Sheffield United 1 (Egan 90) Wolves 0
Wolves were hit with the cruellest of sucker punches at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United struck at the death to earn all three points through John Egan.
In a contest high in competitiveness and commitment, both sides found opportunities in the final third hard to come by, and a goalless draw appeared on the cards, but with seconds remaining Egan rose highest to head home and steal the points for the Blades.
Prior to the late, late show, Wolves had actually come the closest to taking the lead when Ruben Neves hit the woodwork with a free-kick, but the visitors failed to threaten the opposition goal again from that moment and were punished at the death when Egan struck.
Returning to a front three for the trip to South Yorkshire, Nuno’s side took 15 minutes to ease their way into the contest, and while their wide men began to ask questions of the Blades, Wolves remained grateful to Rui Patricio at the other end for his comfortable save from Oli McBurnie’s glancing header.
It was their width giving Wolves joy throughout the first period and Adama Traore and Diogo Jota combined on the half-hour mark, but while the Spaniard’s deep cross was headed on target by the Portuguese, Dean Henderson plucked out of the sky to save.
That opportunity spurred Wolves on for more. When Jota’s rapid counter attacking charge was halted cynically by Jack O’Connell, it presented Neves with the kind of free-kick he relishes. The midfielder placed his effort over the wall, but watched it bounce back off the top of the crossbar.
Known for the spectacular, Neves tried his luck again from distance soon after, but Henderson watched it sail over the bar. Nobody would go closer to the breakthrough than Neves before the break, as both sides went in goalless.
Half-time: Sheff Utd 0-0 Wolves
Regularly strong after the break, Wolves almost hit their hosts with the perfect counter attack on the hour-mark, with all three attackers involved. Traore, with his pace and power, carried the ball up field and fed Jimenez, despite Enda Stevens’ best efforts, but the Mexican’s cross wasn’t met with a clean Jota connection.
At the other end, the Blades enjoyed a fine chance to take the lead, but George Baldock passed up the opportunity. Richairo Zivkovic worked the opening down the left and crossed for the onrushing wing-back, who got in ahead of Jonny, but headed wide with the goal gaping.
Shortly after Nuno changed his hand with 12 minutes remaining. Leander Dendoncker took the place of Traore, meaning Jota and Jimenez formed a front two and the Belgian joined the midfield.
However, it was the Blades who came on strong in the closing stages and stole the points late in the day. After Ben Osborn’s effort was put behind the post for a corner, the Blades struck as Oliver Norwood’s corner was met with a thumping header by Egan, who earned his side the points in dramatic circumstances.
Full-time: Sheff Utd 1 Wolves 0
Sheff Utd: Henderson, Baldock, Basham, Egan, Egan, O’Connell, Stevens, Berge, Norwood, Osborn, McBurnie (Mousset 49), Sharp (Zivkovic 71).
Unused subs: Moore, Freeman, Robinson, Jagielka, Rodwell, Lundstram.
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Traore (Dendoncker 79), Jimenez, Jota.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Buur, Vinagre, Kilman, Jordao, Gibbs-White, Podence, Campana.