kept the pressure on promotion rivals Leeds with a vital victory over 10-man Nottingham Forest.

Mark Duffy’s curling second-half finish put United ahead just four minutes after Forest defender Yohan Benalouane had been controversially sent off for bringing down David McGoldrick.

Full-back Enda Stevens sealed the points with a composed finish late on from McGoldrick’s pass.

The victory moved Chris Wilder’s side back into the top two, albeit perhaps temporarily as Leeds will regain second spot if they avoid defeat at home to struggling Wigan later on Friday.

United had struggled to break Forest down until Tunisian centre-back Benalouane saw red for felling McGoldrick just outside the area as he advanced on goal.

While the Blades striker may have got his shot off, the presence of covering defenders meant referee Andy Madley’s decision to dismiss Benalouane was a contentious one.

Duffy wasted little time in making the numerical advantage count by bending a fine finish past Forest keeper Costel Pantilimon, who produced a fine reaction stop from McGoldrick soon after.

A run of one win in their past four matches had seen United hand the initiative to Leeds in the race for second spot with the Blades letting leads slip in three of those games.

But Stevens eased any nerves with his second goal in three games, firing across Pantilimon, as the Blades coped without 23-goal top scorer Billy Sharp, absent with a hamstring injury.

A fourth successive defeat ended Forest’s slim play-off hopes and they will be without Jack Colback for their remaining games after the midfielder’s 15th booking of the season triggered a three-match ban.

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 1Henderson
  • 28CranieBooked at 45minsSubstituted forLundstramat 78′minutes
  • 19Stearman
  • 5O’Connell
  • 2BaldockBooked at 77mins
  • 16NorwoodBooked at 86mins
  • 4Fleck
  • 3Stevens
  • 21DuffySubstituted forDowellat 86′minutes
  • 14MadineSubstituted forHoganat 66′minutes
  • 17McGoldrick

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 8Dowell
  • 11Hogan
  • 15Coutts
  • 18Freeman
  • 25Moore
  • 39Washington

Nottm Forest

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 25ByramBooked at 43mins
  • 29BenalouaneBooked at 47mins
  • 13Wagué
  • 6ColbackBooked at 18mins
  • 23Lolley
  • 22Yates
  • 24YacobSubstituted forAppiahat 75′minutes
  • 28Tuncará GomesSubstituted forMilosevicat 50′minutes
  • 14Cash
  • 9MurphySubstituted forGrabbanat 59′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Grabban
  • 8Watson
  • 11Osborn
  • 15Steele
  • 17Milosevic
  • 37Ansarifard
  • 43Appiah
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
28,403

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home14
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home9
Away2
Fouls
Home16
Away8

Live Text

Full Time

Second Half ends, 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, . Kieran Dowell replaces Mark Duffy.

Booking

Oliver Norwood () is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Goal!

Goal! 2, Nottingham Forest 0. Enda Stevens () left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David McGoldrick following a fast break.

Arvin Appiah (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Arvin Appiah (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, . John Lundstram replaces Martin Cranie.

Attempt missed. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Lolley following a set piece situation.

Booking

George Baldock () is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Attempt blocked. Le Grabban (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Byram.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Arvin Appiah replaces Clo Yacob.

Offside, Nottingham Forest. Joe Lolley tries a through ball, but Ryan Yates is caught offside.

Clo Yacob (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. David McGoldrick () right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by John Fleck.

Attempt missed. Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, . Scott Hogan replaces Gary Madine.

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood () right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Mark Duffy following a corner.

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood () right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by John Fleck with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Le Grabban replaces Daryl Murphy.

Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. David McGoldrick () right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

Molla Wagué (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

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