Sheffield United – Wolves was a tight, tense clash at Bramall Lane but John Egan scored a stoppage time winner as the Blades won 1-0 to boost their European hopes.
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Both teams canceled one another out but Egan nodded home in the 93rd minute to send the home players and staff wild in the rain in the Steel City.
With the win Sheffield United rise to seventh on 51 points, just one point and one place behind Wolves who have suffered two-straight defeats.
Three things we learned
1. Solid Sheffield United: This was more like the Blades we’ve come to know and love. Wilder’s side were resilient defensively, dangerous from wide areas and kept their positions well. They withstood plenty of Wolves pressure and scored a later winner from a set piece to seal yet another tight win. This is why they are in seventh place in the Premier League.
2. Traore fails to fire: He took a knock to his troublesome shoulder early on and they set the tone for a disjointed display. On the few occasions he did have a run at the Blades defense he caused problems, but it wasn’t enough. Traore has had his minutes managed since the restart and you can understand why. He and Wolves were missing their spark.
3. Fine seasons for both: Both teams had Champions League dreams for the majority of the season and they are still in the hunt. Wolves could easily finish sixth and Sheffield United seventh and they’d both be in the Europa League next season. That would be a great achievement even if they just come up short of qualifying for the Champions League.
Man of the Match
John Egan – Great defensive display to keep Raul Jimenez quiet and a threat when he strode forward as he scored the winner in stoppage time with a fine header. Sheffield United’s overlapping center backs are a joy to watch.
Sheffield United looked dangerous from a few set pieces early on but Wolves started to grow into the game as their wide players were a growing force.
Both Adama Traore and Diogo Jota raced clear on their respective wings and tried to find Raul Jimenez but the Mexican striker was crowded out by Sheffield United’s defense.
After a lovely cross from Jack O’Connell, Ollie McBurnie had a header on target but Rui Patricio saved easily. Jota had a header on goal at the other end and then won a free kick in a dangerous area which led to Ruben Neves hitting the crossbar.
Aside from that effort, both teams somewhat canceled one another out in the first half.
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In the second half Wolves pushed harder for an opener but Sheffield United dealt comfortably with plenty of balls into the box.
Billy Sharp then had a goal ruled out for offside and the Blades wanted a penalty soon after as the game opened up. Enda Stevens then whipped in a cross which Sharp almost got on the end of as the hosts looked more likely to nick a win late on.
Wolves were dangerous on the counter with Traore and Jimenez linking up but Jota couldn’t get a header on target. At the other end substitute Richairo Zivkovic clipped in a great ball to the back post which George Baldock nodded wide under pressure.
Deep in stoppage time Ben Osborn flicked the ball goalwards after a scramble and Patricio saved well and from the resulting corner Sheffield United won it.
Egan rose about the entire Wolves defense to power home and grab a massive three points for the Blades.