Sheffield United 2-0 Wolves: Leon Clarke scores twice as Blades march on
Last Updated: 28/09/17 10:33am
Leon Clarke scored both goals as Sheffield United continued their fine recent run with a 2-0 win at home to Wolves to make it five wins out of six.
Fresh from their 4-2 victory over arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, United's cause was helped when Wolves had Conor Coady sent off after a quarter of an hour.
Ruben Neves also missed a penalty for the visitors early in the second half. But it was a deserved win for the Blades, who are now up to second in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Wolves were actually the first to threaten with Leo Bonatini finding a way through the centre, but the Brazilian forward shot straight at goalkeeper Jamal Blackman. The visitors were then forced to withstand a period of pressure, starting with a Jack O'Connell header which was turned wide by keeper John Ruddy.
Wolves were reduced to 10 men in the 15th minute when Coady received a red card after pulling back Clarke on the edge of the area. Fleck also had a shot blocked inside the area as the hosts looked to make their numerical advantage count.
There was a moment of respite for Wolves when they attacked and Diogo Jota put a 25-yard effort wide. But it was United who continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession and look the more likely scorers. Chris Basham headed wide from an Enda Stevens cross before Chris Wilder's men opened the scoring. The goal came in the 39th minute when Clarke slid in at the far post to meet a low cross from Stevens.
Wolves had a great chance to level six minutes after the re-start when they were awarded a penalty after referee Billy Smallwood ruled that Cameron Carter-Vickers had fouled Jota. Neves stepped up to take the spot-kick and saw his effort thump against Blackman's left-hand post.
Clarke scored his and United's second goal of the night just before the hour, rising to meet a Mark Duffy free-kick and heading beyond Ruddy.
Clarke, who also scored twice in last Sunday's victory at Sheffield Wednesday, then had a shot deflected off-target. Wolves never threatened to mount a comeback and were largely restricted to hopeful, long-range efforts. Jota had a chance in stoppage time when his powerful shot was turned over by Blackman.
Chris Wilder: "This is a great result for us on the back of what happened on Sunday and I'm delighted for everybody. It was a big night for the players because I would imagine that the talk from everybody was about what the reaction would be after the euphoria of winning a local derby.
"I thought that yet again they got themselves up for it. We didn't look a tired team. We looked a compact, strong and organised team and I always thought we were a threat in terms of scoring. We knew that they would stay in the game and drop in so we had to be disciplined and not give away daft free-kicks. We're not looking at league tables but we'd rather be there than in another position."
Nuno Espirito Santo: "I'm disappointed as it's a bad result. I thought we started well up until the moment of the red card. It was a tough game. We knew that we were going to come here and find a tough team. Everything changes and 75 minutes is a long, long time to play with 10 men. I have to ask if it's a clear red card or not. It was the last man and he was holding so it's a red card.
"The message is clear. Don't waste too much time saying sorry and asking if and what could happen. Just react in the next game."