Wolves’ early goals deliver win at Sheffield United
Sheffield United - Wolves: Two lightning-quick goals got Wolves’ season off to a fast start in a 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Monday.
Raul Jimenez scored in his 100th Wolves appearance and Romain Saiss scored within minutes as Wolves built a two-goal lead within six minutes.
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Wolves produced the game’s best chances and were responsible for four of the match’s six shots on target.
Wolves next host Man City while Blades are off to Aston Villa.
Three things we learned from Sheffield United - Wolves
1. It’s one game against a good defense but... it’s okay to wonder if Blades have the strike corps to deliver anywhere near the top half finish they produced in 2019-20. Blades’ 39 goals conceded last season was the fourth-fewest in the PL and masked over the fact that their finishing was bottom-third (tied with Brighton at 39).
Seventeen of those goals came from forwards: Oli McBurnie (6), Lys Mousset (6), Billy Sharp (3), and David McGoldrick (2). All are back but there’s a reason the Blades are sniffing around Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster. McBurnie was quite good, to be fair, getting involved in all sorts of mayhem and challenging every ball he could reach within reason. But it may be asking a lot for him to shoulder the burden of double-digit goals on this team.
2. Jimenez picks up where he left off: The Mexican star has been linked with many clubs all over Europe since exploding with Wolves, where he supplied 44 goals and 18 assists in his first 99 appearances for the club. No. 100 saw yet another goal thanks to some atypical backtracking from the Blades’ Enda Stevens, begging the question how any side loses sight of the El Tri hero.
3. Deeper Adama: Wolves’ Spanish menace Adama Traore was still electric, completing six of nine dribble attempts, but the forward-thinking man was decidedly a bit further back. Stationed behind Pedro Neto on the right, part of his positioning may have to do with Wolves going ahead 2-0 so early but keep an eye on him should he remain at the Molineux.
Man of the Match
It’s between the goal scorers as is often the case. Saiss gets the nod for being impactful in his own end, as defenders are wont to do in soccer matches. Six clearances, two blocked shots, and an interception to go with 87 percent passing a goal and a struck post.
Sheffield United - Wolves recap
Wolves struck twice in the first six minutes, both goals coming from the heart of the box.
Raul Jimenez opened the scoring when he chopped a terrific Daniel Podence cross past Aaron Ramsdale.
Then the sixth minute saw Saiss rise above a sea of Blades and Wolves to plant a Pedro Neto corner kick beyond the reach of Ramsdale.
Jimenez curled a 20-yard shot wide of the goal after 20 minutes.
Blades then began to find some footing in the match, and brought some more fire out of the halftime locker room as Enda Stevens popped a left-footed shot over the bar from in-tight.
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John Fleck smashed the far post in the 51st minute on a set-up from John Lundstram and George Baldock couldn’t put the rebound on frame through a sea of players.
A corner at the other end nearly gave Wolves their third but Saiss’ powerful header bounded wide of the far post.
Saiss’ solid day almost ended with an ugly injury when John Egan trod on the back of his foot in the box, but he was able to continue and saw Ramsdale push his shot off the bar before Jimenez slapped the rebound wide.
Saiss then cleared a McBurnie header off the line in the second minute of stoppage to prevent a nervy ending.