Luke Murphy on target twice at Elland Road...

UNITED 2 (Murphy 21, 73), BLACKPOOL 0.

United: Butland, Lees, Zaliukas (White 81), Pearce, Wootton, Warnock, Murphy, Brown, Tonge, Smith (Hunt 65), McCormack. Subs. Cairns, Pugh, Mowatt, Stewart, Poleon.

Blackpool: Gilks, McMahon, Robinson, Cathcart, Perkins, MacKenzie, Bishop, Halliday (Keogh 75), Ferguson, Basham (Haroun 67), Goodwillie. Subs. Halstead, Osbourne, Barkhuizen, Dobbie, Grandin.

Referee: D Coote

Booked: Halliday (Blackpool).

Att: 23,416

Saturday's visit of Blackpool marked one year in the managerial seat for Brian McDermott and the United boss made three changes to his side that suffered defeat at Watford in midweek. Marius Zaliukas, Luke Murphy and Matt Smith all came into the starting line-up.

Saturday's game kicked off at 3.07pm as all English football paid its respects to the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

United started the game well and enjoyed long spells of possession in the opening 10 minutes. It was United who asked the early questions and the recalled Murphy opened up the Blackpool defence with a piercing run, only for a last-ditch tackle from Craig Cathcart to prevent the midfielder striking for goal.

United kept pilling the pressure on the away side and they rewarded for their efforts in the 21st minute. United broke forward at pace and Ross McCormack picked out the onrushing Murphy with a perfectly wieghted pass into his path. Murphy controlled the ball, cleverly turned the covering defender and calmly slotted it into the back of the net.

Murphy's goal clearly lifted the confidence of the United players who were playing some fantastic passing football. United opened up the away defence once again when Murphy played in Scott Wootton down the right, whose cross was met by McCormack but the striker's header went wide of the mark.

Blackpool gave United a warning sign just after the half hour mark when they hit on the counter-attack. Tony McMahon produced a sweet cross which was met by Neal Bishop but his header flew just over the crossbar.

Bishop's half-chance spurred on the away side who finished the half strongly. David Goodwillie had a good chance but United blocked his advances and the striker also went close with a shot from a tight angle.

Before the break United had a good opportunity to double the lead with a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Michael Tonge's strike was saved by Matthew Gilks and the keeper showed bravery to dive at the feet of the United attackers to collect the rebound.

Blackpool went close to levelling the contest in the first minute after the interval. Goodwillie had space to run into down the left, he crossed for Chris Basham but the midfielder's effort went of Jack Butland's post.

United's first chance of the half came after 10 minutes when McCormack controlled and held the ball superbly to set up Stephen Warnock on the edge of the box. Warnock's first time strike went just over the bar.

The game saw a scramble in the Blackpool penalty area with 20 minutes remaining, which United had a few bites at. McCormack's free-kick led to Wootton connecting with the ball and Gilks could only clear as far as Jason Pearce, but the defender's strike was blocked.

Moments later United got the second of the afternoon and it was Murphy with his second of the game. Tom Lees played a long ball forward which was flicked on by United substitute Noel Hunt and Murphy, who showed great stamina and pace to latch onto the ball, chipped the onrushing Gilks. A much deserved double for the midfielder after an impressive display throughout the afternoon.

The home crowd were roaring after Murphy's second and United almost got a third just minutes later. Murphy played a fantastic through-ball for McCormack but Gilks made himself look big and denied the striker.

Butland was called into action twice in the dying miinutes, once to tip over his crossbar and he came off his line well to cut out a dangerous looking cross. They proved to be the away side's final opportunities and United ran out comfortable winners to end a run of five games without a win.