Sheff Utd 1-0 Wolves
A John Egan goal three minutes into injury time gave Sheffield United a hard-earned victory and closed the gap on Wolves in the race for a place in Europe next season.
Chris Wilder drank until 4.30am after last week’s win over Tottenham and can now toast beating another Champions League-chasing rival. His team are still in the running to drink at Europe’s top table.
John Egan’s header with seconds remaining settled matters, while Wolves have endured a week to forget with two defeats after starting Project Restart looking as if they would gatecrash the top four.
“We shouldn’t be anywhere near the position we are in,” Wilder said. “People should be focused on us not being in the bottom three.”
Wilder’s team looked like heading into mid-table a week ago, but appear revived after the Spurs win and their victory here was built on Egan’s match-winning display and the return of Jack O’Connell for his first start after a knee injury.
“I was delighted in everything the players did,” Wilder said. “We wrapped up some really good players at the top of the pitch. We didn’t want to be a team who sat in and waited to be defeated.”
The closest Nuno Espirito Santo’s side came was a long-range freekick from Ruben Neves that hit the crossbar.
Adama Traore dislocated his shoulder in the first 90 seconds and was blunted after he had it popped back in. Raul Jimenez failed to get a shot away as they came up against the team with the best defensive record outside the top two.
“It’s the same issue Adama had before,” said Nuno. “Let’s see how he can overcome it. He’s in pain now but he’s a strong boy.”
The winner came from a corner after Ben Osborn had a volley turned around the post by Rui Patricio. Oliver Norwood swung over the set-piece, with Egan losing his marker Jonny before climbing above Willy Boly to head home.
“It’s tough, it has been a tough period, but we know we play Everton on Sunday and must raise our standards,” said Nuno. “We cannot be judged only by this last moment.”