Sheffield United 2 Wolves 0: Blades flying high after Clarke’s Bramall Lane double

Leon Clarke scores Sheffield United's first goal against Wolves. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Leon Clarke scores Sheffield United's first goal against Wolves. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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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 found themselves a man down after just a quarter of an hour when Conor Coady was ordered off. Ruben Neves also missed a penalty for the visitors early in the second half.

Sheffield United's players applaud the fans at Bramall Lane after beating Wolves 2-0. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United's players applaud the fans at Bramall Lane after beating Wolves 2-0. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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.

From the resulting free-kick, John Fleck’s effort was well saved by Ruddy.

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-tart 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.

Sheffield United: Blackman, Carter-Vickers, Wright (Duffy 56), O’Connell, Baldock, Basham, Coutts, Fleck, Stevens (Lafferty 46), Brooks, Clarke (Evans 79). Subs Not Used: Moore, Lundstram, Sharp, Carruthers.

Wolves: Ruddy, Batth, Coady, Roderick Miranda, Doherty, N’Diaye, Neves (Ivan Cavaleiro 64), Douglas, Helder Costa (Saiss 20), Leo Bonatini (Enobakhare 46), Jota. Subs Not Used: Marshall, Price, Ruben Vinagre, Norris.

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside).