Extended player ratings: Saints 3 Sheffield United 2

Last updated : 05 May 2008 By Chris C
On a day when with 20 minutes to go we were set for relegation, perhaps I should just give all the players a 10 and move onto celebrating the silver lining in this cloud of a season. However, I'll continue to the less than bitter end and give you the scores, albeit more generous ones than my normal cynicism dicates!

Starting line-up

R. Wright - 9: Made the key save of the season when one down saving at point blank range from the impressive Kilgallon. Saints went straight up the other end and scored with Kilgallon still shocked as to how he didn't score. Had little chance with either goal. Swept up expertly at the back and his near perfect handling helped relieve the pressure. World-class performance from a world-class player - David James watch your back!

J. Wright - 7: Left his man in acres of space to gift him a free header for the opener, but was otherwise solid, making a number of important interventions when the pressure was on. Has surely done enough in recent weeks to earn another year's contract after going from boo-boy to Mr Reliable.

Powell - 7: May have had his 50p piece head on and missed a free header from six yards, but he put a season of injuries behind him with a gutsy performance in no doubt his final appearance for Saints. Put himself in harm's way on numerous occasions and managed to survive the full 90 minutes!

Perry - 7: Brave performance from Perry against a dangerous combination of the big man, Pulse, and quick man, Sharp. Failed to prevent Stead getting his tap-in from within the six yard box, but played his part in the rearguard action and has proved an excellent loan signing, giving his all and using all his experience.

Surman - 8: Drew was the key to the first half looking exposed on the left hand side, but highly effective going forward opening up Sheffield United with a series of runs and dangerous crosses. Growing into the left back position now and certainly gave his all for the cause. We simply have to hang onto Saints fan Drew.

Viafara - 7: Typical Carlton Palmer of a performance from JV who covered every blade of grass, often through his inability to retain possession of the ball! His deflected cross led to the opener for Saga and his energy was key in trying to contain a well organised Sheffield United midfield.

Safri - 7: Had to battle very hard with Saints struggling to gain or retain enough possession. Needed more outlets when on the ball, but tried to keep it moving with his usual efficiency and was involved in kickstarting many of Saints' better moves.

Idiakez - 6: Overrun for much of the game, he struggled to get the time and space to get his passing game going. Only a tremendous save from Kenny kept his free kick from opening the scoring. Did surprisingly well in the air double-teaming the imposing Hulse when the long balls rained in. Was certainly up for it, losing his cool completely in the second half getting involved in a shoving match with Speed and rightly subbed before he got himself sent off.

Euell - 8: A player transformed under Pearson, he was a major threat down the left, even showing a decent array of tricks to get behind the opposition. Was a strong presence in the air and retained possession far better than earlier in the season, but was guilty of leaving Surman exposed by drifting inside. Might have done better with a free header early in the second half, but more than played his part in the win.

Saganowski - 7: Could have had a hat-trick with his close range strike and going clean through on two other occasions. Showed excellent movement around the box, but still looks short of confidence in front of goal. Provided the key assist for John with a wonderful chip.

John - 9: Memorable afternoon's work from Stern who certainly left his mark on the game. Displayed none of his occasional wastefulness in front of goal, scoring two high quality finishes, the second almost entirely of his own making as he made space for himself inside the box with a wonderful turn and shot. Foolishly booked for taking his shirt off celebrating the goal which cost him when he uncharacteristically steamed into a needless challenge to get himself sent off with ten minutes to go. It didn't spoil his day overall when his goals once again proved the difference.


Lallana - 7: Not quite the impact of Monday night with the youngster looking a little lightweight against United's powerful defenders, but he ran his heart out for the cause. Showed good ability on the ball and a willingness to run with it with Saints holding player John off the pitch, helping use up valuable seconds. Hugely encouraging end to the season for the latest prospect from the academy.

Licka - 6: Came on for the tiring and wound-up Idiakez with the game entering its frantic last phase. Used his fresh legs to harry United's players with Saints down to ten men, but had little chance to show his ability on the ball.


Pearson - 8: Raised a few eyebrows by not including a defender on the bench, but once the early nerves had worn off showed that he had got his team well up for the game. Has turned Surman into a highly effective left back going forward and has gently nutured the confidence of Jason Euell, showing his ability to man manage. For once had a voice after the game as he kept his head under immense pressure. Was a relieved man at the final whistle, but is still unsure whether he will keep his job when he more than anyone has turned things around.