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Blades striker Sharp pleased to win personal duel with Canaries keeper Krul

Billy Sharp celebrated his penalty against City with a celebration in tribute to wrestling legend Mick Foley, after promising it to a young Sheffield United fan 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Billy Sharp celebrated his penalty against City with a celebration in tribute to wrestling legend Mick Foley, after promising it to a young Sheffield United fan Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Billy Sharp enjoyed his mind games with Norwich City's number one Tim Krul and felt he came out on top of his duel with the 'great goalkeeper' as Sheffield United fought back to draw at Carrow Road.

Krul whipped the home fans into a frenzy and was booked for time wasting after a penalty was given to the Blades in first half injury-time, only for Sharp to blast in the spot-kick.

He then nodded a second equaliser underneath the Holland international in the 79th minute to earn a 2-2 draw, scoring his 18th league goal of the campaign to keep his boyhood club third and three points behind City.

“If I was the goalkeeper I’d do exactly the same – trying to play the mind-games,” Sharp said of the penalty. “Fair play to him he’s a great goalkeeper. I just think he went a little bit too far and lost his focus. I’ve managed to get the better of him.”

On his second goal, the striker added: “I think Krul was expecting me to go back across goal because that’s what strikers get told to do, but I just thought I’d be able to nip it in at the near post. Luckily for me I saw it go in.”

The 32-year-old was pleased to leave Norfolk with a point and praised the fighting spirit of Chris Wilder’s squad.

“It was a really enjoyable game,” Sharp said. “We knew it was going to be tough. Norwich are a really good team and top end of the table for a reason. They’ve got some very good players as they’ve shown today.”

He added: “I’d have certainly taken a point before the game anyway. And, being behind twice, to show the character and belief that we did to get a point was great for our fans.”

MORE: City defender satisfied with a point after difficult Blades battle

The appearance activated a one-year option to extend Sharp’s contract until the end of next season, and further contract talks are in the offing having made headlines at the start of the year when he scored his 220th career goal to become the outright highest scorer in English professional football since the turn of the century.

After taking that tally to 222, the Sheffield-born poacher is now on 97 goals for the Blades, during his third spell with the club.

“I’m enjoying my football at the minute,” he continued. “Playing week in, week out is obviously helping me. You get that rhythm and build confidence.

“I’m just trying to score goals for Sheffield United to try and help us stay at the top end of the table.”

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