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Steel City derby finishes goalless

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 04/03/2019 skysports.com
a man playing a game of football: Tom Lees of Sheffield Wednesday and Gary Madine of Sheffield United compete for the ball © Getty Tom Lees of Sheffield Wednesday and Gary Madine of Sheffield United compete for the ball

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday played out a goalless draw for the third consecutive Steel City derby in the Sky Bet Championship on Monday night.

Chances were at a premium despite the cracking atmosphere at Hillsborough, as Steve Bruce maintained his unbeaten start in charge of the Owls.

Sheffield United, meanwhile, could have moved back into the top two with victory. But the draw leaves them two points behind Leeds in second, and four behind leaders Norwich.

4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Fernando Forestieri of Sheffield Wednesday takes on Chris Basham of Sheffield United (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images) © 2019 Action Plus 4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Fernando Forestieri of Sheffield Wednesday takes on Chris Basham of Sheffield United (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The only real opening of the first half came United's way after seven minutes when Ollie Norwood whipped a fine cross to the far post for Gary Madine, but Keiren Westwood got across to make a fine save from his header.

It took until the 65th minute for another proper chance to come about. This time it fell to Wednesday, as Roland Aarons found Sam Hutchinson in the middle. He had a clear sight of goal but sent his effort on the slide straight at Dean Henderson.

4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Sam Hutchinson of Sheffield Wednesday runs with the ball (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images) © 2019 Action Plus 4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Sam Hutchinson of Sheffield Wednesday runs with the ball (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images)

United did more of the pushing in the closing stages but struggled to break down a resilient Wednesday defence, which has improved immeasurably since the arrival of Bruce.

4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Rolando Aarons of Sheffield Wednesday takes on John Fleck of Sheffield United (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images) © 2019 Action Plus 4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Rolando Aarons of Sheffield Wednesday takes on John Fleck of Sheffield United (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The Owls still harbour slim hopes of finishing in the play-offs, but the draw leaves them six points off sixth spot in the table.

Man of the match - Michael Hector

On their day Sheffield United possess one of the most dangerous attacks in the Championship but Hector barely gave Madine or Billy Sharp a sniff all night. He was the only real standout player at Hillsborough, despite the fact he probably should have given away a penalty for a challenge on Madine in the first half.

The managers

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce before the Sky Bet Championship match at Hillsborough, Sheffield. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce before the Sky Bet Championship match at Hillsborough, Sheffield. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images)

Steve Bruce: "It was a typical derby. We all enjoy them but they're lacking a bit of quality because of the sheer intensity of them and fear of getting beat. How many times have we seen that over the years?

"I think what the supporters want is two teams going head to head and both teams went at it. Arguably we had the best chance of the game but we also defended magnificently from set-pieces. We'll take the draw and move on."

4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder arrives for the game (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images) © 2019 Action Plus 4th March 2019, Hillsborough, Sheffield, England; EFL Championship football, Sheffield Wednesday versus Sheffield United; Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder arrives for the game (photo by Conor Molloy/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Chris Wilder: "I think it was a point gained. I didn't think it was the best performance, it was a very bitty game littered with fouls all over the pitch and it never really got going for both sides.

"It wasn't a game of very high quality at all. We missed a good chance in the first half and they missed a good chance in the second half, so it could have gone either way.

"Steve has galvanised a really good grup of players. He is a fantastic manager and I've got a huge amount of respect for him. If they play like they did tonight against other teams then I'm sure they'll pick up points."

What's next?

Both sides are back in Sky Bet Championship action on Saturday. Sheffield United host Rotherham at 12.15pm, and Sheffield Wednesday head to Derby for a 3pm kick-off.

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