Attendance: 24,777 (3,886 visitors)
The Bantams ended their fixtures for 2015 with a disappointing defeat at the home of much-fancied Sheffield United in a festive Yorkshire derby encounter.
In front of nearly four thousand travelling City supporters, goals from United trio Billy Sharp, Conor Sammon and David Edgar proved enough to see off Phil Parkinson's men at Bramall Lane.
Bantams midfielder Gary Liddle pulled a goal back from a Tony McMahon corner with seven minutes remaining but the hosts still ran out comfortable winners in the end.
Despite an encouraging first half display from City, Parkinson's side found themselves a goal behind at the break thanks to Sharp's well-taken drive from 25 yards out after only eleven minutes.
Lee Evans could have equalised for City late on in the opening period but his free-kick from outside the box was pushed away at full stretch by George Long.
Sammon perhaps should have given United a barely-deserved two-goal lead with the final attack of the half, however, but he somehow headed wide from barely yards out following Sharp's cross into the box.
Kyel Reid fired narrowly wide with a right-footed drive from just outside the box shortly after the restart but United suddenly took control of the contest in the early stages of the second period.
With the hosts upping the tempo as they attacked towards their main Kop stand, Nigel Adkins' men doubled their lead in fifty-ninth minute when Sammon beat Stephen Darby to Paul Coutts' teasing ball across the six yard box to slam home into an unguarded goal.
United's tails were well and truly up at this point, and they gave City a mountain to climb just four minutes later Edgar crashed home a third. After seeing his initial corner delivery cleared, Woolford fired the ball back into the box with some menace and Edgar swooped to smash home a header from close range.
The Bantams looked for an unlikely way back into the game late on, with James Hanson seeing a header smack the base of George Long's near post following substitute James Meredith's cross.
Long was then called upon to tip over McMahon's deflected free-kick roughly two minutes later. From the resulting McMahon corner delivery, Liddle glanced home his third goal of the season following a well-taken near post run.
City tried to use Liddle's goal as the catalyst for a surprise recovery but the nearest they went to scoring again came when Devante Cole curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post in injury time.
FT: Sheffield United 3 Bradford City 0
90+3min: YELLOW CARD - Long is booked for taking too long over a United goal-kick.
90+3min: After receiving a quick free-kick into his feet, Cole moves in-field from a wide position before curling a drive from just inside the box narrowly wide of the top corner of Long's goal.
90+2min: SUB - United bring on Jamal Campbell-Ryce for Sharp.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
89min: SUB - The Blades bring on Ryan Flynn for Woolford.
83min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sheffield United 3 Bradford City 1 - The Bantams have a goal back when Liddle glances home a near post corner delivery by McMahon from close range.
82min: McMahon's free-kick from outside the box takes a slight deflection off the United wall before Long tips the effort over the bar.
81min: YELLOW CARD -Chris Basham is booked for a late tackle on Liddle just inside United's half of the pitch.
81min: McMahon's fizzing strike across goal from a wide position outside the box is palmed away by Long. Reid and Cole try to rescue the situation as the 'keeper regains his position but United can eventually clear their lines.
79min: Hanson's downward header from Meredith's teasing cross into the middle crashes against the base of Long's near post! Cole tries to latch onto the loose ball from close range but he is flagged for offside.
77min: United break forward with purpose but Coutts' eventual drive from just outside the box is well blocked by a strong tackle from Meredith.
76min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Devante Cole for Billy Clarke.
76min: Coutts' free-kick delivery from wide into the box is met by Collins but his header is blocked before City can eventually clear their lines.
72min: Reid's teasing cross into the box just misses the outstretched leg of Hanson in the middle before the ball hit off Collins and into the grateful grasp of Long.
70min: Coutts' driving run and cross into the box is met by the diving frame of Sharp but his header sails into the stand behind the goal.
69min: SUBS - The Bantams bring on James Meredith and Billy Knott for Leigh and Evans.
63min: GOAL - Sheffield United 3 Bradford City 0 - The Bantams have a mountain to climb now as Edgar puts United into a three-goal lead. After City initially clear a United corner delivery, Woolford puts the ball back into the mix with a delightful in-swinging cross and Edgar swoops to smash home a header from barely yards out.
