Bisgaard strike fuels Derby play-off push

Sheffield United 0 Derby County 1
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The Independent Online

A goal by the Danish midfielder Morten Bisgaard after 74 minutes gave Derby County an important victory over Sheffield United, their rivals for a Championship play-off place, at Bramall Lane last night. Their victory moved the visitors up to fifth place and opened up a four-point gap on the Blades, who remain in seventh place.

A goal by the Danish midfielder Morten Bisgaard after 74 minutes gave Derby County an important victory over Sheffield United, their rivals for a Championship play-off place, at Bramall Lane last night. Their victory moved the visitors up to fifth place and opened up a four-point gap on the Blades, who remain in seventh place.

Bisgaard produced a composed finish after a neat ball from Grzegorz Rasiak had sent Paul Peschisolido through. The Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny advanced to block Peschisolido's shot, but the ball broke to Bisgaard who showed great coolness on a difficult surface. The win was Derby's 12th away from home this season - equalling the club record - and a testament to their counter-attacking abilities.

The Blades forward Danny Webber looked lively. But too often his team seemed to be lacking the necessary inspiration.

Derby posted a warning when Inigo Idiakez ran at the defence before playing in Tommy Smith whose shot was comfortably saved by Kenny down to his left. Derby started to impose their game in the first half and their speed and precision on the break was causing problems for the Blades, who were guilty of squandering possession easily.

Morten Bisgaard then sent a shot narrowly wide from distance in the 25th minute. Then Tom Huddlestone sent a ball into the box which just cleared Rasiak before Smith twisted and turned and found space to unleash a shot which clipped the post.

Derby replaced Idiakez, who had a hamstring injury, just before half-time with Adam Bolder. But they remained in control and never looked like relinquishing the lead after Bisgaard's strike.

Sheffield United: Kenny; Geary, Bromby, Morgan, Harley, Liddell, Jagielka, Montgomery, Quinn, Gray, Webber. Substitutes: Johnson, Thirlwell, Francis, Kabba, Forte.

Derby County: Camp; Makin, Konjic, Johnson, Kenna, Tudgay, Idiakez, Huddlestone, Smith, Bisgaard, Rasiak. Substitutes: Taylor, Bolder, Junior, Peschisolido, Miller.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

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