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Liam Twomey reports from Wembley: “There seemed something dreadfully hubristic about the Sheffield United fans cheering their team's every pass at 1-0, and it certainly seemed so when Yannick Sagbo fired in Jake Livermore's precise low centre to bring Hull City level. But they were back on terms for barely a minute. Liam Rosenior was nowhere near strong enough to fend off Jamie Murphy on the left flank, and the winger's low centre is hammered in by Stefan Scougall. The Blades go in at half-time with a narrow lead, and it's hard to argue that they don't deserve it.”
Ewan Roberts reports: “Chelsea may be playing against 10 men, but they have struggled to break down Swansea's resistance so far. The Blues have yet to test Michel Vorm, hitting a roadblock when they enter the Swans' final third, while Garry Monk's men have shown an occasional spark on the break. It's a curious reversal of roles: Swansea are absorbing pressure and counterattacking, while Jose Mourinho's men are trying – not especially well – to dictate proceedings and work an opening.”
Liam Twomey reports from Wembley: “Hull City are exerting more of a stranglehold on possession but Sheffield United are yet to be given a reason to feel uncomfortable. In the early stages the runs of Ahmed Elmohamady and Yannick Sagbo in behind were causing Nigel Clough's men problems, but now they have dropped deeper those spaces have been closed off. Steve Bruce needs to find another route to an equaliser.”
Phil Dowd’s decision to send Chico Flores off is causing quite a stir on the old social networks. It appears as though somebody told the referee to go back and give the defender a second booking - this after Jose Mourinho barked at the fourth official down the touchline. Cue some more Mourinho conspiracy theories. Hurrah!
Things go from bad to worse for Manchester City as Manuel Pellegrini tells BeIN Sports that Yaya Toure is likely to miss the rest of the season with the injury he picked up at Anfield today. Uh oh.
Liam Twomey reports on Jose Baxter’s goal: “Hull City have looked the more dangerous side over the first 15 minutes but it is Sheffield United who take the lead, courtesy of former Everton youngster Jose Baxter. Cardiff loanee John Brayford gets the ball back from his own throw-in on the right flank and delivers a brilliant ball into the six-yard box for Baxter to beat his man and poke the ball past Steve Harper. Everyone in red and white erupts and even Nigel Clough jumps up in the air before getting his game face back on. Steve Bruce stands motionless on the touchline.”
Ewan Roberts reports on Chico Flores' red card: “Oh Chico Flores, what have you done? No, I'm talking about a recent – and questionable – trip to the hairdressers, but a succession of fouls that has seen him receive a second yellow card after just 15 minutes. The first was a cynical foul on Willian as he broke free, the second on Andre Schurrle. Having only just been booked, it initially appeared as though referee Phil Dowd would not penalise the Spaniard, but after a long, hard think – and with Jose Mourinho barking mad on the touchline – he eventually brandishes the red card. Pablo Hernandez is the man sacrificed as Jordi Amat comes on. Advantage Chelsea.”
Gooooolazo! In today’s 14:00 kick-offs in Serie A, Napoli saw off Lazio 4-2, Inter thumped Sampdoria 4-0, and Fiorentina overcame Verona 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller. And in the HUGE match in the fight to avoid the drop, Livorno lost 4-2 at home to Chievo.
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Oooft. How are Chelsea not ahead? Mohamed Salah arrives in the right place at the right time to get on the end of Branislav Ivanovic’s perfect pass along the Swansea area, but he miscues his side-footed effort marginally wide of the target. The visitors should be ahead.
Liam Twomey reports from Wembley: “For the second day in a row there are confused scenes at Wembley as a clearly intended minute's silence to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy quickly morphs into a jarring minute's applause. While understandable that the thousands in attendance are excited for the match ahead, it is hard to escape the feeling that they have got this badly wrong.”
FA Cup winner Michael Owen tells Goal: “Normally you’d fancy a Premier League team against a lower division side, but Sheffield United are still seen as a big team. And from Hull’s point of view it’s great for any fan to be in the Premier League, having almost secured the club’s safety, and be on this great cup run. They’ll see playing Sheffield United as a great opportunity to get to the final.”
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