Blades blunted by Alex recovery
Tue 20th Nov 7.45pm
Crewe Alexandra struck three times during an incredible six-minute spell in a six-goal thriller with title-hopefuls Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Blades striker Shaun Miller took only four minutes to register against his former club and an unmarked Harry Maguire added their second on the half-hour mark.
Then the recovery began with Mark Ellis and Mathias Pogba replying before the interval and Chuks Aneke adding a third straight after it - although Nick Blackman soon levelled.
The Alex named an unchanged side from the weekend with the welcome return of Ryan Colclough on the bench.
But the visitors immediately found themselves chasing the game when Miller spun onto Blackman's corner and fired in after his first effort had been deflected behind. As promised there were no celebrations from the former Alex player at the expense of his hometown club.
Crewe's response to that early setback proved impressive with skipper Luke Murphy seeing an effort diverted behind and Chuks Aneke and Byron Moore each trying their luck from distance.
Meanwhile, Chris Porter couldn't find the target at the other end, where unattended centre-back Maguire discovered no such problems when heading in a second from Blackman's corner.
The visitors have already shown themselves well-capable of rescuing lost situations this season and Murphy went close with a tremendous strike against the crossbar before Ellis headed the rebound over the keeper to reduce the deficit.
Murphy was also involved in the equaliser just three minutes later when his free-kick on the stroke of half-time had Pogba turning in his eighth goal of the campaign.
Incredibly the visitors were in front just two minutes into the second period as decent work involving Gregor Robertson and Lauri Dalla Valle allowed Aneke to slide in his fourth goal for the club.
Dalla Valle then got in ahead of Blades keeper George Long and hoisted over the crossbar before Miller struck an upright and Blackman tucked in the rebound to equalise.
The action continued to be intense with Aneke, Murphy and Dalla Valle each threatening for the visitors and Blackman replying straight at Alan Martin. The Scot also gathered a header from Porter while Robertson survived penalty claims following his challenge on Blackman.
The Alex also had hopes of a spot-kick waved aside when substitute Max Clayton's shot appeared to catch a hand after Pogba had already forced another save from Long, whose opposite number Martin was later called upon to deal with a low shot from Blackman.
Sheffield United: Long, Westlake, Maguire, Collins, Williams, Flynn (McAllister 46), Doyle, McDonald, Porter, Blackman, Miller
subs (unused): Coyne, Philliskirk, Ironside, McFadzean, Cresswell, Cofie
Goals: Miller (4), Maguire (30), Blackman (51)
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Robertson, Murphy, Osman, Aneke (M. Clayton 73), Pogba, Moore (Dugdale 90), Dalla Valle (Turton 90)
subs (unused): Phillips, Guthrie, Daniels, Colclough
Goals: Ellis (42), Pogba (45), Aneke (47)
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