‘Happens at every club’: Chris Wilder plays down Robinson-Souza clash

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Vinícius Souza;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Vinícius Souza</a> (left) and <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jack Robinson;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jack Robinson</a> both stayed on the field after shoving one another. </span><span>Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters</span>

The Sheffield United teammates Jack Robinson and Vinícius Souza were involved in an extraordinary on-field clash during their team’s 1-0 defeat at Wolves, butting heads before pushing and shoving in an incident referred to VAR.

The flashpoint came in the 37th minute outside the United box when Robinson pointed a finger at Souza before offering some words to back up his annoyance. The Brazilian confronted his teammate, going forehead to forehead before something akin to a slap caught Robinson in the face.

Related: Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United: Premier League – as it happened

Robinson then shoved Souza, who reacted in kind before the pair were separated by the captain, Anel Ahmedhodzic. The VAR official, Jarred Gillett, took a long look to decide whether it merited a red card – or two – but the two players were allowed to stay on. United’s manager, Chris Wilder, tried to play it down.

“That happens at every football club up and down the country three or four times a year,” he said. “I can’t condone it; it has to stay at a level and, of course, we have a responsibility to the young kids out there playing but that happens behind closed doors at every football club, at every level – it’ll happen at Man City and at the bottom of League Two.

“You don’t want it to happen, you don’t want to see it, but it does [happen]. For me, move on pretty quickly as long as it doesn’t step over the line, which it didn’t. We spoke to the boys and they’re fine and cool about it.”

Wilder said no action would be taken against the duo and that the matter was smoothed over during the interval. “They were told of their responsibilities at half-time,” he said.

Souza was on better terms with his former Flamengo teammate João Gomes – now of Wolves – swapping shirts as the two went down the tunnel at half-time. It was another curious incident for the United midfielder, who eventually needed to be substituted because of cramp.

Pablo Sarabia scored the only goal to leave United bottom. Arguably, the Blades had the better chances but were unable to convert, unsurprising for a team who have scored 22 goals in 26 matches, and their internal frustration could be clearly seen. “It never feels quite right for people being sent off for fighting and arguing with their own players,” Wolves’ manager, Gary O’Neil, said. “But the extremity of the act and the violence will decide. They obviously felt it was fine.”