Sheffield Derby: How the national media reacted to Sheffield United's stunning 4-2 win

Leon Clarke celebrates his second goal of the match at Hillsborough. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Leon Clarke celebrates his second goal of the match at Hillsborough. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield took centre stage yesterday as Wednesday and United faced each other in the first Steel City Derby for five years.

Football reporters from most of the national press filled the Hillsborough press box - here are their verdicts:

The Sun

Former Owl Leon Clarke stars as Blades claim bragging rights in Steel City derby

"Sheffield United gave their boss Chris Wilder the perfect 50th birthday present as they emphatically dismissed rivals Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 at Hillsborough.

Wilder, a lifelong Blade, reached his notable landmark on Saturday and it is a weekend he will remember forever as United won the first Steel City derby since 2012 in style.

They were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes through John Fleck and Leon Clarke before Wednesday rallied to level thanks to Gary Hooper and Lucas Joao.

But the Blades were not going to be denied a deserved three points and Mark Duffy’s fine effort and Clarke’s second – against his former club – gave the red half of Sheffield a first win at Hillsborough since 2006."

The Mirror

Leon Clarke double leads breathless Steel City Derby comeback win

"For 107 seconds the ground shook.

Four goals had been shared, Wednesday’s Lucas Joao overturning a two-goal Blades’ lead.

The top tier of the South Stand actually physically bounced with the comeback celebration.

That was the 66th minute. By the 68th silence.

Chris Wilder’s United, spiky and resilient as they come, scored again. And again.

Breathless in its intensity, and hugely entertaining, welcome back, after five years, to the Steel City Derby.

Two former giants being pitted against each other again in the Championship, and serving up a belter."

Mail Online

Leon Clarke brace helps sink former club in six-goal thriller and clinch Steel City derby victory

"Chris Wilder let his players savour the applause of their fans as he made his way slowly across the Hillsborough turf.

When he was a Sheffield United player, he was never able to appear in this famous fixture against Sheffield Wednesday.

He was either out of favour or out on loan and then out of the club as he embarked on a circuit of the lower leagues and into management at the bottom before his return to Bramall Lane last year.

Chris Wilder let his players savour the applause of their fans as he made his way slowly across the Hillsborough turf.

When he was a Sheffield United player, he was never able to appear in this famous fixture against Sheffield Wednesday.

He was either out of favour or out on loan and then out of the club as he embarked on a circuit of the lower leagues and into management at the bottom before his return to Bramall Lane last year."

The Guardian

Sheffield United's derby delight prompts questions over Wednesday's attitude

"As good as Sheffield United were in trouncing their Steel City neighbours 4-2, Sheffield Wednesday’s tendency to disappear in big games is a concern.

With a few minutes remaining of the first Sheffield derby in five years, Chris Wilder congratulated and high-fived everyone on the United bench. By that point the job was done, the scoreline at 4-2 and Wednesday’s spirit crushed: this was United’s most comprehensive derby win in 25 years and the first time they have scored four at Hillsborough.

Unsurprisingly Wilder, a Blades fan who watched his first derby from the terraces 37 years ago, described it as the proudest moment of his career.

Before the game Wilder promised to “have a go”, and as it turned out he was not bluffing. United, back in the Championship after six years away, took the lead after only three minutes when David Brooks, a fantastically gifted 20-year-old making just his second league start, backheeled a free-kick to John Fleck who belted a shot low into the net.

Wednesday’s goalkeeper Kieran Westwood did not move, but there would have been no point getting his shorts dirty: it was an unstoppable effort.

In the 15th minute it was 2-0, when a ball over the top found Leon Clarke who casually stroked home with his left foot. Clarke finished the victory off in the closing stages with his second of the afternoon, showing rather more clinical instincts than he did when he was a Wednesday player. He made 87 appearances in three years for the Owls, scoring 18 times: he now has four in four games against them.

What was perhaps most impressive about United’s performance was how they responded when Wednesday wiped out their early lead. Gary Hooper pulled one goal back just before half-time and when Lucas João lashed home an equaliser 20 minutes into the second half, Hillsborough was quite literally shaking with excitement.

Mark Duffy, however, put United back ahead, puncturing the home fans’ hubris emphatically.

As good as United were, Wednesday were frustrating, limp, uncompetitive: everything you do not want in a derby. "

Daily Telegraph

Leon Clarke returns to Hillsborough to seal historic Steel City derby win

"In a pulsating 141st Steel City derby, United confirmed their resurgence as a force in Sheffield by registering an historic win, putting four goals past Wednesday at Hillsborough for the first time since the fixture was first played in 1893.

Chris Wilder’s side, promoted last season after six seasons in League One, saw a 2-0 lead cancelled out as Wednesday fought back to score either side of half-time – but then struck twice more in the final quarter of the match.

Leon Clarke – a former Wednesday player – scored twice, with John Fleck and Mark Duffy the other feted Blades in front of almost 33,000 spectators.

In a pulsating 141st Steel City derby, United confirmed their resurgence as a force in Sheffield by registering an historic win, putting four goals past Wednesday at Hillsborough for the first time since the fixture was first played in 1893.

Chris Wilder’s side, promoted last season after six seasons in League One, saw a 2-0 lead cancelled out as Wednesday fought back to score either side of half-time – but then struck twice more in the final quarter of the match.

Leon Clarke – a former Wednesday player – scored twice, with John Fleck and Mark Duffy the other feted Blades in front of almost 33,000 spectators."

The Express

Blades win Steel City derby bragging rights

"Nothing hurts more than a derby-day humiliation on your own turf and for Sheffield Wednesday this humbling will leave deep scars on their legions of supporters.

For Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, promoted back to the Championship as League One winners last season, this was as good as it gets.

A famous and surprisingly comfortable victory in front of a crowd of 32,839 prompted Wilder to call it the proudest moment of his career. That felt about right.

In the first Steel City derby since February 2012, the Blades were worthy victors and Wilder took great delight in dismantling his club’s sworn enemies in the Hillsborough sunshine.

The boyhood United fan from nearby Stocksbridge turned 50 on Saturday and it was clear to see how much it all meant to him.

At the final whistle, he surveyed the home stands which had long since emptied and headed to the Leppings Lane end, where over 2,000 jubilant Blades supporters were housed in the upper tier.

Wilder thumped the United badge on his jacket and punched the air in delight three times, each one greeted by a huge roar from the raucous travelling contingent. It said everything.