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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Idrissa Sylla (4')

Jamal Blackman's error proves costly for Sheffield United

An extraordinary error by goalkeeper Jamal Blackman proved costly for Sheffield United, who lost top spot in the Sky Bet Championship after being beaten 1-0 at QPR.
Idrissa Sylla's early goal clinched a second home victory in three days for Ian Holloway's side, who beat high-flying Wolves on Saturday.
However, Wolves capitalised on United's slip-up at Loftus Road by winning at Norwich to move back to the top of the table.
There seemed to be little danger for United when Blackman came to gather Jordan Cousins' ball into the box in the fourth minute.
But the on-loan Chelsea man misjudged the bounce of the ball and then dropped it after colliding with team-mate Cameron Carter-Vickers, gifting the waiting Sylla a simple tap-in.
Blackman, who appeared to land awkwardly, was then carried off on a stretcher following several minutes of treatment on the pitch.
Luck was on Rangers' side again when Jack O'Connell missed a sitter, steering his shot wide of the target when found unmarked by Paul Coutts' left-wing
corner.
And United then missed another great chance to equalise, this time when former QPR striker Leon Clarke fired over after being picked out by David Brooks' cross from the leftb .
Clarke was also denied at close range by Alex Smithies, who dived at his feet to save following more good work on the left by the dangerous Brooks.
QPR, who battled spiritedly throughout, also threatened during a lively first half. Simon Moore, who replaced Blackman, back-pedalled to just about keep out Sylla's first-time strike from long range following Conor Washington's neat b lay-off.
The Rangers front pairing combined again just after the half-hour markb when Sylla headed over from Washington's b beautifully-delivered b cross.
Early in the second half, Sylla directed a header narrowly wide and United made a change in attack, bringing on Billy Sharp forb the ineffectiveb Clayton Donaldson.
Sharp was soon involved in the action, testing Smithies with a low shot the Rangers keeper was down quickly to hold.
Sharp also crossed from the left for Clarke, who nodded into the net but was offside.
At the other end, Massimo Luongo curled an effort wide and R's substitute Jamie Mackie blasted over after being set up by the excellent Luke Freeman, who caused United constant problems.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Norwich City 33 +23 63
2 Sheffield United 33 +24 61
3 Leeds United 32 +17 61
4 West Bromwich Albion 32 +24 57
5 Middlesbrough 32 +12 54
6 Bristol City 31 +10 53
7 Derby County 31 +7 51
8 Nottingham Forest 33 +8 47
9 Birmingham City 32 +9 46
10 Aston Villa 33 +4 44
11 Preston North End 33 +3 44
12 Hull City 32 +3 44
13 Swansea City 32 +3 44
14 Blackburn Rovers 33 -7 43
15 Sheffield Wednesday 32 -11 41
16 Brentford 31 +7 40
17 Stoke City 33 -7 40
18 Queens Park Rangers 31 -8 39
19 Wigan Athletic 32 -14 34
20 Millwall 31 -11 31
21 Reading 33 -15 29
22 Rotherham United 33 -20 29
23 Bolton Wanderers 33 -30 26
24 Ipswich Town 33 -31 20