Sheffield United 4 Luton Town 0

Jagielka hits double as Blades slice Luton apart
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The Independent Football

A goal to the good through Phil Jagielka after an even first half, United added a second within five minutes of the restart when Chris Morgan headed home and thereafter were in control. Substitute Vincent Pericard ended a fine move to score their third before Jagielka's second two minutes from time completed the home side's romp.

Warnock was hard to please, complaining that his side's first-half display had been their "worst 45 minutes of the season" but the second half must have been close to their best. The Luton manager Mike Newell admitted: "Up until now, we have not come up against a side who were better than us but the more effective side won, although I was not unhappy with the way we played."

Newell is clearly unhappy, however, with the saga over Luton's proposed move to a new ground, which suffered a setback yesterday when plans to build near junction 10 of the M1 were abandoned, and what he sees as misplaced priorities on the part of the club's board. "It has taken 18 months to make that decision, yet in that time no one has ever spoken to me about where this club is going in terms of ambitions for the team. Without spending money on the team there is only so far you can go."

This was Luton's third consecutive away defeat yet their football was attractive and ambitious. They might have gone ahead in the 13th minute had Steve Howard done better with a free header from 10 yards.

Instead, it was the leaders who made the breakthrough after 34 minutes. Alan Quinn's free-kick from the left was punched away by the goalkeeper Marlon Beresford but immediately returned with power by Paul Ifill, the ball rifling into the six-yard box where Morgan tried to turn it into goal before Jagielka pounced to apply the finishing touch.

Luton's chances of finding a way back receded four minutes into the second half when United doubled their lead. After Ifill was fouled, Quinn delivered a cleverly weighted free-kick from the right and Morgan nipped in front of a line of defenders to head past Beresford.

Pericard put the game out of reach, sliding in to fire home Derek Geary's cross. Jagielka added a fourth after 88 minutes, curling the ball wide of Beresford from 15 yards, and Warnock's side now have 12 points between themselves and third place.

Sheffield United (4-4-2): Kenny; Geary (Wright, 74), Bromby, Morgan, Unsworth; Ifill, Montgomery, Jagielka, Quinn; Kabba (Webber, 76), Shipperley (Pericard, 60). Substitutes not used: Tonge, Gillespie.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Beresford; Foley, Barnett, Coyne, Underwood; Edwards, Holmes, Heikkinen, Brkovic (Showunmi, 66); Feeney (Vine, 66), Howard. Substitutes not used: Keane, Morgan, Brill (gk).

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

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