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Doc earns Wolves a point to blunt Blades on bitter-sweet day – report

Wolves 1 (Doherty 64) Sheffield United 1 (Mousset 2).

Wolves salvaged a point to draw with Sheffield United in the battle for sixth place on a bitter-sweet day for Matt Doherty.

The club’s longest-serving player equalised for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side then appeared to dedicate his 64th-minute goal to close friend and former team-mate Benik Afobe, whose daughter Amora tragically died at the age of two on Friday.

French striker Lys Mousset scored his fifth goal in as many starts for Sheffield United after just 63 seconds as the visitors gave Wolves a fright at the start of both halves.

But Wolves rallied to extend their unbeaten run to nine games in the Premier League, their longest such sequence in the top flight since they achieved the same feat in April 1973.

Yet Nuno Espirito Santo’s side could have easily lost the game after striker David McGoldrick missed three excellent chances in the second half, while Raul Jimenez saw a header clawed away by Dean Henderson in the closest other opening for Wolves.

Wolves made one change from the side that drew 3-3 away to Braga in the Europa League on Thursday.

Max Kilman, 22, made his first Premier League start, replacing Romain Saiss, who was serving a one-match ban for accumulating five bookings.

There were two changes for the visitors. On-loan Manchester United ‘keeper Henderson returned after being ineligible to face parent club last Sunday for Simon Moore, while John Egan replaced Phil Jagielka.

All Wolves players wore black armbands in tribute to Afobe’s daughter.

Unusually, Wolves were forced to kick towards the South Bank in the first half instead of the second, and in another shock, the Blades took the lead with the first attack of the game.

Right wing back George Baldock whipped in a cross that was missed by Conor Coady and Kilman and United’s Enda Stevens, and Mousset controlled before drilling into the bottom corner from six yards.

Wolves gradually worked their way into the game and Henderson tipped away a powerful header from 15-goal top scorer after Doherty outfoxed Stevens to cross.

Leander Dendoncker had an effort blocked after United failed to clear a corner as Wolves sought an equaliser.

Then it was Diogo Jota’s turn after Adama Traore threaded him through the middle, but Henderson booted clear as he came out of his area.

Ruben Neves was next to try his luck but his effort flew wide from 25 yards.

United finally broke after some hefty defending but Stevens could only slice well off target after turning inside Traore on the edge of the box.

Wolves regrouped but Jota’s angled drive was diluted by a deflection off Baldock, allowing Henderson to gather easily.

United started the second half with real purpose and McGoldrick’s acute angled shot was blocked by goalkeeper Rui Patricio wth his legs after Mousset knocked down Stevens’s centre.

Neves produced another shot, and this time his curling effort was on target, but it sailed straight at Henderson.

United broke on Wolves and twice went close to a second goal with the home side in difficulty defensively.

Fleck put McGoldrick clean through but Patricio smothered his shot, before Mousset sliced well wide.

Wolves then broke through Jota, but he was thwarted by a fine tackle from Egan as the attacker threatened to go clean through.

The hosts equalised when Doherty headed home Jimenez’s cross from inside the six-yaed box.

Doherty pointed to the skies in tribute to Afobe’s daughter as he celebrated the goal.

But United continued to look dangerous, defending solidly and breaking with menace, while Wolves kept giving the ball away.

McGoldrick was inches away with a glancing header from Oliver Norwood’s free kick with Patricio rooted to the spot.

Baldock was unlucky not to receive a second booking 10 minutes from time for chopping down Jota in full flight.

But Wolves ended the game on top, being camped in the visitors’ half and forcing several corners.

But all they had to show for their late dominance was a wayward shot from Jota which flew way over and an ambitious volley from Moutinho, which sailed wide.

Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio 7; Dendoncker 6, Coady 7 (c), Kilman 7; Doherty 8, Neves 7, Moutinho 7, Jonny 7; Traore 7, Jimenez 7, Jota 6.

Substitutes: Ruddy, Vallejo, Neto, Cutrone, Vinagre, Otasowie, Cundle.

Booked: Dendoncker.

Sheffield United (3-5-2): Henderson 7; Basham 7, Egan 8, O’Connell 6; Baldock 7, Lundstram 7 (Freeman 90+1 minutes, 6), Norwood 7, Fleck 8, Stevens 7, Mousset 7 (Robinson 86 minutes, 6), McGoldrick 8 (McBurnie 73 minutes, 6).

Substitutes: Moore, Sharp, Jagielka, Besic.

Booked: Fleck, Baldock, O’Connell, Stevens, Egan.

Referee: David Coote.

Attendance: 31,642.