Premier League: Wolves, Sheffield United's European dreams head in different directions after contrasting results
Wolves keep their European dreams alive with win over Crystal Palace while Sheffield United's hopes of qualifying for Europa suffered a blow after a loss to Everton in Premier League
Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton took back sixth place in the English Premier League after beating slumping Crystal Palace 2-0 on Monday, moving closer to qualifying for another season in the Europa League.
The win moved Wolves back above Tottenham with a one-point advantage ahead of the final day of the league season on Sunday. Wolves must face Chelsea; Tottenham gets Palace, which has lost its last seven games.
Daniel Podence, a winter signing from Olympiakos, scored his first Premier League goal in the 41st minute with a header into an unguarded net off a cross from Matt Doherty, who was in turn cued up by a smart lob from Joao Moutinho. Jonathan Castro showed off his footwork to score the second goal on the turn in the 68th.
“We wanted to be in Europe again and now we probably need to win at Chelsea to make sure we are again,” Doherty told broadcaster BT Sport. “I thought we probably started off a bit slow, bit flat in the first half, struggled to get going, but once we scored we got a bit more confident."
Palace showed little sign of breaking its losing run, the club's worst under manager Roy Hodgson. Jeff Schlupp sent a low shot narrowly wide in the first half on his first Premier League start of 2020 following injury problems. Palace lost defender Mamadou Sakho to a leg injury after 23 minutes.
Wolves' European push was helped earlier in the evening when eighth-placed Sheffield United was beaten by Everton 1-0. That result, combined with the win for Wolves, meant Sheffield is no longer in with a chance of reaching the Europa League.
Wolves is still in this season's Europa League, which was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It faces Podence's old club, Olympiakos, in the second leg of their last-16 fixture on Aug. 6. The first leg went 1-1.
Richarlison goal gives Everton win over Sheffield United
Sheffield: Sheffield United ran out of steam in its charge for European qualification in losing to Everton 1-0 on a header from Richarlison in the English Premier League on Monday.
Sheffield surprised many by not just comfortably avoiding relegation but challenging teams with much bigger financial resources in the fight for European places.
The defeat to Everton, combined with Wolverhampton beating Crystal Palace 2-0 later Monday, means Sheffield can no longer qualify for the Europa League for the first time.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed against the post just before halftime for Everton, and his team then scored in the opening minute of the second half.
Gylfi Sigurdsson hit a cross from deep on a free kick and Richarlison rose to head the ball in from near the penalty spot. Sheffield goalkeeper Dean Henderson got his fingers to the ball but couldn't keep it out.
Sheffield had few chances to level the score. David McGoldrick had a shot blocked by 18-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite in his first top-division start, and also shot over the bar with the final kick of the game.
Manchester United owners await fresh bids as sale of Premier League giants continues to hang in balance
Reports said bidders, including chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, were initially told they had until 2100 GMT on Wednesday to submit new bids, but that has now been extended.
Battle to buy Manchester United heats up as Qatari banker, British billionaire prepare fresh bids
Manchester United's owners, the Glazer family, have reportedly set a world record £6 billion ($7.3 billion) valuation for a sports club.
Premier League: Chelsea claim sanctions imposed on ex-owner Roman Abramovich led to major losses
Russian billionaire Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government in March last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.