fbpx

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Sheffield United: Matt Doherty header denies Blades

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/11892/production/_109962817_tv058352103.jpg

Matt Doherty scored from Raul Jimenez’s cross after Sheffield United had missed several chances

Wolves remain sixth in the Premier League after Matt Doherty’s equaliser against Sheffield United extended their unbeaten run to nine games.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were second best until Doherty headed in Raul Jimenez’s cross after 64 minutes.

But they finished the game stronger as the Blades, who were fortunate not to have George Baldock sent off, hung on to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

It was a sharp contrast from earlier in the match as the visitors took the lead after 63 seconds.

Lys Mousset took a touch from Baldock’s right-wing cross before firing in his fifth goal of the season.

But Chris Wilder’s team paid for costly misses by David McGoldrick early in the second half when they were in the ascendancy.

Sheffield United, who have not lost away in the league since January, remain a place below Wolves in seventh.

Lys Mousset has been directly involved in eight of Sheffield United’s last 11 Premier League goals (five goals, three assists).

Mousset underlines value to Blades

Wilder would have been pleased his side continued their impressive start to the season, especially as Baldock rode his luck by avoiding a second yellow when he fouled Diogo Jota.

But it was a game where Mousset’s value was underlined once again, especially as McGoldrick showed again why he has not scored this season.

Mousset did not have much Premier League pedigree when he was at Bournemouth, scoring only five goals during three seasons after signing from French side Le Havre in 2015 for about £5m.

But the 23-year-old, who was captured by the Blades for a then-club record £10m in July, has proven a key player for Wilder’s side by adding crucial goals to the team’s defensive solidity.

Given he has scored five goals and has three assists, while his fellow strikers have struggled, the Blades’ lofty league position would be far inferior without him.

He wasted little time in scoring at Molineux and set up John Fleck for what should have been a second after 38 minutes when he nutmegged Leander Dendoncker, but the Blades midfielder’s low shot was saved by Rui Patricio.

Although McGoldrick was full of endeavour, he toiled in front of goal. The Republic of Ireland international had two chances to double the lead when the Blades were well on top after the break. Both times he could not beat Wolves keeper Patricio.

It proved costly when Doherty headed in at the back post minutes later, with McGoldrick failing to track his runner.

He was eventually substituted to be replaced by Oli McBurnie, who had a late chance to win it when he headed over, but Wilder will not mind too much about McGoldrick’s form while his team are still picking up points.

Adama Traore was a threat down Wolves’ right side, but could not set up a goal

Wolves resilience impresses again

The draw meant that Wolves matched a top-flight unbeaten run last set by the club in 1973.

More pleasing for Nuno will be the way his side reacted to going behind, especially as they played against Braga in Portugal in the Europa League on Thursday.

This was their 27th game of the season and their resilience in combining both domestic and European form after a stuttering start to the campaign has been impressive.

They looked rusty as the visitors took the lead early on but once Jimenez tested Dean Henderson with a header after 18 minutes, they found their feet, and Adama Traore was a dangerous outlet down the right as he outmuscled Enda Stevens on several occasions.

Had there been better composure from Sheffield United’s forwards, the hosts may not have been able to respond, yet Doherty’s goal seemed to provide a catalyst.

It was an emotional goal as he kissed his black armband in tribute to former Wolves team-mate Benik Afobe, who has lost his two-year-old daughter.

Wolves, who handed a first Premier League start to defender Max Kilman, making him the first former England futsal player to play a full game in the top flight, pressed for a winner.

However, Sheffield United’s desperate defending kept clear-cut chances at a premium as the scores remained level.

Man of the match – Lys Mousset

Lys Mousset scored a fifth of the season and set up several chances for team-mates, who should have scored

‘It meant a lot for Doherty to score’ – manager reaction

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: “It’s very demanding on the players but it is a good challenge. We must use it to grow and improve as a team. We don’t have time to practice, we rest and we repeat. I’m very proud. The draw was well deserved.

“It means a lot for [Matt] Doherty to score today – he had some bad news about a dear friend of his. It was a bad moment in his life so I wish him well. It meant a lot for him and it meant a lot for us as a team.”

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: “We started both halves terrifically. We had plenty of chances and we should have scored more than one.

“We knew they’d fight back after we went ahead because of the fight they have as a team. This is always a tough place to come so I’m delighted we’ve kept our away record going.

“Lys Mousset showed he can finish against Man Utd and he showed it again today. His partnership with David McGoldrick is going brilliant, too. We’re doing a lot of things right at the moment – both with and without the ball.

“We were disappointed with their goal but I’m delighted with how we adapted our game plan.”

Blades continue fine away form – the best stats

  • Sheffield United are the first newly promoted side to remain unbeaten in their first seven top-flight away games since Blackburn in 1992-93 (W1 D6).
  • Lys Mousset’s goal in the second minute is Sheffield United’s second earliest goal scored in a Premier League match, behind only Dane Whitehouse’s first-minute opener against Everton in August 1993.
  • Matt Doherty scored in back-to-back games in all competitions for Wolves for the first time since December 2016.
  • Raul Jimenez has been directly involved in 21 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions this season (15 goals, 6 assists) – the most of any Premier League player.

What’s next?

Wolves host West Ham on Wednesday (kick-off 19:30 GMT) while Sheffield United entertain Newcastle United on Thursday (19:30).

More to follow.

Source link

Leave a Reply