tracey had blocked Clinton Morrison's initial shot.

United then continued to push forward, but Eagles goalie Matt Clarke did well saving a Shane Nicholson curling free-kick.

Early in the second half, Dougie Freedman wasted two great chances to extend the Palace lead.

In the 75th minute, however, the home side equalised through Nicholson, whose free-kick took a wicked deflection off the Palace wall and flew past the wrong-footed Clarke.

Only minutes later, the Eagles were awarded a penalty, when Freedman was upended by Tracey and Freedman converted to make it 1-2.

David Hopkin secured all three points in the dying seconds with a low drive past Tracey after good work by Morrison.

Man of the match: Freedman

Post match comments:

Steve Bruce was thrilled with the 3-1 win over his former club Sheffield United.

Bruce said: "We didn't deserve to surrender the lead and it didn't looked like a free-kick. They didn't really create anything against us.

"But we've shown a bit of resilience and a bit of fight to get us back in the game."

The Palace manager was happy to see midfielder Hopkin return from injury and score a goal. He said: "Hopkin's worked like a beast to get himself fit.

"He's got a great attitude. It's terrific for him because this is his first game in six weeks."

The awarded penalty was dubious but Bruce thought the decision was correct. "It looked like three penalties to me, everyone in the ground knew it was a penalty," he said.

Losing manager Neil Warnock was less happy, but insists that the pressure on him will only encourage him to bring the best out of his side.

He said: "Now's the time for me to earn my money, it's not the time to throw in the towel.

"I've got to say the fans were magnificent. They got us back in the game and when we equalised I thought we would go on and win it, but we threw goals away at the end."

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Match Stats

Ground: Bramall Lane (Attendance: 14180)

Sheffield United: Tracey, Page (Kozluk 64), Murphy, Sandford, Nicholson, Devlin, Ford, Brown, Jagielka, Asaba (Peschisolido 79), Suffo(Ndlovu 64).

Subs not used: Montgomery, de Vogt.

Bookings: Nicholson, Page, Suffo, Tracey.

Goal: Nicholson 74.

Palace: Clarke, Smith, Vickers, Popovic, Gray, Mullins, Riihilahti, Kirovski, Rodger, Freedman (Hopkin 79), Morrison.

Subs not used: Black, Thomson, Kolinko.

Booking: Popovic.

Goals: Smith 12, Freedman 78 pen, Hopkin 90.

Referee: M Cooper (Walsall)

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