Sheffield United has been relegated to the Football League Championship, the first Premier League side to seal its fate in the bottom three following a 1-0 loss to Wolves at the Molineux Stadium on Saturday.
Willian Jose’s second-half goal, his first in the Premier League, came from an Adama Traore feed and moments after the Blades missed a glorious chance to go in front of the hosts.
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Blades remain on 14 points with six matches to play, 19 back of 17th-place Brighton and 16th-place Burnley.
Wolves move onto 41 points with six matches to play, 15 points ahead of the bottom three and four back of the top half.
Three things we learned from Wolves – Sheffield United
1. And so it goes for Sheffield United: The goal that officially doomed the Blades to the bottom three was sadly the perfect one, as Sheffield United went from would-be scorers to sad conceders within 30 seconds (or less) of the opening goal. Rhian Brewster played a perfect would-be first PL assist to the top of the box for Enda Stevens but the back saw his shot blocked by Wolves. The hosts raced the other way, Nelson Semedo playing a nice outlet pass and Adama Traore putting himself in the best position to receive a pass and tear down the right side past Kean Bryan to feed Jose. It just hasn’t come off for the Blades, and Stevens would have a 70th-minute bid to tie the game saved by Rui Patricio, who remains an underappreciated goalkeeper both here and in national team circles.
2. Willian Jose gets rewarded: The man who scored 12, 15, 11, and 11 goals in four La Liga campaigns with Real Sociedad, earning whispers of a Barcelona transfer, had scored just three this year before his loan to the Molineux. He finally got his first Premier League goal on Saturday despite many chances and good industry for Nuno Espirito Santo. At 29, he may not get another PL season even with a hot finish but he looks more and more comfortable each game as Wolves wait for Raul Jimenez’s return.
3. From upstairs to up to no good: Sheffield United and Wolves met for their second match of last season on July 8 with five matchweeks left in Project Restart and — wow — what a difference a year makes. John Egan’s stoppage-time winner moved Chris Wilder’s seventh-place Blades one point back of Wolves. Saturday’s Wolves win just takes it out of a tie for 13th place with Crystal Palace, while Blades are doomed to the Championship. The fortunes of Premier League clubs are fickle indeed.
Man of the Match: Rui Patricio
It could’ve been nearly any of the Wolves, while Sheffield United’s Enda Stevens and Oliver Norwood were decent, but Patricio kept the advantage in order with a late save and deserves more credit for his consistent performances between the sticks.