61min: Hanson's cushioned header drops the ball into the path of Reid and the winger lets rip with a fierce rising drive from around 25 yards out that whistles narrowly over Long's crossbar.
59min: GOAL - Sheffield United 2 Bradford City 0 - The Blades double their lead when Paul Coutts' threatening cross into the six yard box is crashed home from close range by Sammon, who appears to just beat Stephen Darby to the ball.
56min: Woolford plays a one-two with Sammon just outside the box but the winger's eventual strike for goal - a low side-footed effort - rolls harmlessly wide of Williams' goal.
53min: After some slick play from the hosts, McEveley's low cross into the box finds Woolford but his first touch is heavy and the ball goes through into the clutches of Williams.
52min: United look threatening as Sharp receives the ball in space inside the area with strike-partner Sammon in the middle waiting for a cross. Sharp does indeed deliver the ball into the mix but Rory McArdle is in the right position to head away.
49min: Gary Liddle's ball forward is headed down by Hanson into the path of Kyel Reid and the winger fires narrowly wide of Long's far post with a right-footed drive from just outside the box.
48min: City force two early corners but United eventually clear their lines.
46min: United restart the match. The Bantams will now attack towards the end housing their large away following.
HT: Sheffield United 1 Bradford City 0
45+3min: A big let-off for City at the end of first half injury time when Sammon guides a header wide of the far post from barely yards out after Sharp had drove past Leigh and crossed dangerously into the six yard box.
45min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
43min: Evans' superb free-kick from outside the area is pushed around the post via a full length save from Long. A decent scoring chance for the Bantams there!
40min: City see another penalty appeal turned down after Edgar's arm appears to knock the ball away from Hanson as the striker looks to head the ball down into mix deep inside the box.
34min: Greg Leigh's teasing cross into the middle is nervously put behind by Neill Collins for a City corner. Tony McMahon fires the resulting set-piece low towards the near post but United clear their lines.
29min: Billy Clarke passes the ball from wide back towards Evans just outside the box, and the Welsh midfielder sees his goal-bound drive blocked inside the area by the foot of Martyn Woolford.
26min: SUB - United bring on Conor Sammon for fellow forward Matt Done, who appears to have picked up an injury.
21min: Billy Clarke stands the ball up across the six yard box but the cross is just too high for the lurking James Hanson. Any connection there from the big striker would have seen him getting a header in on goal from only yards out. Clarke had earlier made an appeal for a spot-kick after the ball appeared to flick David Edgar's hand as the Irish striker brought down Lee Evans' long pass into the box. Nothing is given, however, as Clarke crosses into the middle.
20min: YELLOW CARD - Jay McEveley is booked for catching Tony McMahon late in the air as the pair challenge for an aerial ball inside City's half of the pitch.
16min: Billy Clarke plays the ball back to Lee Evans following a Kyel Reid throw-in but the Welshman's rising effort on the half volley from outside the box sails over George Long's bar.
11min: GOAL - Sheffield United 1 Bradford City 0 - United take the lead with the first real chance of the match. Billy Sharp is allowed time to turn and shoot from around 20 yards out and his low drive whistles past Ben Williams' out-stretched arm and into the far bottom corner.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match.
SHEFFIELD UNITED LINE UP:
Long, Brayford, Edgar, Collins, McEveley, Coutts, Basham, Hammond, Woolford, Done, Sharp
Subs: Howard, Flynn, Baxter, Sammon, Campbell-Ryce, Reed, Wallace
Sheffield United substitutions:
Sammon for Done (26), Flynn for Woolford (89), Campbell-Ryce for Sharp (90+2)
Sheffield United cautions:
McEveley (20), Basham (81), Long (90+3)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Leigh, McMahon, Liddle, Evans, Reid, B Clarke, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell, Meredith, N Clarke, Marshall, Knott, Bowery, Cole
Bradford City substitutions:
Meredith for Leigh (69), Knott for Evans (69), Cole for B Clarke (76)
Referee: M Haywood
Assistant Referee: G Hart
Assistant Referee: P Gooch
Fourth Official: M Duncan