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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021

Ireland's David McGoldrick is in inspired form right now

The Sheffield United striker scored a fifth goal in his last six league games on Saturday.

Sheffield United's David McGoldrick is congratulated on scoring his team's opening goal.
Sheffield United's David McGoldrick is congratulated on scoring his team's opening goal.
Image: Dave Howarth

DAVID MCGOLDRICK SCORED the lone goal as Sheffield United beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 on Saturday to move up to second place in English football’s second-tier Championship.

McGoldrick’s first-half header, the former Ipswich striker’s fifth goal in his last six league games, saw the Blades move to within four points of Yorkshire rivals Leeds.

The table-toppers had already played, beating Derby County 2-0 on Friday in a victory overshadowed by Leeds manager Marco Bielsa’s admission he had sent a spy to the Rams’ training ground.

McGoldrick was left out of recent Ireland squads under Martin O’Neill, but his excellent form of late could see the 31-year-old recalled by new national team boss Mick McCarthy, who managed him at Ipswich.

Saturday’s other matches saw Jordan Rhodes rescue a point for third-placed Norwich City with an equaliser seven minutes from time in a 1-1 draw against West Brom, who led through Dwight Gayle’s early goal.

Only the top two sides at the end of the regular season are guaranteed promotion to the lucrative Premier League, with the next four clubs competing for the one remaining spot in the top flight via a series of play-off games.

Middlesbrough remained in the top six following a 2-1 win at Birmingham.

Lewis Wing put Boro ahead in the 37th minute and although Che Adams equalised for the Blues, Britt Assombalonga grabbed a late winner.

Nathan Jones’s reign at Stoke manager started with a 3-1 defeat while Nottingham Forest’s first match since Aitor Karaka left the City Ground on Friday ended with a 2-0 loss to Reading.

To make matters worse for former European champions Forest, they ended the match down to nine men after both Danny Fox and Tendayi Darikwa were sent off in the second half.

Jarrod Bowen scored twice in Hull’s 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday as relegation-threatened Wigan defeated Aston Villa by the same scoreline.

Millwall’s four-match winning run came to a dramatic halt as the south London club conceded a pair of late goals in a 2-0 loss at home to Blackburn Rovers.

The game was heading for a goalless draw when Millwall captain Shaun Hutchison deflected Adam Armstrong’s cross into his own net four minutes from time and Armstrong himself then scored the winner at the Den barely 60 seconds later.

© – AFP 2018

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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