Burnley
1-0
Sheffield United
Elliott 13    
Ref: Mr M Dean    Attendance: 80,518

An early goal by midfielder Wade Elliott took Burnley back to the top flight for the first time in 33 years, but victory should have been far more emphatic for the Clarets.

In the richest club game in world football, worth £60million to the winners as they step up to the Premier League, Owen Coyle's team outclassed the Blades and could have had victory wrapped up well before the final whistle.

In what was their 61st game of the season - more than any English League team apart from Manchester United - Burnley were the more energetic team throughout and thoroughly deserved to cap off a memorable campaign with promotion.

They enjoyed good runs in both the Carling and FA Cups, but any disappointment they felt in going out of those competitions was swept away at Wembley.

For Sheffield United, who finished third in the table - two places above Burnley - it was a fifth unsuccessful bid to get promotion via the Play-Offs.

But Kevin Blackwell's team, who had substitute Jamie Ward sent off for a second handling offence 11 minutes from time could have no complaints on an afternoon where they were second best for practically the whole of the game.

They made the early running but it was the Clarets who took the lead through Elliott's fine 13th minute strike. Jinking his way through from inside his own half, he tried to create an opening for fellow midfielder Chris McCann, but when the ball broke back Elliott curled an exquisite 25 yard shot into the top corner of the net.

Burnley were dealt a blow when McCann, after sustaining a knee injury, had to be substituted in the 28th minute.

But that did not halt their flow and two minutes later they almost got a second goal, striker Martin Paterson collecting a pass from Elliott before curling a long range effort just wide of the far post.

Continuing to produce the neater football, the Clarets went close again on the stroke of half-time when Elliott crossed from the right and striker Steve Thompson sent a towering header back across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the target.

Coyle's men pressed again at the opening of the second half and when Thompson headed on left winger Robbie Blake's 48th minute corner, right back Michael Duff lunged at the ball but could not guide it into the net.

The Clarets should have stretched their lead seven minutes later, but when Thompson headed Paterson's cross back into the penalty box substitute Joey Gudjonsson - only three yards out - shot against midfielder Nick Montgomery on the goal line.

Sheffield United had yet another narrow escape in the 66th minute, Thompson beating the offside trap to cross for Blake and only a tremendous saving tackle by right back Kyle Walker prevented the winger from scoring.

The Blades, who in the first half had claimed but were refused a penalty when midfielder Brian Howard was challenged by Graham Alexander, had their loud shouts for a spot kick again denied by referee Mike Dean after a 69th minute collision between Walker and left back Christian Kalvenes.

Their frustration proved a galvanising force, however, and they produced their best spell of pressure before Burnley broke out for Paterson to race through only to have his 15 yard drive blocked by left back Kyle Naughton.

Frustration turned to desperation for the Blades in the 79th minute, when substitute Ward was sent off for handling the ball as he brought it under control before hooking a shot towards goal.

That proved the final straw for Blackwell's team, who in the closing stages never looked likely to force the game into extra time.Their misery was compounded after the final whistle when substitute Lee Hendrie was also dismissed for foul and abusive language.

Burnley (4-1-3-2): Jensen, Alexander, Kalvenes, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell (capt), Paterson, Elliott, McCann (Gudjonsson 27), Blake (Eagles 68), Thompson (Rodriguez 73)
Subs Not Used: Penny (GK), McDonald
Booked:None

Sheffield United (4-4-1-1: Kenny, Halford, Cotterill (Ward 58), Morgan (capt), Kilgallon, Montgomery, Beattie, Howard (Lupoli 83), Quinn (Hendrie 85), Naughton, Walker
Subs Not Used: Bennett (GK), Bromby
Booked: Ward 75, Lupoli 90
Sent off: Ward 80, Hendrie 90