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Match Reports

Blades 2-0 Wolves - report

27 September 2017

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Two goals from Leon Clarke saw United impressively beat Wolves and move up to second place in the Sky Bet Championship.

On a wet Bramall Lane evening, the two-goal hero from Sunday notched another brace, with a goal in each half, as the Blades overcame ten-man Wolves, who had former Blades loanee Conor Coady dismissed in the first-half. The visitors also missed a second-half penalty.

Boss Wilder named an unchanged 18 for the encounter against Wolves, following Sunday's Steel City derby victory. That meant Duffy had to be content with a place on the bench, alongside skipper Sharp.

There was a cracking atmosphere inside the Lane, as the referee blew the night's first whistle. Inside the opening first five minutes, there was a coming together between O'Connell and Costa, with the Wolves man appearing to lash out, but referee Bankes and his assistant turned a blind eye. And it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal, but Bonatini was unable to capitalise on a slip by Carter-Vickers.

United's first attempt came from a Fleck corner following a positive run by Brooks and Ruddy had to be alert at the back post to save from O'Connell's header. And moments later, Bramall Lane erupted as Coady saw a straight red for pulling down Clarke who was in on goal. From the resulting free-kick, Ruddy could only palm Fleck's drive, but Coutts failed to divert the rebound on target.

The noise inside the Lane was deafening and after Brooks had got in behind Batth, only a last-ditch block by Miranda stopped Fleck's shot from testing Ruddy. Following the dismissal of Coady, the Blades were enjoying plenty of the ball and visitors made a defensive change, that saw Costa withdrawn.

In the 37th minute, the Blades almost went ahead in bizzare style, Fleck whipped in a ball from the left and a attempted clearance from Douglas hit Basham at the back post and trickled wide. Two minutes later though, the ball was in the back of Ruddy's net, Fleck played the ball out to Stevens and his pinpoint driven cross was converted at the back post by a sliding CLARKE, which was the last action of note of the first period.

At the break, Lafferty replaced goal provider Stevens. In the 51st minute, the home faithful erupted even louder than before as Neves hit the post from the penalty spot, after Carter-Vickers had harshly been adjudged to have fouled Jota. Coutts was then booked for a tackle on Neves. Hillsborough scorer Duffy received a hero's reception as he replaced Wright.

The change had an immediate effect, as in the 58th minute after Douglas had fouled Baldock, from Duffy's free-kick it was that man again CLARKE who got the better of his marker to head home. With the clocking beginning to ticking down, Duffy almost added a third, but he poked wide at the near post from Baldock's cross, having started the move himself.

With 11 minutes remaining Clarke received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Evans. The Blades looked comfortable following the second goal and retained possession to gradually see the game out.

As four minutes of injury time were signalled, Jota forced Blackman into a save, his only action of note, on a night that saw United leapfrog their opponents.

Blades: Blackman, Baldock, Stevens (Lafferty 45), Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Clarke (Evans 79), Wright (Duffy 56), Coutts, Carter-Vickers, Brooks.
Unused: Moore, Lundstram, Sharp, Carruthers.

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas, N'Diaye,
Batth, Neves (Cavaleiro 64), Coady, Costa (Saiss 19), Jota, Miranda, Bonatini (Enobakhare 45).
Unused: Marshall, Price, Vinagre, Norris.


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