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Sheffield United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Premier League.

Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United 0

    Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

    • R Jiménez (3rd minute)
    • R Saiss (6th minute)

    Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves: Two goals in first six minutes enough for Nuno Espirito Santo's side

    Two goals in opening six minutes enough for Wolves to secure opening day victory

    SHEFFIELD UNITED 0-2 WOLVES 2:53
    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves' win over Sheffield United in the Premier League.

    Wolves made a blistering start to their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

    Nuno Espirito Santo's side scored twice inside the first six minutes, man of the match Raul Jimenez (3) converting Daniel Podence's cross before Romain Saiss' header doubled the advantage.

    After the break, Sheffield United were a different side as John Fleck hit the post and George Baldock saw a shot cleared off the line by Conor Coady, but Wolves should have made the game safe when Saiss' effort was tipped onto the post by Aaron Ramsdale and Jimenez steered the rebound wide.

    The Blades continued to plug away right until the final whistle, but it was to no avail as Wolves held on for an opening weekend victory.

    How Wolves stunned the Blades

    Wolves burst out of the traps as a quick counter-attack saw Podence skipped away from John Lundstram wide on the left and his cross into the penalty area was brilliantly steered home by Jimenez from 12 yards out.

    Shortly afterwards, Jimenez saw another shot tipped over the crossbar by Ramsdale, but the goalkeeper could do nothing when Saiss headed home from the resultant outswinging corner.

    Jimenez sent another curled effort just over the crossbar as Wolves continued to dominate the first half, but they failed to make any addition to their early strikes.

    Also See:

    Sheffield United grew into the half and had their fair share of possession, but they struggled to get the better of Wolves' well-organised defence.

    Player ratings

    Sheffield United: Ramsdale (5), Baldock (6), Egan (5), Basham (6), O’Connell (6), Stevens (6), Fleck (6), Norwood (5), Lundstram (6), McBurnie (6), Sharp (6).

    Subs: McGoldrick (6), Berge (6).

    Wolves: Patricio (7), Boly (7), Coady (8), Saiss (8), Traore (7), Dendoncker (7), Moutinho (7), Marcal (7), Neto (7), Jimenez (9), Podence (8).

    Subs: Burr (6), Neves (6), Vitinha (n/a)

    Man of the match: Raul Jimenez

    It was not until the final 10 minutes of the first half that Rui Patricio was worked for the first time. A sliced cross by Chris Basham needed to be helped over the crossbar by the Portuguese goalkeeper before Oli McBurnie sent a header straight at him.

    Wilder's side improved in the second half and had two good chances. Enda Stevens got in behind Adama Traore but he was unable to keep his shot down from a tight angle.

    Shortly afterwards, Lundstram linked up with Fleck who saw his shot strike the foot of the far post, before Baldock's follow-uprebound was deflected wide by Coady

    Team news

    Aaron Ramsdale made his second debut for Sheffield United as the Blades began their campaign against Wolves. The goalkeeper, who came through the ranks at Bramall Lane and made two FA Cup appearances in 2016, rejoined the club in the summer when he was signed from Bournemouth following Dean Henderson's return to Manchester United after his successful loan spell.

    Ramsdale was the only new signing in the starting line-up although fellow summer recruits Oliver Burke, Wes Foderingham and Ethan Ampadu were named among the substitutes. Jack O'Connell started in defence despite missing all the pre-season friendlies, while David McGoldrick and Sander Berge were also fit enough to be included in the squad.

    Fernando Marcal made his debut for Wolves. The summer signing from Lyon lined up on the left as a wing-back, while Adama Traore was given that job on the right-hand side following the departure of Matt Doherty.

    Ruben Neves was only named on the bench as Nuno Espirito Santo opted for Leander Dendoncker in midfield alongside Joao Moutinho. Record signing Fabio Silva and Vitinha were also among the substitutes for the visitors.

    Wolves' attacks started to dry up, but they were still a threat on counter-attack. Saiss should have put the game to bed midway through the second half but Ramsdale made an excellent stop to tip the ball on to a post, with Jimenez striking the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy.

    Traore put an effort wide and saw another shot blocked before Jimenez struck the outside of a post with a glancing header as they looked to make the game safe.

