Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United: Sarabia’s header sees off resilient Blades in scrappy victory

It was a clash of two teams languishing in the Premier League table’s bottom half on Sunday afternoon, as Wolves took on basement side Sheffield United. Gary O’Neil’s men got the better of Tottenham Hotspur on the road last time out, while Chris Wilder’s strugglers were given a footballing lesson by Brighton in their own backyard

WOL: Sa; Kilman, Dawson, Toti; Ait-Nouri, Gomes, Lemina, Semedo; Neto, Sarabia; Hwang

SHU: Grbic; Ahmedhodzic, Robinson, Trusty; Bogle, Hamer, Souza, Norwood, Larouci; McAtee; Brewster

A chilly Sunday afternoon at Molineux saw the home side start well on the front foot, with Pedro Neto causing all sorts of problems for the Sheffield United backline, including a tame shot that drifted just wide at the near post. Mario Lemina was also unlucky to see an effort of his own blocked early on.

Up the other end, Rhian Brewster was denied twice in quick succession by Jose Sa, who made two saves equal to the former Liverpool man’s excellent efforts. The Blades striker was also released through on goal with James McAtee, but Brewster opted to shoot himself rather than cut the ball back towards the Manchester City loanee.

McAtee then had a chance of his own to put the Blades into the lead, but his low strike was cut out by Jose Sa who made another comfortable save.

While Sheffield United had grown into the game and had looked the better side for that spell, they were left to rue missed opportunities as Wolves took the lead. Rayan Ait-Nouri got forward down the right hand side and curled the ball in towards Pablo Sarabia, whose header found the far corner from just a few yards out.

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Pedro Neto, who had been everywhere for the home side in the first half, almost doubled Wolves’ advantage a few minutes later, but the Portuguese’s long-range strike soared just over the bar.

James McAtee could have pulled Sheffield United level at the start of the second half, but the Manchester City loanee’s low drive travelled wide of the far post. A well-worked team move also saw Rhian Brewster almost apply the finishing touch, only for Jose Sa to claim the ball at the second time of asking.

Pablo Sarabia almost made the Blades’ rampant start to the second half a distant memory up the other end, but his stunning strike from just outside the box whiskered just past the top corner.

Unfortunately for the Blades, they would remain bottom after their heroic efforts at Molineux, but performances reminiscent to those of that in this may just kick start their survival bid.

Both sides return to Premier League action next weekend, as Wolves head up north to take on Newcastle on Saturday at 3pm, while Sheffield United welcome title-chasing Arsenal at 8pm next Monday.