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Sheffield United 0 City 1

I had a feeling we would get something at either Sheffield United or West Ham, and all three points from the boxing day clash sets us up nicely for the trip to the capital where if we can come away with a point (or more) it will be a nice return from two games which were tricky on paper.

I caught the game listening on Radio Sheffield, and even given that it was the home commentary it did not sound a game where we really exerted a great deal of control, and their commentary team were almost in disbelief when Stephen Ireland put us ahead - a goal which of course won us all three points.

Reports in the press following the game were not in the main overly encouraging from a performance perspective and Andrew at purelymancity does a nice job rounding up the reports - and lays into Stuart Pearce's managerial approach a little as well.

I was interested in the formation that was adopted by Pearce for the game and feel it could be one that brings out the best in some of the players we have - namely Onouha more central, Dabo in a holding role and of course allowing Stephen Ireland a more advanced role which frees him up to exert more of the undoubted creativity that he has.

Playing this formation though requires a strong performance from the front man, and by all accounts Corradi had somewhat of a shocker, with Samaras not faring much better - although it was a cute chest down for Ireland's finish.

A good win overall, a welcome three points and helps us put a bit of breathing space between ourselves and the drop zone, but as usual we need to guard against falling back a step again in the next game and Pearce needs to challenge the side to actually put back to back wins together.