    The Blades continued to try to put their opponents under pressure right up until the final whistle. John Egan, the injury-time match-winner in this fixture last season in July, was unable to repeat those heroics as he headed wide from a corner, before McBurnie saw his header cleared off the line by Saiss in added time.

    Wolves
    Image: Nuno Espirito Santo celebrated his new three-year deal at Wolves with victory

    'Impressive start from Wolves'

    Romain Saiss is mobbed after doubling Wolves' lead
    Image: Romain Saiss is mobbed after doubling Wolves' lead

    Sky Sports' Gary Neville:

    "It was really impressive from Wolves. A really good start to the season.

    "We asked the question before the game, which of these two teams could exceed last season's performance. We both said Wolves.

    "There's no Europa League, they re-signed the manager and kept the players that they needed to keep. Conor Coady is now a full England international and he's brimming with confidence.

    "They've always been difficult to play against. They are organised and efficient. That's a really good start for them."

    'Wolves can push the top four'

    Romain Saiss celebrates scoring Wolves' second goal
    Image: Romain Saiss celebrates scoring Wolves' second goal

    Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:

    "I think Wolves are a real worry for some of the teams, even in the top four. We keep talking about Arsenal and Tottenham trying to really push the top four this season, but I think Wolves are right there."

    What the managers said

    Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder: "We needed a bit of a break. Chances are at a premium in the Premier League. To recover from as poor a start as I can remember here against Wolves it was always going to be a tough ask.

    "I know what I have got in my training room, they don't go under and they didn't. They made a game of it. We knew Wolves would be a danger on the counter and we had to take risks. We gave it a right go, we got into the right positions and when you do you have to find that little bit, but I felt we just didn't find that.

    "For 85 minutes it is nip and tuck, but it isn't an 85-minute game is it? We must move on. It hurts, of course it does, we didn't want to get off to this start but the thing we have learned in the Premier League is that you must get over disappointment quickly. They know they have had a go, I know they have had a go and that is good enough for me."

    3:55
    Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says that his side's start was one of the worst he's seen as a manager but was proud of how his side tried to recover in the second half of their 2-0 home defeat to Wolves in the Premier League.

    Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: "This is the first official match we've had, and everybody was waiting to see the response of the players and that is what pleases me more.

    "Here is always very hard, Sheffield is a fantastic team and they create a lot of problems, but we stayed in the game so (I'm) very happy.

    "We knew, it is clear that Sheffield will start fast, and the message was 'let's start faster'. You saw the energy we had and we were effective the first two times we arrived in the box."

    preview image 2:59
    Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo praised his side's start to the game after two goals in the first six minutes was enough to beat Sheffield United in the Premier League.

    Man of the Match - Raul Jimenez

    Raul Jimenez wheels away in celebration after giving Wolves the lead
    Image: Raul Jimenez wheels away in celebration after giving Wolves the lead

    Sky Sports' Andy Hinchcliffe:

    "It's been an outstanding team performance from Wolves, but Raul Jimenez has been the best individual in their team.

    Jimenez's form continues

    Jimenez has netted 28 goals in all competitions since the start of last season - among Premier League players in this period, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling have scored more (both 31).

    "Everything about his game, on and off the ball, has been superb. His finishing, his work rate and his link play. There's a creative edge to him as well and I just think it was the complete striker's performance from him."

    Opta stats - Four successive defeats for the Blades

    Blades
    Image: It's four defeats in a row in all competitions for Sheffield United
    • Sheffield United have lost each of their last four games across all competitions; their longest losing streak under current manager Chris Wilder.
    • Wolves scored twice in the opening six minutes of a Premier League game for the first time, while it was also the quickest a team have netted two goals in their opening game of a Premier League season.
    • This was just the seventh time that Wolves have won a Premier League away game by more than one goal - five of those seven victories have come during Nuno Espírito Santo's time in charge.

    What's next?

    Live Premier League

    Sheffield United now go to Burnley on Thursday in the Carabao Cup second round at 5.30pm, before a trip to Aston Villa in the Premier League at 6pm on Monday, live on Sky Sports.

    Live MNF

    Wolves host Stoke City in the Carabao Cup second round, also on Thursday evening, and then host Manchester City at 8.15pm on Monday in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports.

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