Chris Wilder ‘s biggest headache at the moment appears to be after matches in the morning. He celebrated his home victory over Spurs last week by drinking red wine until half-past four in the morning. And so it was that a late winner put him in the mood for another late night here.
There were just 23 seconds left in a fairly damp and drab affair when John Egan rose from a corner to head in, sending the Blades to within a Wolves point and just four off a Champions League berth.
Around midnight you thought Wilder would be going to bed with a cup of tea before Egan ‘s injury-time intervention. Yet Wilder by name and even wilder by practice, there’s so much to like about the boss of the Blades, and if it weren’t for Jurgen Klopp, he ‘d certainly be a contender for the year ‘s manager.
‘I enjoyed that like a fan and manager,’ he said after he filled an empty Bramall Lane with his 93rd-minute roar.
Wilder was right, at least in terms of the spirit of his side, but they enjoyed much better quality displays and that was true of both teams. But in four days following his point-saving strike at Burnley, Egan rendered what had gone before academic as he towered highest to connect with Ollie Norwood ‘s delivery and score for the second time.
To Wolves the loss isn’t a final, far from it. But its momentum has been halted by two losses on the spin.
Nonetheless, both teams remain in the search for continental football next season and, considering that they last played here in the Championship just three years ago, that is to Wilder and Nuno ‘s considerable credit.
And if they ever wanted more opportunities to attain European certification then this wretched environment is to avoid. It was here so drizzly and cold that your face mask doubled like a snood.
On the pitch, football has done nothing to warm the body or spirit. Wolves had been true to their strategy to make the first half of matches forgettable.
This was the 29th time Nuno ‘s side has struggled to score before the interval from 34 outings. They are said to be selling half-season tickets to see Wanderers. You ‘re wondering if there’s a kit that helps you to hit half-time, despite the rock bottom of a league table from the first 45 minutes alone.
For fairness, when Ruben Neves clipped the crossbar from a 25-yard free-kick, they came closest to scoring before the break but they were not championing league contenders.
The hosts were not too flashy either and their best chance was to see Oli McBurnie turn a header into Rui Patricio’s grateful hands, who barely had to step. For most of the second half, he remained unmoved until Ben Osborn’s deflected volley shaved the post ‘s base in stoppage-time. That led to the corner from which Egan headed the winner and it said a lot that the effort was the second half’s first on goal.