MX23RW : Friday, March 6 07:42:13| >> :600:3506889:3506889:
Jan 25, 2020 at 3pm UK at ​The Den
Attendance: 12,653
Sheff UtdSheffield United
FT(HT: 0-0)
Besic (62'), Norwood (84')

Result: Blades earn hard-fought win at Millwall

Result: Blades earn hard-fought win at Millwall
© Reuters
Muhamed Besic and Oliver Norwood on target as Premier League team progress.

Mo Besic and Ollie Norwood provided two moments of rare class as Sheffield United ground out a 2-0 FA Cup win at Millwall.

Everton loanee Besic whipped home his first Blades goal on his 13th appearance, before Norwood wrapped up the fourth-round victory amid an insipid clash at The Den.

Aiden O’Brien scuffed a glorious early chance for Millwall and the hosts never recovered, with two clinical finishes sufficient to put Chris Wilder’s men in the hat for the fifth round draw.

— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) January 25, 2020

South Bermondsey has played host to seven FA Cup giant-killings since 1993, with the Lions well versed in a Premier League mauling.

This throwback tie had all the hallmarks of another entry into those lengthy annals, save for any kind of killer blow from the hosts.

A threadbare pitch thanks to a faulty drainage system, floodlights on in broad daylight and the typically hostile atmosphere; all these and more left the Blades often lacking interest or impetus.

But boss Wilder’s in-form men coped comfortably enough in the event, as Millwall struggled for any bite in attack.

Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder’s side faced few alarms (Tim Goode/PA)

Besic stroked wide from 16 yards as the Blades eyed an early breakthrough but the visitors were reeling when the vastly-experienced Phil Jagielka was caught out wholly unnecessarily when misjudging a header.

The former Everton man raced out but missed the ball, leaving a gaping hole for O’Brien to race through, cut inside the cover – but scuff his shot straight at Bartosz Bialkowski.

Millwall almost slumped off the pace in response to a gilt-edged chance missed but such was the paucity of quality on display that United were unable to take advantage before the break.

Basham’s smart through-ball did at least have Billy Sharp shuffling around Bialkowski but the visiting skipper could not deliver a finish as James Brown hacked off the line.

Jagielka then headed high and wide after working himself free at a corner, but a distinctly underwhelming half ended scoreless.

Both sides at least upped the intensity after the break – and a surprise moment of accuracy broke the deadlock.

Callum Robinson’s lofted ball let Sharp apply the squeeze on the Lions, with the skipper finding Besic on the overlap.

Millwall v Sheffield United – FA Cup – Fourth Round – The Den
Muhamed Besic celebrates the opening goal (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The Bosnia midfielder checked inside, opened his body and delivered a textbook curling finish.

Norwood quickly slotted the match-sealing second after a fine tee-up from skipper Sharp, as Millwall slipped well off the pace at the end.

Simple, effective, decisive – two finishes boasting all the qualities missing both before and afterwards at The Den.

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