Blunted Blades stay on top

Sheffield Utd 0 Cardiff City 0
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The Independent Football

The United manager, Neil Warnock, claimed his side had "two stonewall penalties" turned down by the referee, Chris Foy. Yet he admitted the close-range effort by Nick Montgomery that Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Alexander somehow kept out 10 minutes into the second half was his side's only real chance.

The Welsh side drew a number of saves from Paddy Kenny, who saved a free-kick from the influential Jason Koumas in stoppage time, after which their manager, Dave Jones, was equally adamant that a penalty should have been awarded for handball when Alan Quinn got in the way of a Koumas shot. "Neil sees things that I can't see and will doubtless claim he should have had several penalties and maybe they had one good shout - but the one we didn't get was clear-cut," Jones said. "Their player had his arm raised."

None the less, both managers declared themselves satisfied with a point, Cardiff stretching their recent run to one defeat in 11 games, United maintaining their lead as a result of Reading's failure to beat Leeds.

However, a little more composure from the striker Cameron Jerome might have earned Cardiff three points. Three times Koumas set him free with excellent passes but he could not take advantage, allowing himself to be crowded out in the first instance and then twice failing to beat Kenny.

Cardiff's penalty appeal came deep into stoppage time. "It hit their lad but they probably had a good shout turned down when one hit Chris Barker on the knee and then the hand in the first half," conceded the defender Darren Purse.

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