Sheffield United 1-0 Wolves: John Egan scores injury-time winner

John Egan also scored in Sheffield United’s 1-1 draw against Burnley on Sunday

John Egan scored with a dramatic 93rd-minute header to give Europe-chasing Sheffield United victory over Wolves at Bramall Lane.

The away side had earlier hit the woodwork when Ruben Neves’ free-kick from just outside the penalty area bounced off the top of the crossbar.

Sheffield United thought they had taken the lead as Billy Sharp spun and fired the ball past Rui Patricio but the Blades captain was offside when he collected the pass.

But the Blades won it in injury time as Oliver Norwood’s corner from the right wing was met by Egan’s powerful header.

Sheffield United, who have never qualified for a major European competition, move up from ninth to seventh and are now one point and one place behind Wolves, who lost for the second time in five days.

When the Blades began this season – their first in the top flight since 2007 – they were joint-favourites to be relegated.

However, Chris Wilder’s side continue to prove the doubters wrong and picked up their 13th league win of the campaign.

They looked to be fading as they picked up only one point from three games when the Premier League resumed in June after three months on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Blades have since beaten Tottenham and Wolves and drawn at Burnley and, with four games of the season left, European competition remains very much a possibility.

A setback for Wolves’ Champions League hopes

The loss was harsh on Wolves, but is another setback for their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Manchester City are currently second, but if they are unsuccessful with an appeal, they will be banned from European competition next season, meaning fifth place would be good enough for a Champions League spot.

Wolves are three points behind fifth-placed Manchester United, although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side also now have a game in hand.

A game between two of the top 10 promised a lot, but, played in miserable wet weather, both sides struggled to create chances before Egan’s late goal.

The hosts had the first opportunity, but Oli McBurnie, who later limped off injured, could only glance a header straight at the Wolves goalkeeper.

Wolves’ best spell came midway through the first half when Adama Traore got to the byeline, with Diogo Jota getting on the end of his cross but goalkeeper Dean Henderson did well to catch the ball above his head.

Jota then had the pace and skill to run at the home defence from inside his own half, before being crudely stopped by Jack O’Connell just outside the penalty area.

Neves took the resulting free-kick and curled it over the defensive wall, but could not get it down just in time, with the ball bouncing off the crossbar.

The Portuguese had another chance shortly after but shot over from 25 yards as defences then took control and those missed opportunities proved costly as Sheffield United scored with only their third effort on target.

In another blow for Wolves, boss Nuno Espirito Santo later confirmed that Traore, substituted with 11 minutes left, had suffered a dislocated shoulder.

Man of the match – John Egan (Sheffield United)

As well as scoring the winning goal, John Egan made two tackles, two clearances, two interceptions, won 70% of his duels and had a passing accuracy of 78%

Party like it’s 1993 – the stats

  • Sheffield United have won three consecutive home Premier League games for the first time since August 1993.
  • Wolves, who lost 2-0 at home against Arsenal on Saturday, have lost back-to-back Premier League games for only the third time this season, also doing so in September and January.
  • Sheffield United are unbeaten in five home Premier League matches (won four, drew one), their best home unbeaten run of the season.
  • Only Crystal Palace (10) have scored fewer first half Premier League goals this season than Wolves (12), who have failed to score in the first half of 15 of their past 18 Premier League matches.
  • Five of Sheffield United’s past 10 Premier League goals have been scored via corners, with each of their past two scored by John Egan (against Burnley and Wolves).

‘A proper Sheffield United performance’ – what they said

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder to BBC Sport: “I really enjoyed watching my team. Right the way through, it was a great effort.

“We were stretched in terms of numbers, but it was a committed performance and one that, ability wise, had the hallmarks of a proper Sheffield United display.

“It reward for a positive second-half performance. We’ve had to defend really well but we wanted to carry a threat going the other way and I think we did.”

On John Egan’s second goal in two games: “I’ve battered him for not scoring, but he has got two in two – the 10 goals he should be getting are a bit beyond him.

European aspirations? “Nobody has talked about anything other than putting a shift in and a performance in. We wanted to move our points total from 48 and we’ve moved it.”

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo to BBC Sport: “We have to stay focused in the last minute. We had good movement and good chances that we should be more clinical with.

“What is in our mind is the last moment of the game but we have to analyse the whole of the game. It’s tough but we have to bounce back.”

What’s next?

Sheffield United are next in action on Saturday when they entertain Chelsea (17:30 BST), before Wolves play at home against Everton the following day (12:00 BST)